Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rainy Bike to Work Day

I've finally dried out from last week's bike to work day. I knew heavy rains were predicted for the morning and had resigned myself to missing out this year. As I lay in bed listening to what sounded like buckets of water being thrown on my roof, I got on Twitter and saw there were a handful of intrepid Arlingtonians already out there braving the elements. After languishing in bed for nearly an hour I heard the rain slowing down and thought, I could at least bike to Ballston and claim my T shirt at Fresh Bikes.

I donned my rarely used rain pants, my cheap red rain poncho, and pulled the rain shield over my backpack. Wool socks and my oldest shoes completed my ensemble.

 Halfway to Ballston the light rain - I should have known it would - picked up. But my spirits lifted when I high-5'd the WABA (Washington Area Bicyclist Association) greeter standing at the entry to the pit stop. There was less swag than last year, a casualty of the weather. I had hoped to snag another free reflective vest (having given away last year's) but I did pick up some reflective leg bands and, of course, breakfast. And I got to see the cutest biking family, decked out in their adorable rain gear and nutcase helmets.

 Since I was thoroughly soaked, I figured I'd take my commute one metro stop at a time. By Rosslyn, I decided I'd done a respectable job, parked my bike, and took metro the rest of the way to work. Looking somewhat like a big drowned rat, my drenched feet bore the brunt of the wet weather. It felt like I was walking through squishy mud, which actually was rather pleasant.

Over the lunch hour, I wore my Bike to Work Day T shirt to the gym for Pilates. A fellow student gave me my second high-5 of the day and said she had done the same thing – biked part way, took metro for the rest. Our teacher was amply impressed by our efforts, but did not go easy on our abs!

By then the day had turned brightly sunny, evaporating the memory of the soggy morning. My non-biking friends cemented their view of me as a cycle fanatic. But for me, it was a reminder that riding in the rain can be fun, once you’re resigned to getting wet.

I came home to copies of the Wisconsin Bicyclist Federation’s April magazine that printed my essay about childhood biking, Lost in Milwaukee. It’s awfully nice to see my work in print, and they included some lovely photos. They also sent me a very stylish T shirt in my favorite color, just in time for me to wear on my upcoming visit to the Dairy State.

 One final photo – last week I made my first CSA pick up of the season, using my Burley Travoy, of course, now emblazoned with its magnificent winter 2014 Errandonneee patch. Ah, livin’ the bike life!

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