Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Are Sure You Are Up For This? Rain Day!

Wind, rain, chill: yeah baby!

As I headed out the door for what the weather forecaster insisted would be a miserable, chilly, rainy, windy commute, I was asked if I wanted a ride in the car, followed by, as I continued to push my bike out the door, "Are you sure you are up for it?"

That's like a challenge to me! Why yes, I believe I am up for a bicycle ride in the rain! With a yearly average of only 8.3" of precipitation, almost all of that in the form of rain with the rare hail and even rarer graupel, rain is somewhat unusual in Phoenix, and I consider it a pleasant change of pace. Regarding the weather forecaster, perhaps she was miserable because she was trapped inside her car! Miserable weather forecasters, shoot me an email and I will take you for a bicycle ride out in the weather, where you, too, can experience new and interesting sensations unavailable to those stuck inside their cars. 

The Top 3 Unusual and Interesting Sensations I Got To Experience in Monday's December Rain Storm:

1) The world seen through rainy, fogged-up glasses. Even better at night, with lights on!

2) Water ripping off my front wheel in a front-facing rooster tail as I rode through the standing water. Gave my fenders something to do, too. Have you heard that sound, faster = louder? Really concentrated on it, listened to the water flying off the tire? Imagine a photo here of that, absent because it was really coming down at that point, plus the mud flying off (see next point), plus the water underneath, didn't want to get my camera that wet.

3) Getting really, really muddy squelching through the canal bank mud. Though I am no canal boffin myself, I imagine that making bike wheel tracks in the mud does the canal bank no good whatsoever, but it almost never happens. There was more mud, and it was deeper, than I expected, so I just kept moving and just squirreled my way through. The water in the streets washed it all off my bike afterwards. Miserable weather forecasters, shoot me an email, and I will take you for a bike ride in the mud, during which you will be covered head to toe in the stuff, and will find yourself laughing at me covered in mud laughing at you covered in mud.

The rain gear worked well. Kept up a high cadence to stay warm, and had fun while doing it. And it was still raining when I headed home, and felt chilly, so I layered up and rode into the blustery storm. 

I'm sure several drivers were looking at me as if I were crazy, so I did my best to project back my true feelings about riding in the December rain: happy to be alive, happy to be in this moment, looking forward to the possibility of doing it again tomorrow. Stopped and took a picture of the Soleri bridge shimmering in the rain, which dark clouds overhead, to celebrate this experience. I mark this moment in wind and rain: pour rain, pour. I am sure that I am up for it. I welcome and embrace the falling water.

Soleri Bridge, Scottsdale, one moment in rain


  1. What fun! Not much can beat going muddin' on a bike.

  2. It's supposed to rain my way tomorrow. I fear the "thunder" part of the forecast...

  3. JK, particularly spontaneous mudding, when you run into it unexpectedly, and just go for it.

    Chafed, thanks.

    Steve, sending it your way. Enjoy. Seek mud.

  4. How about a quick primer on how to clean your bike after a wet and muddy ride? I could use that.

  5. Big Clyde, that's a great idea, and I've been practicing more than I like lately! Quick primer, on the way!


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