It’s a British obsession and a natural topic of interest for cyclists. Rain soaks the bum, wets the feet, darkens the mood. Wind propels us at unnatural speeds or provides the stiffest of opposition. Mist and fog envelops us. Reduces speed. Impairs visibility. For the less adventurous or equipped, snow ends play (and for those who belong to the first two groups, adds interest). Naturally it is sun that steals the limelight. It warms the limbs and relieves stress. in Vitamin D it provides important chemical reactions. We can enjoy a café stop at halfway and sip espresso beneath its glory. Equally the sun can be relentless and unforgiving, requiring cover and protection. But whatever the weather, we can – and do – ride.
Embracing a ride in all weathers is an experiment in psychology. The rain that pounds your face may be just the stress relieving ticket. It could be the sun that forces you to hide or the mist that generates euphoria. The key, I think, is in that first word of this paragraph – ‘embrace’. Who can predict the outcome of mood and weather combinations? The best day I’ve had on the bike involved cloying mountain rain and cantankerous winds. Counterintuitive perhaps, to perceived wisdom.
As you sit and read this, the conditons outside are dry/wet/windy/sunny/misty/snowy/rainy. They could be perfect at this precise moment in time, just for you. Only hopping on a saddle will inform you for sure. Excepting dangerous conditions, I try never to let the weather disincline me to ride. The skin – and soul – are more waterproof than any of our fabric inventions.
Compiling a short cycle commuting weather report on twitter got me thinking. #CDF_Cycle_Commute_Report . Top image: Clearing skies over the Hayes, Cardiff