Rain and bicyclesIn this month's Wet Noodle Posse e-zine, Theresa Ragan has an article on riding bicycles for exercise and weight loss. My husband and I often enjoy a bicycle ride through our neighborhood and surrounding areas. I also play tennis at least two times a week, and since the tennis courts are only about a mile from our house, I usually ride my bike. I also ride my bike to my Wednesday morning Bible study. I figure it gives me exercise and helps the environment, because I'm not using gas to drive my car.
The biggest problem in riding my bike to events is the sudden shower that often pops up in Florida. The other day I rode to the tennis courts, and we got in a warm-up and about six games before I big black cloud appeared on the horizon and a few bolts of lightning streaked across the sky. The lightning was definitely a signal to stop playing. I had several offers to give me a ride home, but I was sure I could travel the distance home before the rain started. I peddled faster than I normally do, and in record time, reached the traffic light that was thankfully green when I got there. As I started up the one and only hill between the tennis courts and our house, if you can even call it a hill, I felt a few raindrops, but they were few and far between. I peddled faster and made it home just as it started to pour.
When I parked my bike in the garage, I noticed that my car was gone. Then I remembered that my husband had taken my car to pick up his bike, which was in the shop for repair. I have a convertible, and he intended to put the bike in the backseat to bring it home. My only thought was surely he was smart enough not to start home with that big black cloud hanging overhead. I was home about half an hour when I heard the garage door going up. It was still pouring outside. You can imagine my horror when I opened the door and saw my husband soaked to the skin, and the top of my almost new convertible down and a bicycle sitting in the backseat. I just couldn't believe he wouldn't have pulled over and put the top up. He told me there was no place to pull over, so there was no arguing with him. We grabbed a dozen towels and began wiping the water from every inch of my car--leather seats, carpet, dash, visors, and cup holders that now held a couple of inches of water. We got hair dryers and started to blow-dry the carpet. This was not the way I had intended to spend my evening. We tripped the circuit breaker and had to plug in one of the hair dryers inside the house, rather than the garage, in order to use two at the same time. When we went to bed that night, the car was fairly dry.
The next morning I put my car in the driveway with the top sticking straight up in the air so that the sun could help dry out the car a little more. I'm just hoping down the road I don't have a car that smells like mildew.
From now on I think I'll make my husband check with me before he can use my car as a truck for hauling his stuff. He had mentioned at one time that he had considered riding the bike home from the bicycle shop. I should have let him. That would have been good exercise and saved the environment, not only the gas, but the energy it cost to wash all those towels and use those blow dryers.