When we moved to Texas a little over a year ago, we made the conscious decision to be a single-car family (Ok, that’s not entirely true since we still own an old vehicle in another state – long story – but we only have one car where we live). Most days, only having access to one vehicle for both my wife and I isn’t a problem.
This week, however, hasn’t been one of those ideal weeks. For the most part, I get to make my own travel schedule for work. I had originally scheduled two day trips this week, but then I had two other last minute out-of-town meetings pop up. A couple of early morning flights out of town, an evening flight back into Dallas, and some thunderstorms have made it an interesting week for commuting.
When I checked the weather forecast Monday night (I’m addicted to looking at hourly forecasts), it called for 80% chance of thunderstorms Tuesday morning for several hours before & after my commute. My wife needed the car that day, so I knew that I’d be on the bike. I don’t generally like to ride my good bike in the rain, because I know that it’s not the best thing for it long-term. So I moved all of my lights off my normal ride (the Orbea) onto my shitty weather bike (an Amazon.com special). I’m not as worried about keeping that bike in great shape since it’s cheap and kind of a piece of crap. I have added fenders and a pannier rack which make riding in rain slightly less miserable more enjoyable. The added accessories only solidify the fact that the bike is a tank – it’s heavy, slow, and just not as comfortable to ride.
Of course it didn’t end up raining for my morning commute, so the whole time I’m riding my crappy bike I’m swearing that I didn’t take my Orbea instead.
When I was finally leaving the airport to head back to the office (to get my bike to ride home), I cried mercy and decided to have my wife pick me up from the train station (confused yet? that’s a relatively normal day for me: home -> bike -> train -> plane -> plane -> train -> bike -> home). There was going to be a 25mph headwind for the ride home, it was late, and I needed to get up early the next morning to catch an early flight out. Having her pick me up would only get me home about 25 minutes earlier, but I knew I’d fall asleep quicker than if I had to get my blood pumping to fight the headwind on the bike.
Before bed, I switched my lights back to my good bike (seems to take me at least 10 minutes usually!) Woke up the next morning to rain, but I didn’t have time to switch my lights back to the beater bike, so I had to ride the Orbea through the rain. I don’t like to subject that bike to the rain, since I know how hard it can be on bikes (particularly all of the fine particles of sand that get kicked up with the water). But, I had a flight to catch so I didn’t have much choice.
The first 5 minutes riding in the rain always seem to feel the worst. Once I’m wet, I’m ok. I don’t particularly enjoy feeling the water slowly creep into my shoes, and run down the back of neck under my jacket. But once I’m wet, I’m wet, and it is what it is.
This week would have been much easier if we had two cars. I wouldn’t be riding in the rain, I wouldn’t have to get up quite as early to catch my flights, and I probably would have gotten a little bit more sleep.