The role of the opportunist cyclist is to be in a state of readiness to go on and cycle at the first available opportunity. This morning as I woke to find rain slamming hard against the window and a sky that looked more menacing and potent than a lion in the throws of attack I debated whether this mantra is suitable for day one as the opportunist cyclist.
Reluctantly, and under the cloak of my rain-resistant jacket I stormed out of my South London home and onto the rain-lashed streets. The resultant journey was hard - ultimately everything is more difficult in the rain. Poor visibility, braking is harder, motorists are more aggressive and traffic predictably backs up. Making the journey hard-hard-work but after rocking up to work feeling like a wet dog and sitting marooned in wet clothing there is the dawning realisation than man and machine can defeat the weather. The opportunist cyclist delivers a blow against the environment - in a good way!
Top tips for riding in the rain.
1. Leave plenty of room between other cars/cyclists/buses - braking distances are lengthened and an extra few inches will be appreciated when you chomp down hard on your brakes.
2. Be patient. In the rain, it is a marathon not a sprint. Take a holistic view, you may get to your end destination slower but you will get there alive which is depending on where you are heading to in general a good thing.
3. Light up. Motorists struggle enough as it is to see us on the roads. Putting an extra light or two on you person/bike will help make sure that the blessed souls give you plenty of space and room. In theory that is!
Distance covered - 6 miles.