Spring is finally upon us, which also means grey skies and wet roads in Vancouver. But like I said, the gloomy days only make us appreciate our usual gorgeous sunny days a lot more! I can’t believe our abnormally warm winter passed by so quickly because my favorite thermal jackets are too warm for rides and it is still light out when I’m riding home from work. Oh the joy! Descending mountains are still a chilly problem though.
Do you ride in the rain?
I take the Wilier out for my long morning rides before work but it usually ends up pouring when it comes time to ride home in the evening. I don’t mind getting soaked but knowing I have to clean my bike afterwards is the only reason I despise it… and the feeling of wet socks… yuck!! When I ride my rain bike (the Cannondale), I sometimes never clean or even re-lubricate the chains afterwards. I’m so terrible, I know. But when you want to be lazy, you gotta be lazy.
You know what else I despise about cycling?
Washing water bottles after a ride! My friend taught me a trick: to put it in the freezer to prevent bacteria growth and take it out when you are ready to wash it. You can soak it in water + detergent but it’s hard to rinse out completely, and you’ll probably get detergent-flavored water on your next ride. Delicious!
Our rides tend to get extended which usually means getting home and starting a hectic post-ride routine so you won’t lose friends from being constantly late to engagements. My OCD-tendencies doesn’t help either because I need to do as much as I can and as fast as I can — showering, putting everything away (I hate mess), post-ride meal/snack, icing, stretching, foam-rolling, checking out the Strava stats… and then getting ready for whatever I have planned that evening. Washing water bottles is the last thing I need. Ugh.
I’m all for cycling advocacy but what is wrong with commuting to work in lycra and a carbon road bike?
I usually take my old bike but whenever I get a chance to do a long ride on a sunny morning, I’m going to take my fast bike out! Why would I spend so much money on a machine that gives me so much joy and let it sit around at home? She would get so lonely… poor thing.
Like with everything else, the world generalizes cyclists. And then cyclists generalize cyclists. We have lycra-clad cyclists who tend to race on shared bike/pedestrian paths putting everyone’s lives in danger. Kids (I’m old now, okay) riding their bikes with their giant Beats on and not paying attention to the world around them. Hipsters weaving between cars in rush hour traffic on their fixies and completely disobeying traffic laws. People riding at night with absolutely NO lights and dressed in black… I’m totally not generalizing, I swear!
But seriously, I’ve seen every single type of cyclist run red lights and stop signs, cut people off, scream at drivers… not ONE specific group. It’s just so natural in our human tendencies to make judgements. I admit, I totally judge. I hate entitled cyclists who run lights and have no respect for drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists. No, we are not better because we choose to ride our bikes— remind yourself you may occasionally drive or walk (gasp). However I don’t judge how fast or slow someone is riding, what kind of bike they are riding, what they are wearing or how many rules they are breaking (because I’m pretty sure I break 90% of them).
I love reading articles about cycling (particularly in Vancouver) and I always get a good laugh reading the comments, which is a discussion I refuse to join. Topics including cycling and bike lanes are so controversial and there is no winning from any side because everyone is so passionate in their opinions. Wow, cycling is way up there now along with religion, politics, abortion and global warming. You gotta love it.
But cycling is cycling and it makes me happy when I see others out on a bike— especially on rainy days. Ride bikes, people!! You won’t regret it.