For any bike hoopla we hope for the perfect weather. Maybe a slight breeze, and even an overcast sky, but generally, nice weather is the preference.
But as is inevitable, there will be bike hooplas that suffer inclement weather. And Bike to Work Day 2014 was one such hoopla.
The rains began the night before. My phone was blowing up with with all kinds of inclement weather warnings. Enough that the top bar of my phone had one of those “expand” arrows flashing. The threat of flooding rains was enough for some places to postpone Bike to Work Day for another day, but the DC metro region peddled (or in this case, paddled) on.
Yes, there were a lot of swimming jokes being made at the pit stops and on Twitter.
I went back and forth in my mind on whether to bike to work, knowing that I would be doing so in a deluge of rain, and that said rain would make the Silver Spring side of the Georgetown Branch Trail miserable and disgusting.
But in many ways, I had already made up my mind. After all, it wasn’t the first time I rode in the middle of a rain dump. The only difference this time, would be knowing that I can get to work using an alternate route. I just need to give myself some time to do so.
After checking the morning Twitter conversations about who in #bikedc would bike or not, or even have a delayed morning, I decided to just go for it.
If anything, thank goodness it wasn’t muggy, hot, and humid. That would’ve made the rain even worse.
Some pit stops in the DC area decided to postpone, while others decided to merge with others.
Despite the moved pit stops, and the downpour of rain, people still biked to work.
Even at the Bethesda pit stop, where I went, there was a fairly good showing. Looking at photos shared by other #bikedc folk on Twitter and Instagram, it looks like the other pit stops had a good showing as well.
While I find riding in torrential rain, on Bike to Work Day a personal achievement of sorts, what I find most profound is the dedication of those in the cycling community in general.
There’s a certain determination within the community to make events like these happen, especially with “rain or shine” events like BTWD.
Yeah, being in a car would keep us dry in rainy, snowy, and terrible weather in general, but being on the bike has its own special feeling—even in shit weather. There’s a feeling of dedication to this particular lifestyle choice; that even though being in a car is “easier” there’s something to be said about trying to make the bike a key part of your daily life.
I tip my helmet to everyone who braved the rain on Bike to Work Day. Whether you biked during the worst part of the downpour, or delayed your morning commute for lighter or no rain, thank you.
Thank you for continuing to be an example that biking isn’t just some frilly thing we do, but being an example that life, by bike, is real and can be done. Not just on designated day, but every day.
It wasn’t too bad of a ride. For as much as I express hatred for the Georgetown Branch Trail, I was curious to see its condition so I took it nice and easy.
The sad trail is just melting away… like sand does in lots of rain: