Thursday, September 16, 2010


Days like today I wish I had Harry Potter magic. You know. There's the sort of rain coming down that Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams once, wonderfully, named 'blatter' - heavy, cold, big, surly rain. It's windy, and the wind is chilly. And the cars going by you on the road are amplified by a factor of about 300% by the hishing of their tires on the wet pavement. And I just wish I had one good Impervius charm. The one Hermione uses so the rain will stay off Harry's glasses. Impervius. Impervius! Damn you, Impervius!

The rest of me is fine, actually. Now that it's really fall, I can pack my rain gear (which I wrote about glowingly back when I first discovered its true awesomeness a year ago) and suit up before heading home, if it happens to be blattering out. My feet stay dry. My ass stays dry. My clothes stay dry. Okay, my hands are a little cold, but we aren't quite to gloves weather yet. I haven't caved that far to the approach of winter.

But I wear glasses. And even if I didn't wear glasses, the rain splattering into my face would be making me blink and squint anyway. Maybe the glasses help with the blinking - at the expense of having my field of vision blocked by the droplets of water clinging to the lenses.

There are things I always find myself wishing drivers knew when it rains like this, too. I wish they knew that I'm blinking and squinting (and often pursing my lips up like a hooting chimpanzee: don't ask why, I don't know, it's a reflexive thing, probably to keep the rain from bouncing up under my glasses, or up my nose) and so my vision is rather significantly impaired. I wish they knew that I would love to be able to swerve out further into the road to avoid the puddles that will spray water up into my face (thus further impairing my vision.) I wish that they knew that I will also swerve to avoid the puddles because you can't see the pavement through the puddles, and so can't see whatever potholes might be lurking beneath them. And I wish they knew how damn loud and scary they are in the rain.

But I don't suppose they need to know how smug I felt this afternoon coming up Alta Vista, when I just kept on rolling past all the cars that were crawling along: I got up that street faster than any of the folks that were high and dry... and busy stepping on the brake, then backing off, then stepping on the brake again. So okay, the Impervius charm doesn't work on the rain. But it does seem to work on gridlock.

1 comment:

  1. Just be careful when passing cars in the bike lane. A former OBC president was riding down Island Park Drive toward the Champlain Bridge a few years ago, and someone left a gap open up for a motorist on a cross street. The crossing motorist didn't see the cyclist booming down the bike lane and struck him, breaking his arm.

    I heard a similar story from a left-turning motorist turning from the Queen Elizabeth Driveway into the turning circle at Dow's lake. Despite creeping in to see if there were any cyclists behind the long line of stopped cars, she didn't see the crouched cyclist zooming down the bike lane on the hill from Prince of Wales Drive and they collided.