Friday, September 22, 2006


Today was World Car Free Day. I mentioned that to someone at work. She said she hadn’t heard. Yeah, usually only people like me know that sort of thing.

I don't know if this is Martino's work but that's where I got the image from.

Lots and lots of cycling bloggers are talking about how rainy it’s been the past few days. My city has not been an exception. Even the turtles are confused.

I used to have a rule about riding in the rain. If it’s merely supposed to rain at ride time I ride. If it’s raining at ride time I don’t ride. And so it was that I woke this World Car Free Day morning to the three weather w’s: wet, wind and wain.

Ugh. I need inspiration! I found Tex in Luavull trying to decide what to do about all that green on his radar. He was to accompany a new rider to work. Yeah…it’s awful wet out.

Then I found Griffin at Wheel Revolution saying “Where is it you need to go today that you think you need a car for? Rethink.”

I did. I rode. I rethunked.

Wet ground means I have to take the winter route to stay out of the mud. This is an additional mile or two, which causes further discouragement. I learned some things: I wrapped my clothes and consumer electronics in plastic bags for waterproofing because I didn’t fully trust of my ballistic nylon Timbuk2 messenger bag. I won’t be doing that again. Thanks Timbuk2. Also the new jacket, while perhaps not as windproof as the old one, resisted the rain like a champ…except for the thunderstorm going on inside…but that’s my fault.

I’ve revised my wet riding rules.

A car pulled up beside me on the road. I think it’s awfully funny how it’s possible to sense that words are going to be spoken from within a car, even before the car is in appropriate position. Maybe it's the extra time it takes to reach over and roll down the passenger window. Sigh, here we go. But it was a friendly face! SteveP! You rocked my morning. Thanks!

And finally, a while ago I ordered some pieces of flair for the messenger bag. My reward was waiting at the end of my ride home.

What I wouldn’t give for one of those buttons with a bike instead of an airplane. The size of the buttons surprised me a little. They're dime size. The strap they appear on in the picture is 2 inches. That's good, I like the subtlety.

Buttons here. Suspected terrorist story here.

*** upon further review - to the extent that the buttons I display here are appropriate, the buttons for sale at the site mentioned are, um...way less appropriate. Don't go there unless you want to be even less happy about the buttons I've purchased. Thanks.

*** to be even more clear...did I just point my mom to THAT site. Ew, sorry mom.


Anonymous said...

Ride in the rain. You won't regret it (once you get your wet shoes off!)

Anonymous said...

There were lots of cool "Days" this week. Park (ing) day was the 21st and Talk Like A Pirate Day was the 19th. Cool, to bad i missed all the good ones.

Woodog said...

My son's broken ankle, rain, tight schedule with doctor appointments and work kept me in the car on World Carfree Day. Not an inch on the bike. It was like a photo negative, but of reality.

SiouxGeonz said...

Bummer, woodog!!

I didn't hear much about car-free day even though I was.

Since Little League didn't work for my siblings, our family did swim team. Wetness is not fatal. You probably don't even wear mascara (neither do I).

I have duckboots for when it's cold and wet, and found some closeout meshy shoes which were, I think, designed for people who climb waterfalls for a living (limited market!). They work really well on the bike and don't get dukey, they just dry out. THey are also less slimy getting on & off the pedals at traffic stops.

Computers make reasonably good clothes dryers through the course of a business day; fortunately mine is under my desk. (Fortunately it very, very rarely rains upon me, even if you count today's cooling mist.)

Anonymous said...

I rode for years in the pacific northwest. If you don't ride in the rain in Seattle, you don't ride. I always focussed on staying warm by wearing polypro and other materials that will keep you warm even when they're wet. I always try to stay dry, but most of my attempts to stay dry were in vain. I could generally keep my upper body dry, but my legs were nearly always wet. Feet and toes are the hard thing to keep warm and dry. Plastic baggies over the feet certainly don't breath, but for shorter rides they can be nice. I also like big wool socks pulled up over my shoes (with a hole cut for the cleat). This doesn't cramp your feet and cut off circulation, but still provides pretty good warmth ( not the best for rain, but OK for warmth). I now live in Utah and I have enjoyed your riding in cold series because I need all the help I can get staying warm.