Thursday, 17 September 2009


I'm sure I am one of a plethora of cyclists who got totally pissed on on Tuesday night but I'm probably nt alone in feeling like it was my very own rite of passage/personal hell.

I have been totally drenched unexpectedly less than five times in my cycling career but Tuesday rates number one for wet, cold, bad visibility, and awful traffic.

As the minutes ticked by in the afternoon, the comments to me and the other cyclist on my floor became less giggly and more pitying. We sat, waiting for it to ease up, but it never did. As I was dad-sitting that night I got ready and prepared to leave, tying Tesco bags round my feet in a vague attempt to keep them warm, if not dry.

As I neared Ealing the rain got heavier and the puddles were getting to around a foot in depth near the kerb. I avoided as many as was safely possible but my feet were dipping in and out of the water as I pedalled in places. Other cyclists dressed in dark colours jumped red lights and left their lights off in what I can only conclude were attempts at suicide. I couldn't see them so I know that drivers certainly couldn't.

I took the middle of the lane, I wore my high-vis yellow jacket and I had my lights on but I took nothing for granted. Visibility was VERY low and I just assumed I was invisible and acted accordingly. Sirens all around me gave me the impression that not everyone was being so careful.

I got to the fish and chip shop drenched and got our supper before packing it into my thankfully waterproof panniers and taking it to dad.

Reg was stowed in my parents' hallway with newspaper all over the place to protect the floor and I shivered in soaking wet clothes as I tucked into steaming hot fish and chips.

My mum arrived home at around 8.30pm, stormed in and said with conviction: 'You are NOT cycling home.' I was off yesterday anyway so I allowed myself to be driven home and I cycled Reg home in the blazing sunshine yesterday.

I almost think every cyclist who got home on Tuesday night deserves a medal, but those selfish enough to whizz around in dark clothing and no lights dramatically increased their odds of not getting home at all, so deserve nothing. I can only hope they'll think twice about it next time.


  1. Not only did I get home (with lights, although how useful they were to the motorists peering out of the half-inch of windscreen they'd cleared of fog I don't know), I then went out for a run. Do I get two medals?

    (Running in the rain is much much much more fun than cycling in the rain, which is a chamois-gungingly nasty experience.)

  2. I quite enjoy cycling in the rain for the childish puddle-splashingness and the knowledge that I've got a nice warm home to go to but I hate doing it on-road. And yes, second medal duly dispatched.