I had rather resigned myself to not cycling for the paper today when I looked at the forecast last night and saw we had no fewer than four weather warnings in the offing, one of them an amber one. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m getting thoroughly sick of having to peel off all my wet things every time I get home and hang them in the bath so they don’t leave puddles on the kitchen floor.
So today, when we got up and discovered that it was just blowing a hooly, and not actually raining – indeed that the skies were clear and the sun was shining – I cast caution aside and not only hung out some washing to dry (very firmly pegged out), and then set off for the paper.
Unfortunately, our eco washing machine had overridden my instruction to just do a quick wash and had gone for the full three-hour laid-back stop-for-a-little-rest-between-stages wash so by the time I actually got on the bike the clear skies were gone, but it still wasn’t looking that bad, and the birds were no longer flying backwards. By the time I got to Papershop Village, into a stiff headwind, that had deteriorated to threatening skies and the odd spot of drizzle.
‘You might just make it back before you get soaked,’ Papershop Woman said cheerily as I left. More to the point, I thought as the rain started coming down, if I really hurried I might just get back in time to rescue the laundry as the skies to the east were still bright and a small patch of blue seemed to hover right over where I was heading. In fact, I realised, as I turned out of the shop and got the wind at my back I didn’t actually have a choice: Storm Gertrude was going to hurry me on my way whatever I did.
So off we raced, Gertrude and I, with the bright spot of sky always tantalisingly up ahead and the rain soaking my back. There were corners which I took a little faster than I meant to – and hills which I flew up with barely a pedal stroke. I no longer track my rides on GPS but I think I must have broken some personal land speed records – and I got home to discover the rain had arrived just a few minutes before me, and hadn’t really got down to giving the laundry that extra rinse it didn’t really need. Just a few rain spots speckling the clothes
Nothing the Rayburn can’t handle
I still had to undress in the bath though