Ah, Autumn

I stepped out of the front door today to find the air damp, cold, blustery and faintly redolent of cow shit. Well, it’s always faintly redolent of cow shit – that’s what’s meant by ‘fresh country air’, in case you were wondering – but the damp, cold, blustery part meant that, as predicted, the autumn weather has arrived at last. We’ve actually had miraculously fine weather for the last couple of weeks so I shouldn’t complain, but I’m going to anyway, particularly about the part where it goes from not actually raining to raining the minute I cycle out of the gate to get the paper. I thought about turning back, but I did sign up to 10:10, after all, and I’m not going to get very far if I get in the car every time there’s a bit of moisture in the air. So bike it was.

The Guardian bike blog was asking a while back how to persuade someone that cycling up hills was enjoyable, but I’ve got a more pressing question. How am I supposed to persuade myself that cycling in the rain can be anything but utterly grim? If I didn’t think it would turn into a spinnaker the minute I encountered a cross wind, I’d seriously consider getting one of these.

Anybody got any better ideas?


17 Responses to Ah, Autumn

  1. Dom says:

    Have the paper delivered. That way the paper boy can do the cycling in the rain, plus, since he’s out delivering many papers it’s got to be better for the environment somehow 🙂

  2. I read once that it only rains on 15% of one’s bike trips (or maybe only 15 times a year). I doubt that it is true, but it sounds encouraging.
    Why not just remind yourself that you are playing your part in saving the planet?

  3. disgruntled says:

    Dom – I asked at the shop, and they don’t deliver. There was a moment during the sunny weather last week that I seriously considered offering to deliver papers myself. I’ve come to my senses now.
    DM- I remember that statistic and I’m clearly an above average cyclist, because I can easily get rained on 15 times in one week. So I’m going to have to concentrate on those happy planet thoughts… I’ll let you know how that works for me.

  4. disgruntled says:

    yes, and I’d like it to continue in existence (although now that they’ve axed the kakuro three days a week the other half is not so sure). Someone needs to keep buying it so the rest of you can all read it free online.

    I’d also quite like the village shop to keep existing too, although how much my daily paper purchase contributes to that, I don’t know

  5. john says:

    I got a rain cape last time I was down in wales, it was bright red and it had a picture of a dragon on it, but I stopped wearing it because it scared the sheep away.

  6. You are right of course – we deliberately don’t buy things we could buy much cheaper in Thurso – just to use the shop. Use it or loose it like.

  7. You MUST get one of these! Not only are they stylish and practical, but high vis too! The emergency services will find it so much easier to find your body when you get swiped off the saddle by a crosswind.

  8. Lynda says:

    One of my main whinges to friends still living in civilisation is that, not being able to drive, if my other half is not here, I can’t go up to the shop 4 miles away to get my Saturday Guardian (the highlight of my week – sad I know). They always say two things; firstly, why don’t you get it delivered, and I have to explain to them that houses here are several miles apart and a paperboy/girl would have to cycle a very, very long way. Secondly, why don’t you get a taxi? Again, there is no taxi because with only about 20 houses in quite a large area, and obviously most sensible people drive, there is not enough demand to support a taxi. Its challenging living here.

  9. disgruntled says:

    I’m thinking of getting one just for the comedy blog value now.

    Lynda – get a bike! Or are you over run with boy racers in your parts?

  10. Jenny says:

    Oh, um, I’ve got one of those capes. Wore it last time I was on my bike. If it’s any comfort to you, I look out on our ‘Spring’ weather which is gusts and blusters and sideways rain outside my window. AND I’ve got a touch of bronchitis which MUST go away in time for my trip to Rotorua this weekend, when I’ll don that cape and join some friends in cycling with 2/3 of my lungs inflating. I think I’ll call myself ‘disgruntled2’ for a change. (To make matters worse, I’ve been eagerly reading Tim Moore’s ‘French Revolutions – cycling the Tour de France’ and the laughter has brought on the coughing something awful.)

  11. disgruntled says:

    I am actually seriously considering getting one (joking aside) – do they work?

    Sorry about the bronchitis. Nasty stuff, and not to be trifled with

    • Jenny says:

      Do they work? Hmmmm – all that flapping, and whipping, and snapping, gives a strong impression they work, and you have to have be prepared to be an objet’d’ridicule, and I think parts of me were drier than they would have been otherwise. I bought a decent rain jacket this week, but the cape will be in the panniers in case.

  12. Lynda says:

    Oh Disgruntled, “get a bike” is always the third thing they say! I have got a bike, and its a lovely ride down to the shop, but its absolutely beyond my feeble body to ride it back up again. So then I end up not only slogging on foot up hill, but pushing a bike as well. Oh, and the fourth thing is get a scooter, and yes, I am considering it.

  13. 2whls3spds says:

    Yes rain capes work. I have a couple; I have a traditional Carradice Duxbak that I normally wear as part of my British Bike Ensemble when riding about on my Raliegh Superbe (must be properly clothed) and then a more modern one that has me accused of emulating Big Bird. 😉 The more modern one packs down small enough to stuff under a saddle for those unpredictable showers.


  14. disgruntled says:

    Lynda – sorry, very tedious of me… some people swear by electric bikes in those circumstances.
    Aaron – do you wear stripey socks with the latter? I think a picture would be in order…

  15. 2whls3spds says:

    Hadn’t thought about the stripey socks…but the concept intrigues me, especially if I were riding one of my small wheeled bikes 😀 At 6’3″ and still being a child at heart, even at the half century mark…


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