This week and next it’s all about the rain here in San Francisco (and after that, I’m going out of town). I’ve written before that I like riding in the rain, and this is true. I’ve realized, though, that I don’t like getting ready to ride in the rain. There are so many more accessories to worry about.
In the morning I put on the rain jacket, the rain pants, and the rain boots, and put my work shoes into the pannier inside a plastic bag. Then I put the waterproof cover on the pannier. Yesterday when I got outside I realized that my keys were inside the pannier, so I had to take off the waterproof cover, fish out my keys, lock the door, put them back in the pannier, and replace the waterproof cover on the (now wet) pannier.
When I get to work I take off the waterproof cover on the pannier, then the rain jacket, the rain pants, and the rain boots and hang everything up to dry. Then dig my work shoes out of the plastic bag and put them on. Criminy, what a hassle. Thankfully the university has covered bike parking on all campuses, so there’s no need to cover the seat.
My son wears his rain pants all day, but he doesn’t work at a medical center. Also his rain pants have cool cartoon dinosaurs on them (my mom made them). Elementary school is the life! I might be able to get away with cartoon dinosaurs if I were at the medical center; I could pretend that they were a new kind of scrubs. But women’s rain pants only seem to come in solids. Whose idea was that?
It is often worth it once I’m on the bike, however, because I don’t really have to slow down much, and cars do, so relatively speaking, I feel like I’ve gained bionic powers. It does not feel worth it when it is both windy and raining and I have to shift down to first gear on a flat street, because I am being blown backwards and I can’t see anything.
But when I get to work and am finally rearranged, there is, at last, victory, because on really rainy days, the only dry people in the office are the bike commuters. The drivers and shuttle bus riders get drenched walking from the parking lot to the office. Back before I started riding my bike I hated the rain because I was always getting soaked; just walking to the shuttle stop would fill my shoes with water. Now the rainy season is a hassle, but not much more. I never thought to buy real rain gear until I started riding my bike, but now I wear it even on the walk up to preschool. And it makes all the difference.