We've ridden in rain. One does if one lives in the Great Northwest and wants to ride in any month other than August or September. But usually the rain here is laidback and easy like a true Oregonian should be - Oregon rain a slightly more serious mist. Not the deluge it has been this - do we still call it spring? because it can't be summer.
Though some fools don shorts to tempt the sun to come out and play.
Though many times they don't . . .
Middlest wrung her gloves out at every stop, prodigiously. Streams of water poured out.
"More water in my gloves than on the road," she shook her head, disgusted.
"Makes you feel heroic, doesn't it? Riding through rain like this?"
But then I was warm.
But you never feel so much alive, never feel the visceral bodily rejoicing over every mouthful of a hot reuben sandwich at the Birkenfeld store, tasting the layers of flavor, the perfect melding of delicious and nutritious that will power you thirty more miles down the road and up and over Jewell hill.
If you stay comfortable only and never leave your ease, you never know the delight with which the whole skin nearly chirps to sit for half an hour in the warm wooden tavern at the top of Olney hill, nursing a bowl of creamy hot chowder. A kind of bliss even in the sting of raindrops against your face, telling you again and again how alive you are.
Sitting in the rain for ten hours would be a misery, a sad kind of masochism, but riding through the rain, lit with your own internal fire, that's a-whole-nother thing.
And at the end, the golden lights of the Crest Motel at 9 o'clock at night dancing up ahead as the gray sunlight slips away. Our Biking Friends waiting under the eaves, cheering us up the last rise. Fritz' parents, worry draining gratefully from their faces.
No other shower feels as good as the one whose steam you step into out of your cold and dripping clothes.
A rusty bolt tossed off in the gutter. A moment of inattention. And what was a Sunday coast into town for church turned into triage.
Our Biking Friends had already gone on ahead, but other friends (also cyclists - funny how it works that way) recognized us, pulled over, offered alcohol swabs, medical tape, the scissors I'd decided not to bring this year because we never use them. All that and a ride to and from church for poor Middlest, her bike strapped onto their bike rack on back.
Abrasions and a jammed elbow. End of the ride for her.