Having being labeled a “fair-weather cyclist” by one of my esteemed colleagues the previous week, I got out of bed on that extremely wet September morning with a point to prove. Looking out the window and thinking to myself that it didn’t look that bad, I thought I’d restore the small dent in my pride by cycling my five mile commute in shorts and t-shirt. It wasn’t cold after all.
As I fetched Shirley (my beloved commuter) from the shed outside, the rain still didn’t seem heavy, and I was looking forward to a light, refreshing shower on my way into work. The thing is, I’ve proved myself to be a very bad judge of weather conditions in the past, and this time was no exception. Immediately as I set off down the road, the raindrops seemed to triple in both size and frequency. By the time I reached the end of the street, my hair was plastered uncomfortably to my face and my shorts and t-shirt were literally sodden. I could already feel eyes from passing vehicles staring at me in complete disbelief.
As I pedalled onwards I began to think about how wet I’d be when I reached the office, and particularly how I’d completely neglected to even think about a spare set of clothing. More negative thoughts starting to cumulatively build up in my head, and soon I was raging. Cursing God and Nature and everything in between, cursing the drivers of Transit Vans who passed dangerously closed, and particularly cursing the nasty 25mph head wind that was driving a massive amount of rain into my face.
By the time I was halfway to town I couldn’t have been wetter if I’d just fallen into the canal, but things were looking up: the wind was now almost behind me and the rush hour traffic had increased in density significantly enough to get my adrenalin pumping as I weaved through the backed up traffic. In time my wind-rage turned to complete and utter enjoyment, and my anger towards the now stationary cars turned into pity for their drivers; how boring their journey must be, listening to the mundane chatter and generic music of the local radio stations. Shirley and I glided along, past drivers who smiled and pointed; I think I was laughing slightly maniacally at the whole situation. I must have looked like a complete nutcase.
When I reached the office I’d realized I’d forgotten my keys, and of course I was the first one to arrive. But even sitting on a wet step in the pissing rain while I waited for one of my co-workers to arrive couldn’t change my mood now – my ride had set the tone for the day, and it was going to be fantastic.