Against the elements

Maybe I should have taken a cue from the Tour of California today and examined the sky a little closer before embarking on a long ride. What’s a little rain, anyway? At first, it was merely a refreshing mist, keeping me cool as I whizzed along. An hour in and my chamois was expanding like a tiny foam dinosaur in water. My back marked by a jagged mud splash lightening bolt, I soldiered on. SUVs splashed by. Drivers shot strange looks, as though I was wandering along the shoulder in an orange jumpsuit.

The sloshing kicked in at mile 10 as I felt the side-effects of my extremely well-ventilated shoes. It was like pedaling through a fish tank. I shared the day with ducks and snapping turtles, unfazed by the driving rain.

When I set off, I expected to return home miserable. Instead, I found myself entranced by the fog rising off a local pond and flashed back to my earliest bike rides where I sought out every puddle.

As it snowed through the first stage of the Tour of California, many riders spoke of the fun of riding in all conditions. Unlike the first stage, my ride went on without a hitch. And when I finally returned home, I dumped a glass full of water out of each shoe, rung out my gloves and took the best shower of my life.

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