Last night I thought I would wake up, go for a run, go for a bike ride, and then have a great, productive day at work.
It was kind of misting in the morning, but I was supposed to meet a group of friends for a quick five mile run. So, at 4:45 AM, I hopped on the old bicycle and cruised over to where we were supposed to meet for the run.
The lights were dark. There was nobody waiting outside.
So I rode the bike back home, a wet and dirty stripe up my backside from the water slinging off my back tire. Read my text messages. Everyone had cancelled, except for my buddy Randy, who had run from his house.
I could have still run, but I was in a dark mood. So I cancelled my bike riding plans as well, and laid back down in bed. The mattress enveloped me like a friendly amoeba.
An hour later I woke up to ride to work. Now the mist had stopped, and it was starting to rain in earnest.
Getting wet on a bicycle is a little bit like dying. Once you are wet, it doesn’t bother you that much, but getting there, that is the rough part. I try to keep areas of my body dry. I try not to stand up off the bike seat, and keep my arms pressed tightly against my sides. Water falls down from the sky, my tires throw water back up from the road, and water splashes sideways off of the downtube on my bike, so that everything is soaked.
One by one my defenses fall. First, my shoes get saturated, and then my socks go. Then I go over a bump and stand up – just for a moment – and the seat of my pants gets soaked. I focus in on the dry spot between my shoulder blades, until I can feel a trickle of cold seep down the back of my neck. From dry to soaking takes about ten minutes.
But after those ten minutes are over, I am pretty much ok. The water kind of squelches around in my shoes and shorts, and my body warms it up. Fifteen minutes into the ride, I am actually a little bit warmer than I was when I started.
When I get to the office I have to squelch through a large lobby area before I get to the locker rooms. People stare. I am ok with that, too. I have highly defined calf muscles.
My clothes and computer are in a bag inside my backpack. The bag is wet on the outside. My clothes are all dry. I shower, change clothes, and start work.
In the locker room downstairs my clothes slowly drip. They will not be dry when I am ready to put them on again for the ride home. And it will still be raining outside. My socks are leaking black dye on the floor, and when I take them off after my ride home, my feet will be a light gray color.
Honestly, it kinda sucks. Rain makes driving to work seem like a reasonable thing. Except for the traffic, and the sinking feeling that you are sitting down and burning money when you could be exercising and burning fat.
Back when we had a car, I would have to make a decision when it was raining, whether I wanted to ride to work, or whether I wanted to take the car. I usually wanted to ride to work, but it sometimes it was a really hard decision.
Now it isn’t hard anymore.