Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Texas has two seasons

Tornado and allergy.

That aside, this time of year is apparently when it starts to get chilly and rainy. Now that I'm riding I notice changes in the weather much more, so this must be when it gets chilly and rainy. We need it badly, it's been the driest summer in, like, ever so the rain Sunday, Monday and now today so yaaaaaay rain.

It does royally muck up my commuting, though. It's not just that I don't have fenders, or that I don't own a raincoat. It's that Dallas drivers are horrific on a good day and good days are only when it's dry and sunny. Add rain to the mix and everything starts to go to hell—roads get slick, windshields get messy and the accident rate triples (by my math, at least)

My main thing is that the morning half of my commute is in the wee hours before the sun comes up, and I can't trust that the drivers are any more awake than I am. Adding any kind of wet to the pre-7am hours and it spells recipe for disaster.

So here's my cyclist confession: On rainy days, I will drive. I wish I could be fearless, strap on and stick to it, but rainy mornings down Royal Lane in the pre-dawn darkness is bigger risk than I'm willing to take.

Thanks, October.

Update: Unfortunately, Dallas being Dallas and the suburbs being the suburbs, there is no other feasible way for me to get from the DART station to my office. I've looked. Several times. It's either Royal or Northwest Highway or I get off at the next stop and there I have to do a mile on the 161 service road so ... 


  1. On rainy days, I adjust my route. It adds a half mile, meaning it takes me an extra three minutes to get to work. Tarrant County can be pretty nice sometimes!

    As for your calculation about triple accident rates. Certainly I won't argue with that based on the rainy/foggy morning traffic reports. Its why I'm willing to take the extra three minutes to get to work.

  2. I don't have any 'magic words' to offer to get you to try fenders...but I will say this - once you do have them will probably never ride without them again. They are THAT great.

    Of course, I'm not young and cute or even a girl...but I do commute almost every day on a bike and I put fenders even above a rack as a 'must have' on my bikes. I like the pannier and rack...but a backpack or messenger bag isn't that bad (to me) - I tend to switch off a lot...but fenders are just awesome.