The Better Part of Valour

clothes drying outI can’t help but feel it was a teeny bit unfair of the Weather Gods to wreak their revenge on me just as I was cycling home from a climate change demonstration – but then again, perhaps the Weather Gods are all for climate change as it gives them the chance to create even more havoc than usual. As it was, they did at least hold back on the hailstorms, freak blizzards and plagues of frogs and confined themselves to ensuring that I was thoroughly soaked from stem to stern, paying extra attention to making sure that my shoes filled up with water so that my socks had to be wrung out before being hung along with pretty much everything else I was wearing on the Rayburn.

At that point, with the rain still blattering down, and realising that I was going to have to go out in it all again to get to choir, I gave in and texted a fellow choir member for a lift. I can increasingly put up with worse and worse weather on the bike these days – but I draw the line at going out and getting soaked again when I had only just got myself into warm and dry clothes.

Today was better – dry enough to wash, re-apocalypse-proof, and dry my jacket and venture out again to help lead 24 11-year-olds through the streets of Bigtown (we walked the bikes for the horrendously hostile first 100 yards outside their school) and up to the local campus where they could cycle in relative comfort and safety while loudly disputing whether or not doing a wheely while riding down the middle of the (fortunately empty) road counted as riding single file in the strictest sense of the term. Having clarified my instructions (single file, with both wheels on the ground, and over to the left, and no, doing skids on the leaves is neither big nor clever and does not count as a controlled descent down a steep hill) we got everyone back to school in one piece and with only a few extra grey hairs on the part of the ride leaders.

coffee and cake

That left only one piece of unfinished business: my fifth coffeeneuring stop, this time at the Polka Dot Vintage Tea room where the coffee may not be that fancy but the china is exceedingly pretty (and no, I’ve no idea why the tearoom is described as vintage; the coffee seemed pretty fresh). A well-earned slice of cake and a good hour of gossip masquerading as discussing cycle campaign matters soon restored me for the ride home, where I was further rewarded for my efforts by the opportunity to test out the re-proofing of my jacket…

So now I’ve decided to simplify things and just have two outfits on the go: the one I’m wearing and the one drying out on by the Rayburn. All I ask is that I manage to go long enough between soakings that the last lot have dried out before I have to change again. That doesn’t seem too much to hope for, does it?

afternoon sky

This was supposed to be a photo of some geese flying overhead but by the time I’d got the camera working they had almost gone

Total distance cycled: 18 miles.

5 Responses to The Better Part of Valour

  1. Charles says:

    I think part of your problem is that you insist on wearing civilised clothes while cycling. I myself cannot carry off the lycra look, think whale in neoprene, there are other options. I bought some winter hiking trousers that are a) very nearly waterproof, dry almost instantly, are wind proof, warm and allow one to move fairly freely. Also from a distance of 6 feet they look like normal trousers. As for your shoes you could drill holes in the bottom to let the rain out or get sopme spats, very Bertie Wooster but effective. Failing that get some cheap gaiters for hill walking. 30 seconds to put on, no entry for rain…

    Apart from that 18 miles and mad children to boot – congratulations.

  2. disgruntled says:

    I am looking at the hiking trousers option (and I do have gaiters, which are effective but I’ve never managed to put them on in less than 5 minutes). The problem is when I’m going somewhere civilised like Embra and don’t want to look too much like a rural bumpkin. Of course the drowned rat look doesn’t exactly impress either…

  3. John Gibson says:

    It’s a shame about the geese, we have a lot flying over us at the moment.

  4. disgruntled says:

    I’ll keep trying. They’re quick though!

  5. […] Town Mouse rides back from a climate change demonstration and is then treated to a hailstorm en route to her coffeeneuring destination. […]

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