Biking with a Life Preserver

18 Jul

I’m not sure when I realized it was all sorts of bad weather outside.  My new office has no windows.  I saw the sky darkening, I figured we were having sporadic thunderstorms.

Maybe when my coworker said “Go! Bike home now before the next storm arrives!”

Or maybe when big fat raindrops hit me as I headed for the gym.

(I forgot to think about my bike, for once, in a rare rash moment, locked up with no roof above it.)

Or maybe when I saw water pouring off the MIT roof as I tackled my evening workout.

(I thought about my bike now but it was too late, the seat no doubt already soggy.)

Or maybe when my phone had a missed call and it was my friend saying “I hope you are home by now…or thought to bring a life preserver…”

Or maybe when I left the gym, headed through the turnstile, saw the torrential downpour and wanted to go back to exercise.  Me: I guess I could work out more…or stretch!  Me: But I really want to get home and eat dinner.

(This is when I realized I left my bike helmet in the locker room. I took that as a sign that I should stay at the gym longer. Then I considered the likelihood that I’d work out longer, get low blood sugar, and have to bike home still in a torrential downpour but at a much slower speed…)

The most unpleasant part of biking in the rain is that you must choose to sit your dry bottom down on a very wet seat.

The most unpleasant part of biking in the rain is that your helmet transfers rivulets of water into tidy little streams…that mostly splash over your forehead and block your vision.

The most unpleasant part of biking in the rain is that Cambridge has no drainage system. And you bike through a puddle and suddenly your shoes and socks and pedals are completely underwater and it feels gross.

The most unpleasant part of biking in a thunderstorm is when the lightning starts on the unprotected Mass Ave bridge and you congratulate yourself for not jumping off your sodden seat by how loud (and close) it is, only to jump off your sodden seat when a bunch of nearby girls scream, frightened by the lightning.  Apparently, some people are frightened by the lightning. And the rest of us are frightened by those people.

The most unpleasant part of biking in the rain is the buses and cars that whoosh past spraying water over you in a never-ending arc that completely soaks your underwear.  This water is much dirtier than the water coming down directly from the sky.

The most unpleasant part of biking in the rain is when the rain intensifies, until you can barely see in front of you, the roadway becomes slick and heaving (you can almost see whitecaps forming, a rain biking hallucination) and you are stuck at multiple red lights next to completely dry and annoying motorists.

There are a lot of unpleasant parts of biking in the rain.

In case you ever doubted the veracity of that statement.

(If you did, reread this post.  Which would make me feel better as I’m pretty sure this post is pathetically trying to convince people of something that was never in doubt.)



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