I rolled back into Portland on Thursday, last week. I’d been away for a few weeks because of my dad’s illness and when I came back into town the rain welcomed me home. I’m always amazed by how quickly my body adapts to different climates. For example, my folks live in Red Bluff and the climate is warm. It doesn’t rain that much and the winters aren’t very cold.
Over the last few weeks, I’d gotten used to the warm, dry weather. So yesterday, the idea of hopping on my bike in the pouring rain didn’t sound appealing. But I was anxious to see friends. We’d made plans for a Sunday brunch at a little coffee shop called Crema.
Even though I didn’t want to get on my bike, I had a blast on the ride and it made me feel a whole lot better; especially after spending two weeks sitting in a Chico hospital, worrying about my dad. Riding my bike helped ease my anxiety and I remembered why I love the rain so much. I love how it smells and how it makes the trees so green.
As Logan noted earlier this morning, “I never remember why it’s fun to ride in the rain until I get on my bike. The air smells clean, I never overheat, and clouds and landscape are beautiful to look at.”
Some of you have asked how I get around by bike in the nasty weather. I use a few key tools that keep me safe and dry, including:
- A clean bike. When the weather is rainy and wet, it’s essential that I take the time to wipe down my rims and brakes. It takes 5-minutes and it keeps me safe. If I don’t wipe off road grime from my bike, it’s hard for me to stop. Also, it keeps the bike working in the long-run.
- A Portland Shower’s Pass jacket and black, REI, waterproof rain pants. Good rain gear is essential in a wet climate. During my first year in Portland, I learned about the importance of rain gear the hard way. I put off buying rain pants because I didn’t want to spend the money and got VERY wet on my bike.
- A hat, mittens, helmet and scarf are other goodies that keep me warm and dry.
- Two hot pink, Swift Industries bike bags carry all of my stuff. The bags easily hook onto my rack and the bike carries my load.
In short, cycling in the rain is fun and you don't need many tools to keep dry. Give it a try sometime!