…this morning I bottled it. Oh I have excuses locked, loaded and ready to fire at those hardy commuters, who see brutal rainstorms as a meteorological foe to be fought and bested at every opportunity. But I have a bit of a cold and Iâ€™ve just cleaned the bike and itâ€™s been a tough weekâ€™s riding on tired legs and the catâ€™s not been well andâ€¦. But once you break through this flimsy web of deceit, the simple truth is Iâ€™m nesh and I bottled it. And I feel terribly guilty.
Weather is not personal â€“ however these all conditions veterans may internalise it. Itâ€™s really not a daily war fought on ever shifting meteorological battles lines. Itâ€™s just a component in the daily mix of forgetting your kit, cycle hating BMW drivers, tired legs and â€“ when you get a bit whiffy â€“ the haughty disdain of your fellow passengers.
And yet in 63 commutes spanning over a thousand miles, this is the first time the weather turned me round and send me scrambling guiltily for the car keys. I passed a bedraggled cyclist on my way to the station â€“ dry and warm and trying to remember how the radio worked â€“ and I couldnâ€™t shake the feeling Iâ€™d let myself down.
What next? â€œItâ€™s a bit chilly this morning, Iâ€™ll take the car” or â€œShame to have an expensive car and not actually drive it”. No â€“ Iâ€™m determined there will be no backsliding, no taking the easy option, no letting the buggers outstrip me in Cyclogs. 65th place is very important to me!
I rode the London end of the commute and that was appropriately miserable, although on a slightly lesser scale. This time it was the rain that was driving hard and steady blurring a thousand headlights through rain streaked glasses. Arriving at the office, I didnâ€™t feel particularly worthy, nor did it seem as if Iâ€™d tweaked the nose of the local weather God. I just felt wet and cold.
There are no Gods of rain or wind or socks or anything. Thatâ€™s just a fuzzy belief in an ancient relic of an abstract belief system. Except maybe for the Commuting God. Yeah maybe thereâ€™s one of those.
And if there is he is a vengeful God. Itâ€™s tough to maintain a sanguine outlook when failing to attend the morning service resulted in the banishment of my gloves, and a Â£35 front light which appears to have been sacrificed on the altar of commuting.
And looking at the now fluffy blue skies outside of my window, maybe there is also a God of Weather. It would make sense if there was one but â€“ as we have established â€“ there really isnâ€™t. Life is random and I am clearly more so.
So no more taking the car. Iâ€™ve given myself a stern talking too. If nothing else, I canâ€™t afford the loss of any more commuting collateral – What next, a wheel? Unless the weather is really horrible, or I have a very heavy bag orâ€¦â€¦
Maybe I should just sell the bloody thing.