Monday, November 9, 2015

Not Biking Angry Anymore

No longer how I roll anymore
I'm not biking angry anymore. I came to the realization as I was biking home on Friday and today I figured out why: I'm not terrified anymore so I don't have to be angry. And the thing is, it was an easy fix. Instead of biking in fear of being blasted into the ditch by passing cars that gave me zero room, I took the lane. I don't have a speedometer on my bike so I have no idea how fast I am going but I'm thinking I might be going in the mid to high 20s (after I've been smoking, Josh Ross) - and I think that's enough for a 30 mph speed zone.

As for the weekend, I only biked on Saturday. I believe I'm pretty tough and besides my love for biking far outweighs any inconvenience caused by bad weather. I knew there was 100% chance of rain on Saturday but my motto being "there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing", that sure wasn't going to stop me from biking.

I already know I can handle wet and I can handle cold - turns out I have issues with the combination of the two. The first hour of the bike ride wasn't bad and I almost took off the rain jacket, but holy crap - as I started biking north from Renton it started pouring down. Cold, wet rain. Yes, I know that rain is always wet, but somehow it seems more wet when it's cold. The rain felt like liquid snow.

What? No fenders? #teamfenders364
You'd think that being cold would be a huge motivator for biking faster, but I just couldn't. The thing I've discovered with rain and temperatures as I've been biking is that there's a point where if the cold hits you before you start to really get some speed and core temp up - it's close to impossible to get up speed and get warm. This is what happened to me on Saturday. I just couldn't get up speed because I was freezing my butt off. I was so incredibly cold and wet, making the remainder of the ride a proper suck fest. I only biked 60 miles, not 100. It took me forever to warm up again so I decided that I wouldn't bike yesterday - making it the first day I haven't biked in months.

I still haven't figured out the staying dry issue, but that's on me because I still haven't put on front fenders, nor have I gotten rain pants. I'm hoping that will take care of the portable foot bath situation.

This is exactly what my shoes are like. Seriously
This morning's commute sucked balls. The ride in itself was fine, but Nick Allard keeps on lying. I need to trust my ears and more than I trust Kiro 7 weather. According to Nick the heavy rain was supposed to be up north and not where I live. Not true. I was soaking wet within 5 minutes of my ride. The initial water was freezing cold but after a while the water in my shoes warmed up, making it tolerable but still soaking wet. Of course I didn't bring extra socks, but fortunately Whole Foods sell some clothing items - I was just hoping they had socks that weren't fair trade, organic, hand spun, $100 socks. Turns out I got two pairs of socks for $14, which is acceptable.

Lesson finally learned: I will no longer use Kiro 7 as my weather resource. I like their news staff so I'll probably still watch that part of the morning show - but I will ignore Nick from now on - or do the opposite of what he says.

I'll be getting rain pants this evening and hopefully my goretex shoes are dry by now. I still love biking and will forge on through the winter, and hopefully come out on the other side much wiser and a well of biking knowledge.


  1. Since you're in the vicinity of Seattle, you'll want to figure out the "Staying Dry" part pretty quickly. You already alluded to fenders, which will partly solve your soaking feet problem and keep your backside dry besides. I wear shoe liners in the rain, but I also keep an extra pair of dry socks at the office.

    Good luck!

  2. Sometimes I wear galoshes on my bike - that'll keep your feet dry. Yet another advantage of platform pedals :-)