“When it rains and shines, it’s just a state of mind.” -the Beatles
“What about when it rains, Bob? How do you ride then?” I hear that a lot. Maybe you do, too. Here’s another thing I hear. “I could get behind bike lanes and support them except that they’re a waste of money because you can’t ride a bicycle when it rains.”
Really? I can’t?
I’d been feeling a little guilty since arriving back in Indianapolis from Ogden and having a car at my disposal again. I’ve been cycling every day, but more for fun than transportation. I needed to engage in a little trip reduction therapy so I pulled up Intellicast and had a look. Hmmm.
Fortunately, I am a hard core cyclist and not the fair weather “it’s time to get the bike down off the hook in the garage” kind of guy. There are no hooks in my garage. The bike is always down and a little rain is nothing compared to what I dealt with in December and January. Besides, I have a Gore-Tex shell. It will keep me as dry as a Toyota and it weighs 3,998 pounds less.
I had to go to the library and the bike shop. I’d rented the Swedish movie version of “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest” on DVD and it was due. I’ve sort of fallen for the Millennium trilogy. I’ve seen all three movies (Swedish) and the American version of the first. I’m halfway through the second book. Perhaps it’s because the story takes place in Skåne, the area of Sweden I’m most familiar with (and a great area for cyclists), but I am really enjoying living vicariously through Kalle F. Blomqvist and the rest of the gang at Millennium magazine.
So I ask myself what would Lisbeth Salander do if she needed to get a DVD back to the library and the answer that pops into my mind is that she’d take the Tunnelbana. Okay, but this is Indianapolis, not Stockholm. There is no Tunnelbana. There’s no FrontRunner, either. There isn’t even reliable bus service. Fortunately, I have a bicycle. I can deal with the rain. Like Lennon and McCartney sang, it’s just a state of mind.
So I ride to the library and on to the local bike shop (LBS) through a rare, early March tropical storm. They didn’t even name it…that’s how rare they are here. Still, it’s raining hard and it’s windy but I’m as happy as a clam. I get to the LBS and they look at me like I’ve just returned from the North Pole or Everest Base Camp. Really. These guys don’t cycle when the weather’s nice. There’s no way they rode today. That much is obvious. I don’t much care to do business with them, but it was either that or drive to the next closest LBS which is located just off the freeway, probably because, you know, it’s convenient. You do what you have to do.
In any event, I didn’t melt. In fact, I feel better now than I did before I rode, even though I did get a little wet. That was because I rode through the middle of really big puddles really fast. If you’re of a certain age, like I am, you probably walked to school when you were younger. If so, you might have sought out similar puddles and splashed your way through them. If you did, you probably remember it fondly, like I do. Riding in the rain’s a lot like that.
Oh, yeah. Sixteen point three six miles round trip. It was a good day.