Wet and Cold

Rain. It was obviously going to come sooner or later, especially in the North of England: our first time when we needed to get somewhere while it was raining. On Sunday morning the heavens opened at the same time that I was getting child1 and child2 ready to go out to church – a cycle ride of just over a mile.

This is normally a very pleasant ride, but until the other Sunday we had never tried it in this level of precipitation. “This is where the car would have been really useful”, child1 observed, dryly. I had to agree with her.

But with no car, and with “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing” ringing in my ears we got all togged up in waterproof jackets and trousers (child2 was in a full splash suit), put our best boots on, and set out into the storm. I pause here to offer you a little ditty: sing ‘If you’re cycling you’ll need, water-proofs’ to the tune of ‘Bulletproof‘ by La Roux – this kept us entertained for a bit 🙂

Child2 was safely tucked in the bike trailer and having a great time (I later discovered that the rain had been coming through the sides and he had essentially been sat in a puddle for half the time – he didn’t seem to mind). But poor child1 was riding next to me, being blown sideways by the strong gusts and with so much rain in her eyes that she said she couldn’t see ahead… “Maybe we should just go home” she said as we turned the corner at the bottom of the hill. But I was meant to be leading a service in 40minutes, so there was no going back now. Lashed by the wind and driving rain we pressed on. Within minutes I could feel the rain running down the waterproof trousers and into my boots.

Thankfully church was nice and warm when we arrived, so feeling a little bit damp (though only our socks and faces I think) wasn’t too bad. We quickly found a drink and a biscuit, and had a pretty good time with our church family while the bikes and water proofs dripped little puddles on the floor of the back room (don’t tell the church wardens).

Putting my helmet on to head home again was grim – soaking wet, and now cold too! The rain had kept up the whole time, so now we were riding back through flood waters – not just little puddles, but inches deep water that sometimes stretched over the whole road! Homeward bound, I knew that we just needed to get there – and the kids seemed to quite enjoy the adventure of it. We laughed and sang songs to each other, and since we were so wet already we didn’t bother about going round most of the puddles – what’s a little bit more water when you’re already dripping?!

Verdict. We tried our best to dress up in ‘the right clothing’ but still got wet and cold – there definitely is such a thing as ‘bad weather’ for cycling. But in the end, it was nothing that a dry towel, a fresh pair of socks (and more for the kids), and a cup of (vegan) hot chocolate couldn’t fix and we genuinely had quite a lot of fun.

Published by oikoslife

I am married, father of 2 young children (2014 and 2017), pioneering priest in the Church of England, surfer, climate activist and much more. Born in Yorkshire, and currently living on the Yorkshire Coast. Doing my best to live in good connection with God, self, neighbour and creation - working it out as I go.

3 thoughts on “Wet and Cold

  1. Great work on cycling in the rain. J guess the choice is made easier when it’s your only option. I can heartily recommend: overshoes (rubberised things that go over your normal shoes and help keep feet dry. No idea if there are vegan options here) and cycling glasses (for the non glasses wearing members of the family). They usually come with detachable lenses so you can have clear for rain/general, dark for sunny days and yellow for dark &rainy rides.
    Though it sounds like nothing was going to keep you dry in that downpour!


  2. Though God, anything is possible. Your bikes became an Ark through the storm and you rode it somewhat gracefully. Love to you all x


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