The Rainy City

The weather recently has been horrendous. Either chucking it down with rain and hovering around 16 degrees C or being overcast, grey, miserable and humid as the temperature climbs into the 20s. This has been the pattern pretty much since we came back from holiday last weekend which wouldn’t have been so bad if not for the fact that it wasn’t much better there either.

Manchester Rain

The are several downsides to this. Not only is it depressing weather, but it makes life miserable on the bike as either you wet and cold or hot and wet. Clothing choice makes little difference either as not even the best shell layers can cope with humid conditions so you’re better off just getting wet and changing into dry gear at work or home. Not that this helps much if you have to walk around outside to get to and from meetings…

One Serieus Loser

Yesterday’s commute was the second this week worth mentioning, both due to the infamous bends of fury. Midway through the first bend, which is a 180 degree right hander with a set of traffic lights near the end of the bend, there’s a left hand turn off. It’s not an issue most of the time, because it’s rarely used.

The fact that some people fail to realise that it might be used is in itself a problem because when it does get some traffic, like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects it.

On Thursday I was overtaken by two drivers in the run up to the bends. The driver in front slowed to take the left hand exit, but the one behind in a Mitsubishi Shogun then decided to overtake, almost sideswiping me in the process.

Yesterday at the set of lights midway through the bends I arrived just as they were changing so moved into the outside lane overtaking the two cars. The driver of the black BMW one series who was overtaken didn’t like that and hooted their horn in protest. They then had the audacity to hoot at me as I turned into work 100m later. I dispensed some up yer kilt sign language and considered following them into the staff multi-storey. Managed to resist the temptation…

Tonight It Rained

This morning you could tell it was warmer outside because inside it was uncomfortably warm. Time then to crack out my favourite riding jacket and the standard issue gloves. Riding in the kit was perfect and the commute had that fresh air that you get on crisp autumnal days.

Of course tonight come home time, my choice of clothing was wholly inappropriate for the cold wet sleet of winter. The kind of weather that pierces you with a cold chill as icy water finds it’s way down the neck of your jacket, even with it zipped and baffled against the elements. This is the kind of riding that makes you remember why you ride all year around and why getting home to a nice warm household is such a great way to end a ride.