Ragtime Cyclist column

Cyclists take advantage of the good weather.
Cyclists take advantage of the good weather.

As any regular cyclist will tell you, the weather can become a bit of an obsession, and at this time of year it can be a fickle beast; 25 degree sunshine and sunny blue skies one day, 11 degrees and sideways rain the next.

But in-between those two extremes we get every shade of grey (literally) you could imagine.

Although we probably can’t complain so far this year weather-wise, we’ve had quite a few of those warm and muggy days recently which bring on rain showers of the kind that would grace a Malaysian monsoon.

Last week it seemed as if every couple of hours, without warning, the heavens opened and deposited 20 minutes of the biggest, wettest rain imaginable.

Every time it leads me to think the same thought: I wonder who’s out for a bike ride in this.

The group text message goes around, a couple of instant replies along the lines of, “not me mate”, “luckily not, bit damp like” – but silence from three or four friends.

If I’m honest, I can hardly contain my glee.

Cruel, I know, but the longer the airwaves are silent the greater the odds that a couple of my riding companions are out there somewhere, in skimpy summer kit, getting a drenching of biblical proportions.

I picture them struggling through puddles, soaked to the skin, or perhaps sheltering under a tree somewhere. Maybe they’ve even cracked completely and are sat at the roadside weeping, tears mingling with rainwater, pristine kit hanging off them and brown with puddle water.

Of course I shouldn’t find this funny; next time it could be me, in fact many times before now it has been me.

There are very few among us, even those wise old oracles of meteorology, who get it right every time.

In the summer, especially, it’s oh-so-easy to be tricked into leaving your waterproof at home and riding light.

When your time comes, and you find yourself out in a torrential downpour and woefully underdressed for the conditions, the only choice is to take it on the chin – in fact, a quick straw poll tells me that some cyclists even relish this kind of dramatic weather.

Me? I like a bit of sunshine; bring on the long hot summer of 2014.