Monday, January 30, 2006

Three Dumb Guys Riding in the Rain

Back in November I posted a lovely photo of my Peugeot PX-10 on a sunny day with blue sky. I titled that entry "It Doesn't Always Rain." Since that day, it's been raining damn near every day and night. We had some kind of record going for most days of continuous rain but then we had one freakish rain-free day to ruin the new record but it's pretty safe to say that it's been quite damp here for the past couple of months.

You can get used to rain and it can even be nice to ride in light rain. Much of the time we don't get really heavy rain in the Puget Sound area. If you're a bike commuter in this part of the country, you get pretty good at dealing with rain.

But when it's a day when you don't have to go anywhere and it's cold and windy and raining heavily, well that is the time when a sane person or a smart person would stay inside where it's warm and dry. And any individual sane, smart person would do that. But as my wife will tell you "the three of you together are way dumber than you are on your own." In this case the three were myself, Mark Vande Kamp and Ken Krichman. The day was yesterday, Sunday January 29th, 2006. And the rain was not fun.

The rain was heavy and wet and the wind was just enough to make things nasty. And this wasn't an epic trip, a trip to make folks think "man, those guys are tough." It wasn't even enough to make us think anything of the sort. It was just a trip to make us think "man, we're not that bright."

The mission wasn't even much of a mission. Ken wanted to ride my old PX-10 to see if it was right for him. I wanted to see Mark's prototype Kogswell Porteur. Mark and Ken wanted to see my new Kogswell Model G. We could have done all those things and not left Issaquah but instead we rode out in the rain, up and over the Issaquah Plateau, out to Carnation to have coffee at Sandy's Espresso. And then we rode back. Twenty-nine miles of stupidity.

Now I could say that the part of the ride where we were not riding, where we were sitting in Sandy's drinking lattes and mochas was pleasant, but honestly damply drinking coffee while wringing the water out of your gloves probably isn't as pleasant as just staying dry at home and drinking coffee.

And no, there are no pictures. My camera is still on vacation, Mark left his camera at home and I've never seen Ken with a camera in my life. Mark's super-secret prototype Kogswell Porteur is the ugliest shade of blue I've ever seen (I think the prototypes are purposely ugly so no-one will confuse them with the real thing.) The bike looks like it handles really well and Mark had lots of good off-the-record things to say about the bike. The Porteur is designed handle best with a load up front and even with a good-sized handlebar bag Mark could pretty much ride no-handed at will. My model G is similarly well-behaved but I carry the main load on a rear rack.

Ken didn't bond with the PX-10. He hasn't ridden fixed in quite some time so the hills were a bit more exciting than he'd prefer. Also the handling of the PX-10, which you could call responsive if you like it or twitchy if you don't, wasn't to his liking on this wet and windy day.

So I still have one too many bikes at my place and it's still raining.

There is no moral to this story. Just three dumb guys riding in the rain.


Kevin said...

I miss rain - over 100 days without rain in Phoenix (and other places in southern Arizona).

Anonymous said...

I don't think I could ever give up my PX-10.

Hjalti said...

That's pretty harsh, tantalizing us with Porteur gossip.

Anonymous said...

I spent Sunday working on a birthday present for my Mom. (She turns 70 next month.) Now I have no regrets about not riding in the high wind, rainy day. Portland got almost an inch. So far this year we, like Seattle , have a near record rainy streak going. In January over twice the normal amount of rain.

And I'm one of those that really enjoy riding in a light rain.