Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Pansies

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Pansies. No, I’m not talking about those pretty little flowers. I’m talking about my fellow man.

It’s been raining here yesterday and today, but I’ve ridden to work anyway. I’ve lucked out and it hasn’t rained in the morning — usually, I decide whether to ride based on that. I don’t mind getting wet on the way home, but I don’t want to show up at work drenched.

There were some storms rolling through the area yesterday afternoon and around 5-5:30 pm, it was very dark outside, raining hard with some thunder and lightning. I heard someone complain, “How am I going to get to my car?” There are two places you can park if you work for my company: right next to the building or right across the street. I thought to myself, “You’ll walk! And you’ll get a little wet. Who cares?” I heard various other complaints about getting a little wet, and even one person debating whether it was safe to drive. What the hell?

I mentioned I rode my bike to work, garnering astonished looks from a couple of people. One of them offered me a ride home, which I appreciated, but politely declined. This brought more astonishment. They seemed to be thinking, “What kind of masochist would ride a bicycle in the rain?”

Honestly, I was looking forward to it. It’s still warm outside, so I can take my preferred approach to riding in the rain and just accept the mantra, “If you ride in the rain, you’re gonna get wet.” I wear clothes that won’t get too waterlogged and that dry quickly. But I get wet and I dry off and change my clothes when I get home. I don’t understand this fear so many people have of getting wet. They aren’t going to melt.

People act the same way about the heat in the summer, the cold in the winter, the dark during the night, etc. They ask things like, “How can you ride in the (heat/cold/rain/dark/snow/mud)? Won’t you get (hot/cold/scared/snowed on/dirty)?” The answer, of course, is YES. If you ride in the heat, for instance, you’ll get hot. You can dress appropriately and try to make it more comfortable, but if you go out in those conditions anyway, you’ll get used to it. You might be a bit uncomfortable, but so what? Why let the weather stand in the way of doing the things you love? I know that sometimes the weather really will make it impossible or undesirable to do some things, but why is so many people’s threshold for discomfort so low?

I do understand how sometimes weather will make people lazy. It almost happened to me this morning. It looked like it could rain at any moment, so I wasn’t sure whether I should ride or drive to work. I decided to ride, and I’m glad I did. It was a beautiful morning, with the smells of the rain we got overnight. It was overcast, but everything basked in a warm glow. It was pretty muggy, but I rode slower and I was fine. It was a perfect morning to ride to work, and I got more astonished looks when I walked in carrying my bicycle helmet. I’ll probably get rained on again on my way home — and I am looking forward to it.

7 Responses to “Pansies”

  1. furiousball Says:

    I finally have my Le Tour ready for commuting and will start tomorrow. The forecast is for rain tomorrow. Fine with me.

    I got the same questions about commuting too.

    “What will you do when it rains?”
    “I’ll get wet”
    “How about when it’s cold?”
    “I’ll get cold.”

  2. Noah Says:

    Wow. That brings it to a new level.

    When people give me the “you’re crazy!” a few too many times, I eventually beat them to the punch first thing in the morning during inclement weather. “HOLY CRAP! You actually DROVE in this stuff?! You’re a madman, don’t you realize how dangerous it is? I’d bet the highway was a disaster! Glad you made it okay!”

    Those people usually stop bothering me after a few instances of getting razzed for actually driving in the rain.

    You, my friend, are dealing with a new breed of wussies. True, genuine losers at the game of life. They’re actually afraid of driving in the rain? How do you even compete with that? There’s nothing left to exaggerate about.

  3. Marty Says:

    I have to admit that I’m a pansie most of the time now, but there are times when you start to run out of the rain and you just stop. Just stop moving, letting the drops hit you, cool at first and then damp. Your clothes take most of the water and then the moisture makes its way to your skin. You get that quick twinge as the first chilling wetness hits flesh, then the relief from the heat. You invariably look to the sky, suddenly glorifying in the very thing you were trying to escape. Soon, you are soaked, but you don’t care because your head is thrown back and you savor the rain, the weather, the peace of ignoring mom’s warnings that you will ‘catch cold’. And you spin around in merriment at the fact that you are your own person, enjoying what nature throws at your and laughing back at the storm.

    Of course, you do this on a bike, you’ll hit a tree. And that would suck.

    —————–

    Seriously, I remember getting caught in the storms riding home from work, and trying desperately to ‘beat the storm’. Then, when I didn’t make it, there was that flash of “Oh sh*t” followed by the quick realization that it was actually cool, comfortable and fun to ride in a downpour. Sure, you had to be careful of the newly slicked roads and drivers not paying enough attention, but when you road, you were one with the weather until you finally got home – and then you rejoiced on how LUCKY you were to get caught out in the rain.

  4. Christy Says:

    I agree a warm rain is nice, but I don’t like the cold rains. No no.
    It always does make me chuckle though when I see people running through the rain. They slosh through puddles with a hand over their head like it’s going to make a difference. I just walk. Walk and cleanse. =o)

  5. i, squub Says:

    I think you’re all a bunch of crazy people. Maybe you should stop living in houses and stop using electricity, sleep outside under a tree. Why wear clothes? Why wear a coat in the winter? Why not just sit all day in a river? Only us pansies like being comfortable. The rest of you only ive in houses and apartments with electricity to avoid our looking at you like you’re nuts. Nothing to do, I’m sure, with convenience or comfort. Or health.

  6. John Says:

    Did they get to their car or stay the night at work?

    On a commute last year I watched the sheet of rain move up the street toward me. When it hit I was instantly soaked. I pulled into a gas station to get out of the rain and within a minute realized “what’s the sense”, and finished the commute.

  7. MRMacrum Says:

    Well some of us do melt when we get wet. But you tough guys just don’t see that. It’s all about facing the elements and forging ahead. Maybe once one of you would have some pity for us pansies. But no. Just beat up on us at will.

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