Thursday, January 31, 2008

The trials and tribulations of a ride in the rain

Today we rode the Alleycat and cruiser combo home in the rain.
My little mate said no to a raincoat and proceeded to jump on our rig to ride home in the pouring rain. In the tropics that's no big deal. In fact it can be quite refreshing and fun... It was....

I shoved my work bag and camera into a garbage bag which fitted easily into the basket I recently installed on the front of the bike, then we set off for our ride in the rain. I was sure she'd decide it was too wet and demand her raincoat back on or worse still she'd refuse to ride. But no she just yelled "Yahooooooooooo" and peddled furiously behind me! Along the way we passed the Casuarina storm water drainage pipes where micro bats where darting around trying to find a safe place to hide after their home had been taken over by the torrent of recently delivered rain. We rode through big puddles and watched streams of rain disappear down amongst the exposed roots of trees that had fallen in the recent cyclone.
However by the time we arrived home I looked back over my shoulder to find a muddy, grit speckled urchin clinging to the bars of a grit pelted bike! There is definitely room for improvement to the design of our transport. The first thing I can see we will need is a full length mudguard.

It is strange but mudguards have ceased to be standard accessories on a bicycle. I remember when I was a kid we used to rip them off our bikes because they weren't very tough looking or cool. But these days I truly appreciate the benefit of a good mud guard. I reckon that whole negative attitude pre-teen hoodlums in the 70's must have rubbed off and manufacturers would, most likely, have only too gladly dispensed with the extra expense of providing decent rain gear on their bikes! Now you have to pay bucket's full of cash to get a decent set of guards. The cheapest ones I could find cost me about $20 and they're flimsy plastic (do the job ok though).

So my mission now is to make the cruiser-alleycat-bike thing rain tolerant! It was still fun riding in the rain though!


Cookiemouse said...

Amsterdam is full of mudguards as we still have a lot of the omafiets, the traditional old fashioned black bike.

David J said...

Yes those omafiets are such a classic beauty! They are a good example of the differences between our countries.
Here in Australia everything has to be new! Constant development and expansion. At any cost.
The design of that bike has been around for more that 100 years and it works beautifully!