After sharing the Lakefront Trail on my Thursday evening commute with hundreds of cyclists, on Friday I counted a grand total of four. What could have caused such a drastic change? An alert that H1N1 is spread by breathing Lake Michigan air? A pack of geese standing guard and demanding shrubbery? Tornadoes? Nope, just rain. The place was so empty, I was able to take this geektastic picture of myself without embarrassment.
Granted, sometimes if it’s pouring out I will take the el train. And I know that some people don’t find it fun to ride in the rain. That’s totally understandable. But for all hundreds of them (minus four) to be pushed off their bikes by a little rain is surprising. Now I remember why I enjoy riding on rainy summer days – less traffic.
Rain is not such a big deal, I simply slow down and ride a bit more cautiously, like I used to do when I drove a car. The hazards are the same – slick roads, reduced braking power, deep puddles. It’s just that on a bike, you get wet. This is what one needs: full fenders – definitely. Rain coat. Gloves if it’s chilly. A plastic shopping bag to wrap your bag in. And that’s about it. Maybe rain pants and booties, though I don’t have any, if you can’t change your clothes when you arrive at your destination. That’s not so hard, is it? So I wonder what’s the hold up with almost all Chicago cyclists.