Rain and The City

Yesterday was a new adventure for me. A commute in the rain!

This has been a long time in the making. Last year, when I bought my Long Haul Trucker, it was to be my rainy day bike. I was commuting via bike/train with my Soma Rush. I didn’t want to ride that bike in the rain, so I knew a bike with fenders was the only way to go. At the time, I didn’t plan on the LHT being my main ride. Things change though and I found myself riding the LHT more frequently, and on longer and longer rides. I don’t even take the train at all anymore, instead I just pedal all the way there and back.

But most of the time our weather here in socal is sunny. Sometimes hot, sometimes cold, but rarely wet. So even though I try to pedal most of the week, I still hadn’t encountered any rain. Granted, there have been days when it was just easier to take the truck to work, but that’s just laziness. Usually not weather related.

This week was different though. I knew it was going to happen. We had rain forecasted all week. I knew I could muster enough energy for at least 2 commutes this week. Right?

Monday brought the first storm. I had to drive that day. Multiple appts after work meant no bike. Nuts. So close. Tuesday the air was crisp and DRY! I rode anyways. Temps were the lowest that I had ever ridden in. 35 degrees at the start of my commute. If that’s not a good reason to drive, then I don’t know what is. Instead though, I pedaled.

Wednesday and Thursday were the same. Cold, but dry. Thursday warmed up to the 50s and I was surprised at how warm that was. It was almost no jacket weather!

Friday morning was a different story though. I woke up to the sound of rain. Could this be the day? Will it stay for the commute in? Yes, and sort of. I got all bundled up in my gear, put the rain cover on the Brooks and prepared myself. My wife was nervous so I threw on some reflector ankle bands. LA drivers aren’t used to rain so she wanted me to be extra cautious.

As I left the driveway there was only a slight drizzle. Enough to remind me that I should’ve treated my glasses with some Rain-X. It felt good to be riding. Just knowing that I could have driven, but chose not to. I had waited a long time for this. In reality, there was nothing to it. I guess I thought it would have been tougher to do, but not really. There was more focus involved with avoiding paint stripes on the street, and there were more accidents on the commute in, but those only made me more aware on what was going on around me.

The rides in and back were pretty uneventful. Drier than I had hoped, but still wet. I was glad though. It just assured me that there is no reason not to ride. In the heat, the cold and the rain. I just need to do it, and more importantly I can do it.

I stopped to take some pics of the bike in DTLA. The rain had cleaned the city and left a sparkle on some of the buildings.

Los Angeles City Hall with Lindbergh Beacon.

The Long Haul Trucker in front of the LA Times building.

An added benefit to riding in the varying temps this week, was that it helped me sort out some gear. Now I know what to wear in varying temps and conditions. Just need to put it on and get on the bike. No time wasted. Just get out and pedal!

  • Pete Johnston

    Nice. Getting the layers worked out is very helpful.
    Hope the commuting goes well.

  • Nice blog you’ve got here.

    As someone who lives in the midwest, it’s a bit odd to read a post about commuting in the rain, where it’s a novel idea. I have done it more than I’d like, and I usually grumble when it happens. Especially if it rains on my way to work, I don’t like getting there drenched. I don’t mind it as much on the ride home. Still, I’d rather ride in snow than rain, at least you don’t get as wet.

    Anyway, good job riding despite the rain … you’ll get better at it the more you do it.

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