A week or so ago, I was a little excited at the prospect of actually going to a meeting, my first in ages.
Fast forward a few days, add in the Weather Gods and the Scottish Summer and it’s fair to say that my excitement had been tempered somewhat. First it was going to be cloudy, and then it was going to rain in the morning but maybe clear up in the afternoon, and then it was going to rain heavily in the morning but only lightly in the afternoon, and then by yesterday it had settled into a solid day of double-dot rain with blustery wind, and this morning the Met Office added the cherry on the cake in the form of a yellow weather warning for rain for the entire day.
Obviously, I’m not made of sugar and I’ve ridden entire days in the rain before; I’ve even turned up at meetings in full drowned-rat mode and been (moderately) cheerful about it but I did tentatively inquire whether the meeting could be held online yesterday, and then slightly more urgently this morning. And then, having heard nothing and postponed setting off as long as I could, I reluctantly dug out the waterproof trousers and socks, Actually Waterproof in Scotland rain jacket, spare gloves, and a sweater to put on when I arrived so my teeth didn’t chatter too hard (can you tell I’ve done this before) and donned my winter boots and tweed cap ready to roll.
I’ve never been quite as happy to hear my phone ring and be able to cry off as I was two minutes later.
I still feel slightly bad about this as, for various reasons, we weren’t able to seamlessly switch to an online meeting as I had assumed we would. Ordinarily, I don’t like to inflict the limitations of my preferred mode of transport on other people as I recognise that cycling for transport in all weathers is not normal around here and it is a choice I have made, not a necessity. Even a few month’s ago I would have just gritted my teeth and gone and made something of a spectacle of myself as a result. But, if nothing else, the pandemic and lockdown has made me increasingly reluctant to cycle somewhere in rubbish weather just because my diary says so.
Online meetings aren’t perfect, but now that we know almost everyone is capable of discussing most things online, then I am not sure why that shouldn’t be the default – especially when St Swithin is having his annual massive posthumous hissy fit. And besides, if we want cycling to become a more widespread mode of transport, then being a bit flexible about arranging things around the weather might be part of making that happen.
Of course, round here, that may mean far fewer meetings taking place at all. Which, thinking back over many I’ve attended in the past, might be chalked up as a win.