Bicycle Commute In the Rain

This afternoon it started to rain – not the wild, windy thunderstorm kind of storm, but a good spring soak that makes the grass grow and brings out flowers and plants. Usually, it’s not a problem to see rain outside my office window. But today, I rode my bicycle to work. And there was still another hour in the workday before I had to head home.

Near the end of the day, I called my wife. After a brief chat about how much it was raining, I mentioned that I would probably get soaked riding home. She offered to come with our van and pick me up, but then mentioned that I knew it was going to rain when I rode to work. It was true. I did know, and I sorta wanted to risk it to figure out whether I could avoid having to drive the car. My reason for riding to work despite the risk of rain was not because I wanted to get wet. No, instead I wanted to keep a routine, even if that meant it was uncomfortable. Recently, I’ve been focusing more on doing what I know I should do, whether I feel motivated or not.

So, when my wife offered me a chance to stay dry on the way home, it was pretty tempting. But I decided to first go outside and see if the rain was that bad. Turns out it wasn’t coming down too hard, which hardened my resolve to stick with my original plan to ride home, rain or shine. A coworker saw me leaving the office and offered a ride in his car, but at this point, I was determined. What would it be like if I only had my bicycle? I thanked him for the offer and stepped out into the downpour.

Most of the commute was actually not bad, but things got wet pretty quickly. I’m grateful I had my wind-proof (but not waterproof) jacket, since that definitely shielded me from much of the water. But before I was even halfway home, everything was quite wet. All the while, I was having a great adventure. And I realized how much fun and excitement that I would have missed in the name of comfort. I still got my evening workout, biking the 3.5 miles uphill towards home. The rain and cooler temperatures were actually quite invigorating. My shoes, jacket, jeans, and gloves were soaked… and my beard felt like a wet mop. But, I made it home, on a bicycle, in the rain.

As a side note, much of my confidence in stepping out on this small adventure at the end of my workday was due to the hope I had of a warm, dry home awaiting me at the end of my journey. Without that expectation, I’m not sure I would have voluntarily gotten drenched. It reminded me of Jill and Eustace from The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, and their hope of hot baths and comfort at Harfang Castle. Of course, the comparison isn’t a good one. For one thing, I was heading home to my wife and kids, not a bunch of cannibalistic giants. And also, my ride in the rain found me in pretty good spirits, so I wasn’t sorry for myself and grumpy and snappy, like Jill and Eustace. But I should pull The Silver Chair off the shelf again… there is so much in that story!

Oh, and it’s still raining tonight. I think I’ll drive the car tomorrow. 🙂