Four years ago I sold my car for more than I bought it for. I haven’t looked back. Since then, I haven’t been too keen on getting a car (unless it was a Subaru WRX) and have made it through several years commuting either on foot, by bike, via bus or the occasional ride from a friend and later, my hubby.
As the rainy season has approached, I’ve kinda geared up for the fact that this is going to be my most intense rainy season/winter I’ve ever gone through. And I say this having a year of commuting in a Minnesota winter under my belt.
This year is different. My destinations are more random as I set up meetings with different clients. I live farther away from the bus stops. And the one set place I go is in the opposite direction of Sante’s job, so I can’t even hitch a ride with him a few times a week.
Plus my needs are different. Before I could leave an extra set of clothes and a bit of makeup at work if I got soaked. Oh, and my computer could stay nice and dry at the office since there was no way in hell I would bring it out into the torrential downpour.
Now I’ve got to get to my destination in said torrential downpour, oftentimes with computer, and still look fantabulous when I arrive.
Today was my first day of biking in heavy rain, and while I think everything worked out OK, there are still a few things I need for commuting in the rainy season here in Santa Cruz.
- Waterproof pants. It is obvious that the Adidas warmup pants I’m sporting will do the trick in a shower, but not when I’m cruising around the west side with cars splashing puddles of water on me. UPDATE: This was clearly operator error. My pants work fine
- A red light for my bike. I’ll skip the jokes about Californians and rain here, but seriously, a light is needed in order to be seen. I had one, but someone stole it. This is a time when I try to practice praying for my enemies.
- A front fender. I also had one of these, but it drove me bonkers because I would always kick it around when I turned corners. I think the benefits outweigh going a little bonkers.
- Waterproof gloves. I was nice and warm on my ride except for my poor little hands. Oh so chilly and completely soaked. And as a writer, I’ve gotta show my hands some love. UPDATE: Sante got me the best gloves. They were way too expensive and I love him for it.
- Waterproof backpack. Although I’ve got a pretty decent set up going (zippered plastic comforter bag inside my backpack), I don’t know if I trust it to protect my computer through a serious storm. UPDATE: They make waterproof backpack covers.
- Rain hat. OK I don’t know if I really need this, but I’m a sucker for hats, so this seems like as good of a reason as any.
- You probably shouldn’t try to ride over railroad tracks at an angle when they’re wet. You might fall. Just sayin.’
- Sunglasses keep the rain out of my eyes but might end up being a problem once daylight savings hits.
- People are seriously curious about someone riding their bike in a huge rain storm. So many people were just staring at me, most likely trying to get a better look at the wild woman in the rain.