The Ride of Our Lives

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Singing in the rain ...

... and the tune was "this is all terribly unpleasant, cycling when it's dreadfully inclement, but in the best of British tradition, we shall keep calm and carry on".  Being from the colonies myself I was thinking of an updated version of the classic. It goes like this ...

Yes dear dear reader, today was a 40 mile day and it had to be done come rain, hail or shine, and rain it did. We were undeterred  (or at least we pretended to be much more undeterred to one another than we actually were) because after all May can be a very wet month in both the UK and France, so best we had some experience of cycling in the rain.  Almost more importantly, we needed to test out our wet weather gear to see if it was all up to snuff and would actually keep us dry(ish)! On went the wet weather trousers and jackets, the all important overshoes and the gloves. Yes well I forgot my waterproof gloves and so I had on a wind-proof pair in fetching fluro.

As we got into the ride and saw who else was actually out and about on such a miserable day we also realised that the day belonged to a) the dedicated in training for whatever, b) families with small children suffering from cabin fever, and c) the shall we say the "differently wrapped", mostly out walking their dogs in the rain.

Much to her chagrin, the "differently wrapped" appeared to want to take any and all opportunities to have words with Pomme Anglais whether she was stationary or not. For some reason they didn't accost me. Could have been that my glasses were both fogged up and covered in rain, that I didn't appear stable on my bike, or that they mistook my look/grimace of "this is fun this is fun" as a signal that I should be given a wide berth!

 Pomme Anglais, being all British and terribly polite, was duly approached by several people in the course of the ride and informed (amongst other things) that "she should not look at people walking their dogs while she was talking to her fellow cyclists because the person walking the dog could think she was talking about them". Another goodie was that she should not be cycling on the cycling path when there were people with pushchairs on said cycle path, as opposed to the perfectly good footpath for pedestrians opposite.

I laughed, and was duly rewarded by a car driving at speed in a fit of really sensible and defensive driving given the conditions thru a deep pool of water, which duly saw me wear about 40 litres of it full on (you pillock whomever you were!!).  Pomme Anglais then further exacted revenged on me laughing at her by braking unexpectedly in the subway and I rear ended her and yes down I went again at zero kms an hour.  So now that's four bite the tarmac incidents since the arrival of cleats! Actually, it's five as I fell off again later at zero kms when trying to press a pedestrian cross signal - different knee skinned this time yah what a bonus!!!

So taa daahh - the results of the wet weather gear trials, noting of course that we were biking in rain that began to feel like needles because we were going so fast!  Trousers and jacket rock! Over shoes must be made by angels and windproof gloves are definitely not waterproof.  Right, I am off to Norway to see the Northern Lights, sailing up the coast on a mail boat.  Pomme Anglais and kiwifruit numero deux will be keeping you entertained in my absence.

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