I learned a lesson today. Woke up this morning to rain, and since I really had nowhere that I had to be, I stayed in – catching up with work in the house, and hoping the rain might pass eventually, thinking I’d go out for a ride when it did. And it never did.
I don’t mind – and actually often enjoy – riding in the rain, but can’t say I intentionally go out in it just to ride. I have decent rain gear, and if I have to be somewhere, I usually don’t let rain stop me. I’ve been caught in the rain – unexpectedly. But I can’t say I’ve ever decided. “Hey, it’s raining – I’m going out for a ride!”
But of course, this being #30daysofbiking – I knew I was going out in it, whether I really wanted to or not. By late afternoon, when things still hadn’t cleared up, I decided to just go. Had my rain gear, packed my camera in my waterproof Ortlieb, and decided to ride my mountain/commuter bike because it had fenders and I didn’t care how filthy it got. I was prepared for a dreary, wet slog, and had decided ahead of time where my turn-around point would be.
The surprise was on me. It was divine. The rain dwindled down to a pleasant drizzle, the air was incredibly still and quiet, and smelled so fresh and clean. Mist was hanging over the hills, leaves were dripping. It was one of the most serene experiences I’ve ever had on my bike. When I got to my turn-around point, I knew I wasn’t going to turn back as planned. I stayed out in it. Gladly.
I think most of my rainy day rides have been commuting – in town, in traffic. A few times we’d been caught in showers biking trips (Grayson Highlands, VA, and the New River Trail come to mind). But riding out on a quiet local road – just to ride, in the rain – was something I probably would never have thought to do, had it not been for my commitment to #30daysofbiking.
What a wonderful lesson #30daysofbiking taught me today. Ride every day – you never know what you might be missing.