…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 I’ve just cleaned the bike and it’s been a tough week’s riding on tired legs and the cat’s not been well and…. But once you break through this flimsy web of deceit, the simple truth is I’m nesh and I bottled it. And I feel terribly guilty.
Weather is not personal – however these all conditions veterans may internalise it. It’s really not a daily war fought on ever shifting meteorological battles lines. It’s just a component in the daily mix of forgetting your kit, cycle hating BMW drivers, tired legs and – when you get a bit whiffy – 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 – dry and warm and trying to remember how the radio worked – and I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d let myself down.
What next? “It’s a bit chilly this morning, I’ll take the car” or “Shame to have an expensive car and not actually drive it”. No – I’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 didn’t feel particularly worthy, nor did it seem as if I’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. That’s just a fuzzy belief in an ancient relic of an abstract belief system. Except maybe for the Commuting God. Yeah maybe there’s one of those.
And if there is he is a vengeful God. It’s tough to maintain a sanguine outlook when failing to attend the morning service resulted in the banishment of my gloves, and a £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 – as we have established – there really isn’t. Life is random and I am clearly more so.
So no more taking the car. I’ve given myself a stern talking too. If nothing else, I can’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 or……
Maybe I should just sell the bloody thing.