The Boy and I had our first ride of the season that included a good solid rain. The rain gear -the perchase of which, only days earlier, had required bribing and conjoiling The Boy who was sure he didnt want it, and my insisting that he would need it- got it's first test and held up well.
This is the time of year that seperates the fair-weathered cyclists from the hard-core utility cyclists. Just 2 weeks ago, at the start of the quarter, every bike rack at school was literaly covered with bikes. I wish I had gotten photos, because they looked like some kind of modern art instalation, with bikes arranged in every concievable way on, over, and around the bike racks, railings and sign posts around campus. Now there is a mere sprinkling of bikes here and there; the bus shelters are clogged with students, and congestion is worse than ever. Car parking and traffic in this area is rediculous and impossible, add to that all the construction going on down town and most sane people dont even attempt to drive to campus.
It has me thinking that all The City (who claims to be hard at work reducing conjestion and encouraging alternative transpertation) would have to do is eliminate parking in the downtown core and the rest would take care of itself. But we all know that aint gonna happen.
Meanwhile, we have discovered that lots of light layers, panniers or buckets to carry the extra layers, and allowing enough time to stop for hot drinks is all we need to brave the winter weather. It's actually surprising how few layers one needs, as you are generating your own heat while riding. I bring a couple of changes of fresh clothes to hang in my locker at the begining of the week, including a dry rain coat and socks in case the ones I have on gets really wet, and carry a few layers for The Boy on the bike (as I know he will not think of it himself) and that seems to cover it. None of this really reqires more thought or effort than packing the car and stocking his backpack would.