Thursday, July 16, 2009

Direction makes a difference: A Tale of Two Commutes

This rainy summer has highlighted the way terrain and weather affect cyclists more than motorists.

Rainy weather discourages many people from riding. Some people shy away from the mere threat. Others push into the storm further. I don't know anyone who prefers wet, slippery roads and diminished visibility, but some riders definitely defy those conditions more than others.

The commuting cyclist needs to arrive at work ready to work. If you have facilities there to clean up thoroughly and change into dry clothes, you are fortunate and in the minority. Even so, you have to allow extra time to make the transition from cycling to work.

Two cyclists commute regularly to the shop where I work. We come from very divergent directions. My route tends southwest-northeast, while Jim Ayyy's runs northwest-southeast. His route also involves more climbing going both ways.

The way weather moves through here, I have a better chance of scooting out from under an advancing front than he does. Especially when the squall line moves in during the late afternoon, he can expect to ride right into its teeth. Therefore, he is far more likely to resort to the auto when the forecast calls for possible strong storms.

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