I don’t think I’ve ever been as vigilant of the weather as I’ve been while trying to fit in one bike ride a day. Both yesterday and today, I raced outside when the rain took a coffee break.
These were days I normally wouldn’t have ventured outside, but as I rolled my bike through puddles, I thought of rain storms and the way I experienced them as a child – the tall shiny rubber boots, the splashing through puddles and listening to the rain hit the plastic of my umbrella held over my head. Like a toad under a mushroom, I would watch the rain fall around me while I remained protected within my hand-held world.
My cousin and I had a rainstorm ritual when we were at her family’s lake cabin. We would put on our fathers’ rain coats, which hung down to the ground, plus the wader boots that came up to the tops of our thighs. We’d splash around in the rain, eventually ending up in the lake where we’d strip off our rain gear and submerge ourselves. The lake water felt so warm compared to the cool air.
Today as I rode into a strong wind, I imagined myself as the witch in the Wizard of Oz, waiting for my bike to turn into a broom and fly me away.
The river has crawled back up onto the bike path and made a spider web of tree shadows for me to ride through. Everything felt a bit eerie, a fantasy world of wet and wind.