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Into every life…

June 9, 2012
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This is all the blue sky we saw today. It appeared a couple of minutes before we arrived at our harbor for the night. It was welcome, but would have been even more welcome if it had appeared a few hours earlier.

Here is complete, detailed, comprehensive, and exhaustive list of the up side of riding in the rain:

  1. You’re not likely to overheat;
  2. Eventually the rain stops.

We left Oneonta in the rain. I wasn’t too happy about this. We couldn’t see the clouds, which were hidden by a veil of falling water. It looked just like one of those days when it would rain steadily all day long.

When we reached Davenport, we saw the clouds. This would not, after all, be one of those days when it rained continuously. We still had to endure the showers thrown up by the wheels of passing trucks, spraying us with water well endowed with road grit, which soon coated clothes and luggage. My glasses were covered with drops of water, which I would have cleaned off, if there had been any point, if I had a scrap of anything dry.

When we reached Kortright, the rain started again, even harder. I had a profound insight. Riding in the rain is exactly like riding in the dry, except everything is wet. This thought gave me great comfort at the time. In retrospect I’m not sure why. Perhaps it had something to with the effect of cold and rain on the proper function of my mind.

When we reached Harpersfield, the rain stopped, but there was no sign of any sky higher than the clouds.

Just before we came to Stamford, we had climbed to 2,080 ft., for the first time reaching an altitude higher than the 1,800 ft. we started at. The rain started again. Gortex, as you may know, has a very tight weave, which has the magical property that water vapor produced by physical exertion can pass out, but drops of rain are too big to pass from the outside in. It turns out that if the Gortex is moving at 40 m.p.h, water passes readily from the outside to the inside, thank you very much. By the end of the descent my shirt was soaked.

We stopped at a café in Stamford for a bite to eat, and an opportunity to dry out a bit. We were toasty warm at first. But as the rate of blood circulation slowed, the cooling effect of wet became dominant. By the time we left, my teeth were chattering and my fingers were white.

Fortunately, Stamford was the end of the worst of the day. The 25 miles from Oneonta consist mostly of climbing; the next 25 miles are rolling hills, that alternate climbing with descents. And the rain mostly stopped. Not that we warmed up much. I didn’t change out of Gortex until we were almost to Windham. I did, though, smear around the water on my glasses, and produced a significant improvement in my vision.

After we left Stamford, I became less pre-occupied with rain misery, and started thinking about a hot shower. This was a pleasant thought. It’s always nice the think about something you want. Up to a point. The warm thought of a hot shower 2 and a half hours in the future cools quickly. Instead I planned my essay, “10 things you learned in college about evolution that are totally wrong”. This was a lot of fun and kept up my spirits for the rest of the day.

After we had checked into the Thompson House, we got back on the bike and went out to hunt for a liquor store and some dry clothes. A credit card is the universal balm.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2012 10:22 am

    I looked at the NOAA radar data for the US and it looks like you should have clear weather for awhile. Perhaps the rain gods think you have been punished enough for your foolishness. Did you remember to offer any sacrifices before you left?

    • tslarkin permalink*
      June 10, 2012 11:43 am

      I thought of it, but too late. Brookton’s Market was out of sacrificial goats. They didn’t even have a single sacrificial chicken.

      Sometimes, even if the sacrifices are correctly performed, the rain gods rain on you, just to remind you that they can. They are not mechanistically mollifed by sacrifice; they have free will.

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