Deciding Against Wet Tires

I awoke this morning to the sounds of an early morning thunderstorm. And while I am always grateful for God giving me an excuse to curl up and under the blankets a little bit longer, I was also in that early morning decision process of how I would be traveling about today – bike or car. I’ve not moved from home just yet, because the car didn’t win out. But neither did the bike.

Almost every time that it rains I wonder about the types of bicyclists that I’ve seen here and other places. There are those of us who will only ride when the weather is nice. We prefer not to put much more on than a helmet and something comfortable, and then just take two wheels and life and pretty much enjoy life from there.

And then there’s the other group. Those folks who seem as if they ride in just about any weather. They have the heavy-duty bikes loaded down with baskets and pockets, or the super light bikes to which they have color-matched their spandex and lycra clothing. These are the folks that enjoy life and the two wheels as well, but they don’t let a little water (or snow) stop them.

I admire both groups, but am clearly not the latter.

I have had on my wish list for months the item “bike fenders.” But, for some reason, I’ve never moved more forward than that. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my bike, and have gotten caught out in the rain several times – enjoying the puddles and even doing a muddy park run. There’s a difference though when you have fenders. Fenders put you in that latter category. That category where you are almost bound to get wet, and look environmental/desperate/serious/insane/adventerious. I enjoy biking, but not to that point apparently.

And so my car sits in its parking space. I know full well that I don’t care to get in it until I need to connect with a brother across town. My bike is likewise parked in my apartment, facing the same direction as my car, but will likely not see much use today. I really was hoping to get on my bike today. Yet, I never looked at the weather reports. I make the call when I wake up whether to move my wheels out of their parked spaces or not.

Today, I really would like to get out and let the wheels on my bicycle spin a bit. Pull in a small sweat. Sit for a while someplace and get a water or coffee, and then after some time on the iPad and connecting with people I’ve never met before, reclaim that life that I frequently pass at 35mph. I’d do life at 15mph instead. If the clouds were to roll in and look to hitch a ride on my handlebars, I’d oblidge, as long as I could see the road ahead of me. That’s what I had hoped for when I awoke this morning.

What I see instead is that I’d be the late one on the road, for the rain would have long since settled down. Therefore riding would be less about the adventure, less about enjoying the moment and better pace of travel, and more about not letting my thin tires slide from up under me while navigating a not-yet-as-friendly-to-bicyclists city.

Without fenders, the decision is easy. I don’t have to like wet tires. But, when I look out and see those brave folks pulling their wheels and parkas down the road, I know that passion too can take you past whatever boundaries are presented.

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