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12/17/2014: "Return of the Rain"It's actually rained twice this winter in Los Angeles, which, if you're following the news about California's intesen drought, you know is good news indeed.
And it's even better news that it doesn't seem to be chasing cyclists into buses or their cars.
I indulged in my usual Tuesday ride to South Pasadena today. Rain had fallen steadily since midnight, but by 9:30, when I left, it had diminished to a regular but gentle patter. Coddled in wool, I soon removed my jacket and rode on happily through the sprinkle.
And I wasn't alone: Fourth Street bore, if anything, slightly more cyclists than usual—and many of them, if I may judge by the cut and cost of their attire and the kinds of bikes they rode, were middle-class people on the way to work. And there seemed fewer cars. When I cut north through Larchmont Village—I have a soft spot for the place—several riders were pedaling into it ahead of me, and a number of parked bikes indicated that the rain had had little deterrent effect. The sopping streets carried me to Buster's Coffee and my meeting with Chuck Schmidt without incident.
When I left to go home, it was raining hard enough that the application of water exceeded the self-drying property of well-made wool, so I finally put on the rain cape. It rained steadily all the way home, but, nose and toes aside, I stayed dry. The air was cool and fresh-smelling, the light gentle, the reflections on wet streets endlessly intriguing.
The bike, of course, has fenders, and a dyno hub meant that I could run my lights without fear of depleting batteries. The pannier kept my various waterproofs handy as the weather changed, and…"a good time was had by all"!