Rainy Days

I ride to work in the rain, which doesn’t happen all that often in Silicon Valley. When I do, co-workers always ask if I need a ride home. I tell them I get wet when I take a shower, so I can handle a little rain. Today is one of those rainy days, and windy.

So what’s the big deal about riding in the rain? It sucks. No doubt about it. I bought a commute bike with fenders – Bianchi Castro Valley – in 2005 and it makes the ride go a lot more smoothly. The dynohub shines a bright light that’s easily visible and I don’t have to worry about batteries.

Is there an occasion I would never ride? Sure. It happened in early January when we had rain AND hurricane-force winds, up to 105 mph in the hills above Los Gatos. I drove that day but, amazingly, I saw a rider. He was on Montague Expressway heading east at about 7:15 a.m.

It was pitch dark and the wind was howling, but he had two enormous red flashers on the rear of his cargo bike. Looked like a UFO.

I’ve ridden in snow, which also sucks, but in other ways. The snow turns to ice as it melts on the chain and pretty soon the freewheel is a solid block of ice. No shifting.

I’ve also ridden in 105 degree heat over Mt. Hamilton to Livermore and back. When you ride a bike you accept what Nature has to offer. It’s part of the joy of riding a bike and feeling you’re part of something special on this third rock from the sun.

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