Chain lube from the sky

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One of the best faces of this town comes out at night, when it’s raining.  The old colleges, manicured common spaces, and churches are gorgeous in the sun, but the place definitely never looks shinier than when it’s all wet and the lights are on.  In fact, once the puddles are well-established, the side of the road positively scintillates with droplets plinking into them.  Throw in a really hard downpour and oncoming headlights and the whole road sparkles.  Just have to watch out when you’re avoiding the puddles not to get in the way of the headlights.

If only I’d had my camera with me the other night, I’d have loved to take some pictures.

Even leaving the city centre, it was a pleasant ride.  Once you’re wet, you’re wet, and as long as you’re properly attired and generating enough heat, it’s not necessarily unpleasant to be wet when you’re on a bike.

Jeans do not count as proper attire for biking in heavy rain.  Oh, do they ever not count.  Once enough water has rolled off your jacket onto your thighs, jeans begin to bind, eventually becoming a sort of clammy denim straitjacket for the legs. And I know from experience that a dressy woollen pantsuit is much, much worse, especially if you are on your way to the occasion and not on the way home.  Have you ever smelled a really wet wool suit?  I have.  In fact, I have smelled two of them simultaneously, and so have another couple of dozen people we mostly didn’t know at a certain formal dinner.

Where was I?

Ah, yes.  If you’re dressed comfortably, being wet doesn’t have to ruin a ride.  That night, I was appropriately attired, the smell of the rain was springlike, and the temperature was mild.  The trip home felt invigorating and wholesome.

I think my chain may have had a hangover the next morning though.