This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Friday, November 10, 2017

What to do on rainy days.

      A recent post on Facebook asked for advice when riding in the rain.  It was quite a thread and elicited a lot of suggestions that are downright foreign to most American cyclists.   Throughout were warnings to shower and change clothes, get wet, carry a backpack and all sorts of variations on equipping yourself  while riding a bike.  Suggesting fenders came across as a big surprise and there was no response at all when I told them I'd never felt the need to change clothes or shower at work during 45 years of commuting in 7 different municipalities spread throughout the Midwest and south (So much for experience qualifying advice). One participant in the thread suggested a rack and panniers rather than a back pack! What? Use the machine to carry things!?!  
     One very experienced racer expressed surprise that there was special equipment for commuting and transportation.   So fenders and racks are "specialized" equipment, but Strava subscriptions and electronic shifters are standard when people don't race. 
    At the core of all this is a less specialized bike.  I think everybody should have a versatile useful bike.  After all they would ride more often, for more reasons, and enjoy it more, wouldn't they? They might have to compromise their Strava scores but who cares?  Happy is a nice goal.  I could be contorted atop a dangerously light bike for hours, if somebody paid me millions of Lire.  Hell, I'd take drugs for that, or stick somebody's poop up  my butt.
    It would be revolutionary to purchase a bike that is not only practical and durable, but one that is reasonably fast as well.
You might go over the top and expect it to be comfortable,
ditch the obligatory "drop bars" to discover a greater variety of positions,
find a bike that's nice to look at
and carries your stuff to work too.
That would totally confound the spandex hamsters.  
Oh, and when it rains, wear a jacket or poncho.  Whatever suits you.
Photos by Zolton Cohen


  1. too funny...thanks for my laugh of the day.

  2. One FB group I belong to has quite a few Strava fans with an emphasis on speed and grams-saved. I ride for fun. Upright. With my padded shorts hidden under baggie shorts. Wearing an ordinary cotton (horror!!!!) tee shirt. Kickstand. Fenders. Front and rear racks with a rack bag (the only thing I could afford from Rivendell) on the front rack. And panniers on the rear. And have I mentioned the sneakers on the standard block pedals? And I have the audacity to call myself a cyclist!

  3. I ride on a "heavy" bike, with all of that "specialized" equipment (mudguards, flat pedals, front and rear racks, bright lights, trailer hitch), and have been clocked on radar at 19 MPH while carrying a circular saw in my panniers. I don't understand the single-mindedness of people who want speed above all else. You can have both, versatility and speed, if you simply dial back the priority on speed a bit. If you're paid to ride bikes fast, then sure, count grams all you want, and do all of the other weird stuff that paid professionals do while chasing those marginal gains. Me, I'd rather have a year-round versatile bike with comfy tires than an impractical, light-as-a-feather, bike-shaped toy.

    1. You got it! Real cycling is about going somewhere beyond your car.


  4. I’m of the same mind: steel bike, fenders, rack and panniers, and normal clothes. I do, however, change my clothes at work in rainy or very hot weather. I haven’t yet sorted out how to arrive in a downpour wearing a skirt and heels and looking professional!

    1. The most I have ever had to do is wear t-shirt in hot weather and put on a fresh shirt at the office. In the rain, a good rain-cape like Grunden's will keep any clothes dry.

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