(TDR launches a new feature I’ve named MG Thursday, in which our fair MG offers her observations on the randonneur lifestyle. Enjoy!)
How to Talk about the Weather – Don’t.
As a randonneusse and bicycle commuter, the weather consumes a lot of my thoughts. What will I wear in the morning? What will I wear home in the evening? How many layers will fit in my pannier? What will the weather be like for our weekend ride? All of it is dictated by forces over which I have no control so of course that makes me want to spend more time thinking about how I can control them.
What I have come up with are the following strategies:
First, I tune in as frequently as possible to weather websites. When I’m feeling like a bit of narrative with my four seasons, I watch every randonneur’s favorite, The Weather Channel. Twenty-four hours of nonstop weather! WOO! Sometimes I compare the television forecast to that of the website, and always believe the more optimistic prediction.
I also pray, but I try to save prayer only for brevets or long rides. I know God is busy so I don’t want to take advantage. I also do not want to come across as a weather wimp, especially considering my Midwest upbringing, but surely God has a moment for me and my riding territory’s weather patterns.
Finally, I keep quiet. Somewhere along the way, I learned that the the spirit of randonneuring dictates that randonneurs NEVER talk about the weather, except for the weather that is happening right at that moment. If it’s raining while you’re riding, you can comment about that to your buddy. But don’t even think of saying, “I sure hope this clears up.” It only invites trouble. You may also freely discuss what the weather was like during your ride– AFTER you’ve finished. Weather can make a good ride story great! But as I just stated, only after you have finished the ride!
The weekend ride forecast is 65 degrees, sunny, and calm? Great news, tell no one! Definitely do not put it in writing and send it out to any listservs on which you are a member. It just invites trouble, cloudy skies, inappropriate wardrobe choices, and disillusion if things change.
It looks like 70% chance rain? Pray! The day may turn out to be sunny… you just never know. Never give up hope until the moment you are at the ride. Even then, you never know what can happen.
In conclusion, when discussing the weather, DO NOT mention anything about the weather.