THE MYTH OF THE “RAIN BIKE”
The last few mornings have been colder and wetter than I, native Southern Californian, prefer to brave on my bike. I’ve gotten all my cycling clothing out, prepared the coffee and prepped my brain for a nice, frigid morning ride only to wake to the sounds of more rain. More goddamn rain.
So by day three I began the predictable mental toying with the idea of having a “rain bike.” This is a mythical bike that supposedly exists but I’ve never seen one, even on extended stays in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a bike in one’s quiver that’s only used on rainy days so you can spare your preferred bikes excessive water damage. A “beater” bike.
Whereas your other bikes are cared for, wiped down, lubed and respected, this is one you can take out, get soaked and toss back in the garage. It’s a cycling booty call. And it’s bullshit for two reasons.
First, even a cruddy bike has to be properly dried off, re-lubed and stored properly if you want it to be usable again. Otherwise it’ll be your rusty, seized rain bike. Even ‘cross bikes – like the one pictured above – are abused but then given the once-over lest their moving parts freeze up.
Secondly, we love all our bikes. We get to know every one we take into our homes and fall in love with them. I mean, does this look like a “beater” bike to you? Even if our bike doesn’t have such an illustrious pedigree, we would never treat it badly.
So what I’m saying is that, yes, I have a rain bike or two.
At least they started out that way. And then I rode them. And they changed.
They became my friends.
(image courtesy of PDXcross)