I fancied cycling to work yesterday, looked out the window - black clouds - bad. Checked the forecast - rain - bad. Decided it was too dodgy and drove instead. It didn't rain, needless to say. This morning I really fancied cycling. Looked out the window - black clouds - bad. Checked the forecast - rain - bad. BUT. Not going to be fooled again. So, I cocked a snooke and went anyway! Ha ha!
This was a mistake. I realise that now, the fates had it in for me today. I left the house at 7.58am. At 8.03 there was a smattering of drops on my head. Never mind - it's only water, carry on. By 8.05 the spit spot on my helmet has turned into a pitter patter. By 8.10 the sound is resembling bing bong, bing a bong. And after that it all becomes a bit of a blur really. A watery, curtain-like blur. My shoes are full of water, my trousers are dripping and have become strangely elongated so that they are now catching on bits of the bike and not letting me push the pedals. My jumper - cotton - is becoming very skin-hugging and heavy. I stop, take off the offending jumper and stuff it into the bike bag, along with a fair amount of the wet stuff. Put on my waterproof, lovely goretex, bought it in the Lake District during an English summer, which this is now resembling. Of course, it is completely waterproof, it's been thoroughly tested during that memorable English summer, I know it's capabilities. However, they work best when you are dry to begin with, capiche?
By now I have become resigned to the water and also think I am looking overly optimistic in my sunnies, so I take them off too. Now though the rain is hitting my eyeballs with amazing force and I can't see! And that damn rain stings! What do they PUT in rain nowadays? By this time, the water is running into my ears in rivulets, which makes quite a good seal for the ipod earplugs funnily enough. And there is a curtain of water falling off my helmet. I am cycling on the path because there is now a river flowing down the road, and every time a car goes past, the river is displaced onto me, mainly.
So, I struggle on, womanfully. Am actually having a really good time, it's not often you get to play in the rain like this. The journey takes me an hour. Normally it takes 40 mins, tops. It must be the thickness of water or something. I arrive at work and present myself in the office, water streaming off me. By this time, you will understand, the rain has stopped and the sunnies are a necessity again, and everyone is surprised to see the state of me. "What have you been doing?" "Fall into a lake?" "Cycle through the surf?" Er, no, actually. "What rain? Its lovely and sunny out there!"
One shower later - clothes hanging up in the hope they will dry (they don't) - clean but wet clothes on (they got wet in my bag) and I'm ready for the day. Damp but ready.
End of the day (yes, there's more), I can't wear my cycling clothes, still too wet. Shoes may never recover and weigh 10kgs each. So, I venture out into the broad daylight with my trousers tucked into my popsocks! Oh joy! Plus fours! (Should that be plusfours?) I am fairly sure I look pretty damn sassy in plusfours! Must investigate these for the golf course. So, off I trot, looking the bees knees, the ducks britches, etc, etc. Lovely. Am hardly damp at all. It's a 15km journey, not far, on two tyres. On one tyre however, it is considerably further. After about 5km the bike becomes strangely wobbly.
I carry on womanfully, wondering if I should have eaten something before setting out as the strength seems to have gone out of my legs, the pedals are becoming increasingly hard to turn. And wobblier and wobblier. Oh dear. OK, I have a pump, all is not lost. It's quite hot work, pumping up a completely flat tyre. At least it's getting dark, so I don't look an idiot because I am invisible now. After all, am in black office clothes and plusfours. I manage another 10 turns of the pedals before the bike gets wobblier and wobblier..... hmmmm. Right then, the garage 2km away has an air line - oh, silly me, it's broken, of course it is. Just as well I have boots on for the walk, hey? So, the journey this morning took one hour. This evening it took two hours. That's a marvellous amount of exercise, ain't it?