It's been raining in Los Angeles since last Sunday afternoon. I remember it well. After not being able to bicycle to the farmers market because I'd slept in, my boyfriend and I decided to drive. It was then that the skies opened up.
There exists a passionate love/hate relationship between the rain and myself. Love it because it cleanses the air and hydrates the ground, prepping a healthy arena for springtime to eventually blossom forth. Hate, however, due to sludge, flooding, and persistent wet.
The other day I had an appointment that required an earlier start if I was to get there by bus. Since an earlier start was not part of the equation, I biked it. It was cool, cloudy, and a little damp in getting there, and I hoped with every fiber of my being that I'd be allowed the same conditions while returning. Mother Nature proved to be a prankster with her slight drizzle as I hopped on my bike for the return trip home. Turns out she was not to be so abiding by my request.
Watching the cars go by while cycling home in the downpour, I could see there being a definite purpose behind windshield wipers and good traction in all but usual circumstances; a benefiting from a reinforced frame while hurtling through space at 40 MPH. Cycling in torrential rain is almost enough to make one wish they had a car (almost). Of course people looked at me like I was crazy - my curls were sodden, my makeup all but gone, and I'd nearly lost a contact lens - but I had to get home.
I don't prefer to bike in the rain. Living in SoCal - where it rains for three to four weeks maximum all year - I've not made time to be equipped for it. Still, my adventure in the rain inspired the thought of what could help the next time I decide to test the sky - a bright yellow rain poncho. Simple, visible, and it can usually fit over any backpack or messenger bag. Eventually I'll be hitting up the web for rain wear that would work for the protection of even formal/business wear (jackets, pants, etc). For the foreseeable future, however - poncho to the rescue.
Streetsblog Los Angeles is welcoming all stories about commuting in the rain this week... join in on the conversation.