October 23rd, 2013
Well today, to and from work, I experienced two very different rides. The way back with warm, dry, sunny, easy and fun. The sort of ride you wish every ride home from work was. However the one first thing this morning was, how shall I put it, eventful.
Overnight the heavens had opened and dropped, what can only be described as ' a significant amount of rain' across my local area. Now I'm no stranger to rain, I am after all, an Englishman. I was wearing pretty much the right kit for the conditions, well sort of. I've worn my Supertech Rs when its rained before and my feet had somehow stayed dry. Could be foot position, could be anything, so this morning I thought nothing of wearing them, the rain had even stopped, so the El Nino rain suit I was wearing was to mainly protect me from the spray of other vehicles.
As I was riding along, I noticed an area of the roadway, about 40ft long that was underwater. Not severely, just three or four inches. As any good rider/driver should, I slowed right down and aimed for the middle of the water. UK roads taper off to the sides, so are in effect 'higher'in the middle, meaning the water was also at its lowest. No chance of hitting a kerb either. Anyway, so I had dropped my speed to 10ish mph and lined up the move. My plan, which I acted out, was to keep a constant speed through the water and keep it in a straight line. As I entered the water, the front wheel of the Ducati created a wave and a secondary wall of water, about a foot high, out to the side of the bike. Sadly, this wall of water hadn't had time to fall to the ground by the time my feet arrived and my Supertechs, with their lovely venting, acted like a great big sponge, filling up with cold rain water and soaking my feet and socks. Socks saturated with cold rain water are not very nice when you have to change gear as you can feel the water moving past your toes.
When I came to a similar 'puddle' about a mile down the road, I change my tack. I lifted my feet, but this didn't help either as I was pretty much just holding my feet at the apex of my own personal wave, soaking them again. Thankfully the Chuckie T's I leave at work are so soft and comfy that I could get away with wearing them without socks, so was able to leave them to dry in the changing room. After over eight hours I put the socks back on for the homeward journey, to find them almost dry, but still disappointingly damp. New Gore Tex boots anyone?
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My name is Matt Brown and I'm a UK journalist formerly based in London, but now calling the South of England home. I've been riding bikes since 2007, but got hooked straight away. Nothing gives me the feeling of freedom, even when stuck in a city. In 2010 I became a RoSPA gold rider, but when it comes down to it, I'm Just a normal man, riding his bikes as often as he can.