I have an extra layer on as I sit down and write this, it is distinctly cooler outside and the last weekend for the first time in a long while I made full and proper use of my mudguards and lights.
Sunday saw the torrential downpours turn my local cycle routes into a squishy mess and I was surprised to feel the need to turn my lights on as I left the house. Arriving home I wasn’t sure if I should bring my muddy mess of a bike through the house. The only reason it got such preferential treatment in the end is because I had made a bad decision to take an expensive member of the gang out for the day and not just one of the run-arounds.
It would seem as if the UK weather is back to business as usual and the endless sunny days are over. As much as I don’t mind rain, I had started feeling like it was some foreign entity, a forgotten memory from some distant time popping round when I was somewhere else. Don’t get me wrong I did not in any way mind cycling through puddles or skidding on my stupidly slick tyres through muddy patches. I rather enjoyed it and it presented a challenge. I was, however, saddened to think the long hot summer days are behind us now.
For all-weather cyclists, bike prep now requires consideration of thicker tyres, mudguards and the all-important illumination, but worst of all, just like the girl guides motto “be prepared” we must arm ourselves for all eventualities. Even if you think you can dodge the rain you can’t escape the left over water that your bike will decide needs to be redistributed and most probably on the way to some important meeting or date you are trying to impress.
See us cyclists are acutely aware of weather changes, the state of rainfall is constantly on our minds, we have our nose to the breeze sniffing out the chance of rain like a hound dog finding its juicy bone.
Some of you, I expect, are a bit more technical with your weather predictions and consult the internet or a weather gauge, my cycle messenger buddy swears by willitraintoday.co.uk and seems to have a lot of luck with it.
I wish I could install such belief in these methods but I’ve never held much trust in the weather forecasters. No, I am not a follower of weather reports. Sometimes I get caught out but mostly I just carry the necessaries. I own a lot of waterproof clothing, small macs, industrial winter macs and three pairs of waterproof trousers each with their unique use. I know that sounds over the top but I haven’t had a soggy bum in decades.
Fleeces are showerproof, I have two ponchos (one for best) and I can even cycle with an umbrella like the Dutch if push comes to shove. Did I forget to mention every bike I own has mudguards on it?
The endless sun may have retired for a while but cycling life goes on, even in the rain.