Sunday, September 10, 2006

Rain on Friday Night

Before I begin, I really want to congratulate, and say "thank you," to Joe over at Biking Toronto. Besides running the most informative blog on Toronto cycling (basically, if there's any cycling event happening in Toronto, you go to Biking Toronto to get the news), Joe has also (as far as I know), single-handedly started Bike Fridays.
Previously Toronto had a once-a-year "Bike to Work" day during BikeWeek in the summer. Joe thought that should happen far more often, and has been organizing monthly Bike to Work days the last Friday of every month. The next one is Sept. 29, and for interested Torontonians, you can go to the above mentioned Bike Friday site and find a route that works for you.
Incidentally, it also appears that Joe is one of the forces behind Car Free Day. Sept. 22 is the next date for this awareness raising event regarding the various evils of automobile-centred transportation systems.

So, Thanks Joe!!

I haven't complained about the rain much since I started this blog. I did once in this post from July, and the rain was a bit of a factor in my Lyle Lovett post a few weeks ago, but all in all I've been pretty lucky with the weather. Truth be told though, on days that call for good amounts of rain I generally don't do the full ride. I do the version where I bike to the Danforth Go Train Station, take the train to Whitby, and bike to school from the Whitby Go Train Station - doing the reverse, as I always do, to get home in the evening.

On Friday night though I got caught in the heaviest rain I've ever cycled through. It was especially annoying because I stayed late at work trying to get some presentations done, and if I'd actually left on time I would have missed the rain, but such is life I guess.
From the university to the Whitby Go Station is about a 15km ride. The rain started at about the 6 or 7km mark, just as I was on Manning street, although thunder and lightning had already been rippling through the sky. Manning is a moderate little climb up to Thickson St, on the other side of which it turns into a 50km/hr descent. By the time I was going down this hill, the rain was hammering me so hard I felt like I was standing in the shower trying to keep my eyes open while staring straight at the showerhead. Add to this that effect of having sweat wash out of the pads in your helmet and into your eyes, and the usual problems of cycling in the rain (can no longer really see the surface of the road, especially the depth of pot holes and cracks in the cement), and I had quite a fun finish to my ride to Whitby.
And then, to top it all off, I sit drenched on the train for 40 minutes or so, get back to Toronto looking like a drowned cat, and in Toronto it hadn't rained a bit, and all the other cyclists I passed were wearing shorts and t-shirts, puttering around without a care in the world.

Oh well, I guess I have to get rained on once in a while.

And here's my last public service announcement for the weekend - interested Toronto cyclists should check out Dusk to Dark for news on an upcoming night ride around Toronto.


Dorothy W. said...

I know the feeling of riding in the pouring rain all too well! The only thing worse than riding in the pouring rain, is doing it while with a group and riding behind somebody -- that way you get spray from their wheel on top of everything else!

Tuco said...

Yeah, that is annoying. Even in the best of conditions, I've been drafting people and had little pebbles etc shoot up from their wheel and nail me in the head.

And now that I think of it, summer has basically passed and I didn't draft anybody (i.e. didn't do any group rides) all summer! : (

Heidi said...

HA - I've been in rain like that, but without glasses on. You have to squint so that your eyes are barely open!

Melissa said...

The man you are looking for is Voltaire, I believe. Thanks for sending me that article, I enjoyed it. I love M. Ward. I am supposed to go see him soon, but I have class on that night so I shall be in class, not unfortunately, at the show. :(. I would skip class because we get two free miss class passes, but a huge novel is due to be finished being read by that date and I don't want her to think I just didn't read it etc. Also, being so early in the semester I am afraid that later on I would really need those days for a sickness or perhaps an emergency. I'm rambling. It's hot here. I almost wish it would rain.