I got myself out on my bike for the first time this year. Up ’till now the weather has been pretty miserable on my days off and riding in the rain goes against Rule#2 in my Rules for the over Sixties.
The original Rules as formulated by The Velominati are fine but I feel that there needs to be addenda/exceptions to them for us more mature cyclists. For example Rule#9
If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
Fair-weather riding is a luxury reserved for Sunday afternoons and wide boulevards. Those who ride in foul weather – be it cold, wet, or inordinately hot – are members of a special club of riders who, on the morning of a big ride, pull back the curtain to check the weather and, upon seeing rain falling from the skies, allow a wry smile to spread across their face. This is a rider who loves the work.
This is fine for 25 year old Belgians or people called Sean with the surname Kelly or Yates (or wannabes). For us over sixties (and Sean Kelly joins us this year), if we haven’t proved ourselves to be badass by now, well it’s not going to happen. So my Rule#2 overrides Rule #9 if you are over sixty:
OS Rule#2 Riding in the rain is not compulsory.
If you have read David Millar’s book The Racer you will find that certain more mature professionals apply this rule as well.
Rule #1 in case you haven’t read some of my previous posts is:
OS Rule#1 If you have run out of gears when climbing a hill it is acceptable to get off and push – especially if the alternative is a heart attack.
Back to my ride. I wasn’t planning on going very far, and I don’t really do fast any more, just a gentle little ride up to Banstead and back possibly stopping for a coffee. It is about 20km and would take about an hour (excluding the coffee stop). The weather was OK, a bit grey, but dry when I set out. I had done less than 1km when it started raining lightly. By the time that I reached the top of Sandy Lane it was tipping it down, so I invoked OS Rule#2. I took a little loop though some back streets which took me back down to the bottom of Sandy Lane on my way back home.
By the time I was back at the bottom of Sandy Lane It had stopped raining, so OS Rule#2 no longer applied. I thought I might as well do the ride as planned. By the time I was at the top of Sandy Lane again it was once more coming down like stair rods. I want back round the little loop again asking the weather to make its blooming mind up. Once more by the time I reached the bottom of Sandy Lane the rain had stopped. In fact the sun was trying to make an appearance. By this time, if I had gone up to Banstead, it would have been dark by the time I got home so I decided on a little 8 km loop round by Oaks park instead.
It wasn’t the most spectacular of bike rides but as the plate my sister gave us as a Christmas present says, “You are only ever a bike ride away from a good mood.”
The ride is on Strava if you want to see where I got to.