MG Thursday: How to Talk about the Weather – Don’t.

(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.

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3 thoughts on “MG Thursday: How to Talk about the Weather – Don’t.

  1. Also, there is that obligation one holds to others within earshot.

    Weather whiners can certainly add to the discomfort of a long cold rain ride, but sometimes that eternal weather optimist can push one around the bend.

    Some years ago Pal B and I drove from the Oly area up to the lower Olympic Peninsula for an early morning ride start.

    As we loaded B’s bike and ton of riding essntials into the car in a pre-dawn lght but steady rain B’s first comment was, “well this isn’t too bad, we have two hours before the start, maybe it will stop”. I grunted my typical predawn positive affirmation.

    30 minutes later we were in a heavy, steady, ran, Said B: “This is worse but we still have an hour and half, maybe the cell will pass through.” To this I scowled.

    Half an hour later, it had actully gotten darker, water was running freely in the gutters, in some cases overrunning the storrm drains, from B: “I think it looks like it’s lighter up ahead, maybe it’s gonna slack off, we’ve got a whole nuther hour for it to get better!” At this point I uttered a soft curse under my breath after scalding my tongue with a dose of hot coffee.

    As we parked at the ferry dock and made the bikes ready for riding 45 minuts later, in a cold, hard rain being driven in off the Sound, this from friend B: “well, there’s still a few minutes, maybe it will lighten up”.

    At this I broke into my curse laden tirade agianst the injustice and indignity of getting up in the middle of the night, driving for hours through an ever worsening storm, to ride our bikes for 10 hours in a cold, very wet, and windy Pacific storm to which B responded: “Right, this is shitty.”

    At times one must ‘reign’ in one’s unbridled optimism and look at the situation through the clear prism of cold grey-light reality. A well placed rant may not make thngs better, in fact may add to the troubles superstitions being what they are. But it can be theraputic, and too, it can help ease the ironic pain that the eternal optimist laces the stuation with.

    I take solace in the notion that at some point you are as wet as you can get, and won’t get any wetter than that.

    Yr Pal Dr Codfish

    PS: It’s raining here as I write and according to weatherdotcom there is a 70% chance that it will be when you read this. On the bright side NWS says, that there is only a 60% chance. Hey, maybe this is goning to clear off!

  2. I hear and understand both of your comments about weather. I am obsessed about forecasts and have been since I was a rock climber in a previous phase. I also agree that predicting or guessing should be kept to oneself during a ride.

    My commute today was 23 miles, 2000ft and accompanied by a light rain the entire time. It wasn’t bad because the temperature was in the mid-forties but I was soaked through when I arrived at work and showered.

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