When I lived and worked in London I cycled everywhere. It didn't matter what the weather conditions were - come rain, shine or snow riding my bike was preferable to being shoved up against someone's sweaty armpit on the tube. When it was pouring down with rain I didn't exactly rush out the door with glee but there was never any dilemma in my mind as to how I was going to get to work that morning. However since I have become a leisure cyclist, rather than a commuter, I have also unfortunately become a fair weather one.
For example during the "summer" I had been cycling to the triathlon club Thursday night swim session as much as possible. Now the nights are drawing in it's not quite as pleasant cycling home in the dark, out here in the sticks there aren't many footpaths let alone streetlights, but after driving down to the pool I didn't get the same satisfaction from my evening of exercise. So I invested in a new light that you can wear on your head. The next Thursday I was all excited about trying out my new light and even more excited about writing about it on the blog. I got all dressed up in the skintight lycra, strapped on my shoes, pulled on my helmet and stepped outside. And then it started to spit with rain. I came back inside, pondered what I was going to do for a moment, got changed back into normal respectable clothes that don't scare the children and drove to the pool. Just as I pulled up I saw a fellow club member, who I have cycled home with in the past, locking up his bike. Oh the shame. The fact is a couple of years ago it wouldn't have entered my mind not to cycle in such conditions.
Earlier today I had a phone conversation with one of my city dwelling friends regarding next year's London to Brighton bike ride. This is an event I haven't taken part in before but I now live on the route, round about the half way mark, so think it would be rude not to have a go. This friend bought a bike to commute to work (in London) at the start of the summer and is now mad keen on it, and even keener to get out for some country rides. Today hasn't been a pleasant day for the weather and despite the shame of a couple of weeks ago I hadn't even entertained the possibility of getting on my bike to get to the swim session tonight. When I happened to mention to my friend that he wouldn't want to be cycling out in the country today he justifiably poured scorn on this statement as he had obviously cycled into work in a downpour and would be most probably be making the return trip in a downpour. He had become the man I once was.
This hasn't motivated me to get on my bike this evening but I did the next best thing. I went out for a run. In the rain. I actually quite enjoyed it. Once again I struggled a bit (I'm still a bit tired from the lack of sleep afforded by baby Trihard, ah bless) but I don't think I'll be putting off any runs due to the rain in the coming weeks. And the window cleaner was telling me on Tuesday that we are due for a very wet winter. Hurrah, good job we had such a bright summer.