Yesterday was a horrible, rainy day, and during the worst part of it I had to go out. Looking out the window, it was rapidly growing dark and water was literally pouring in streams from the sky. On a day like that, the question of which bike to take did not even enter my mind: I put on my waterproof trench and grabbed Eustacia Vye.
It was raining so hard, that I felt as if I was swimming rather than cycling: I had to keep wiping water off of my face. Between the darkness and the rain, it all looked like an impressionist painting.
Nonetheless, the ride itself was quite comfortable. Eustacia remained stable and easy to maneuver even through lake-sized puddles. The brakes worked perfectly. The lights shone brightly. I felt safe in traffic despite the wet conditions and the limited visibility. Once I got used to the feeling of water running down my face, it was even fun.
There were almost no other cyclists out, and one of the few I did see had an accident right in front of me: While turning a corner, she rode over some leaves and her bicycle flipped sideways. I knew that this could happen, but have never experienced it or seen it. She was cycling slowly, and it still happened. The cyclist was not hurt (I stopped to make sure she was all right), but still - falling like that could not have been pleasant. It seems that wet leaves really are extremely slippery and it is important to avoid them, especially when cornering.
The fallen cyclist was riding a diamond-frame bike, with tires that looked narrow and worn out. She expressed admiration for my Pashley and said that on a bike like that she bets this would not have happened to her. I am not so sure, as I have heard of people slipping on wet leaves and metal grates even on mountain bike tires. Still, I was acutely aware of how much of a luxury my tank of a bike was on a horrible day like this. I was comfortable, whereas the few other cyclists out there looked like they were miserable - struggling against the elements as well as their bikes' limitations.
Here we are together in the rainy darkness. Not very flattering to either of us, but it captures the mood. My true all-weather friend. I must not forget this the next time I compare her to faster and more nimble bikes.