Tuesday, May 24, 2005

April Second

It’s April Second in Northern New England. That isn’t the second day of April, it’s the second April of 2005.

You really have to be devoted to ride in this weather. Just remember that it feels good when you finish and you can’t finish if you don’t start.

It’s fixed-gear weather. I’m thinking about building a fully-enclosed fairing like some early 20th Century record-attempt bike. It will seal out the wetness, more or less. But more likely I’ll just suffer and dream.

The DSL at work dangles a big carrot to get me to drive on rainy days and bring the laptop. I haven’t yet wanted to expose the computer to the perils of the road or myself to the extra weight of it, so I haven’t lugged it on the bike.

A training ride in the rain isn’t as bad as a commute. It’s one loop, one soaking, followed by a shower, dry clothes and whatever else you scheduled for the day. A ride to work on a rainy day, especially a somewhat long, rural ride like mine requires the right clothing, plus a protective pack to keep the cargo dry. And at the end of the day I get to dress again in damp, gritty clothes to trudge home among the unimpressed motorists.

Putting it that way it sounds kind of virtuous. A little masochistic, but virtuous. Maybe I won’t succumb to the lure of the car, high speed internet or not. Damn, it’s a hard choice.

Commuting to the town where I work is really a public service to all the people who for various good reasons can’t use a bike. Parking is a mess. Main Street grinds to a halt around July Fourth and starts moving again after Labor Day. Then it chokes again for foliage season, but then it’s more of a weekend condition.

Most motorists don’t realize what the cyclists are doing for them. They only notice the fleeting inconvenience of passing the guy blocking traffic on his bike. I’m satisfied when they’re just basically polite. Don’t strew rose petals, just give me a couple of feet of breathing room and go on by.

No comments: