Posted by: Silver | September 11, 2010

Riding in the Rain

It’s miserable.

Oh, OK – I’ll be a bit more expansive then:

It’s really miserable.

Some of you may have already picked up the implication of my statement that the first two days of my ride to Black Creek were blessed with beautiful weather, but just to make it explicit for all: the third day was not. I set out under rainy skies at 9am, and it was still raining when I poured myself down my hosts’ drive at 7.30pm. Admittedly, it did stop for approximately half an hour at one point, and it wasn’t always torrential… but mostly it was. And my ‘waterproof’ jacket really wasn’t. My packs never claimed to be waterproof, but even so, I wasn’t expecting the extra inch of standing water in them that I was carrying by the end of the day. (Fortunately, I did heed the ‘not waterproof’ warning, so all my stuff has always been packed inside plastic bags which did live up to their ‘waterproof’ billing.) And of course, once I got wet, I got cold too, and I was still a long way from civilisation when my hands became too numb even to open the wrapper of a granola bar. Thus, all in all, I was in a less than perfect state when I pulled into Sue’s Place, a cafe 23 km north of Campbell River and the first building open to the public that I’d seen since leaving Sayward 50 km ago.

It was certainly my luck to stop there, though, as Sue turned out to be an angel in an apron. First, she thawed out my hands through a combination of warm things to hold (a cup of hot water) and wear (her oven gloves). Then, when the soup of the day turned out not to be vegetarian, she heated up a tin of tomato soup just for me. When it looked like I was just about human enough to be setting off again, she presented me with a pair of warm, waterproof gloves to wear (mine were the only things I hadn’t packed in the waterproof bags, wrongly assuming they could take care of tehmselves…), and at the end of it all, she flatly refused to take a single cent from me, even for the food. (This money will now be given to SOS Children’s Villages, to help ensure that an orphan somewhere in the world enjoys the same love and care in their life.) I really can’t say enough about how grateful I am to this wonderful lady, but if you’re ever on Highway 19 around Campbell River, please give Sue’s Place all the custom you can: apparently, her burgers are wonderful too!

Sue’s care and kindness made the final 60 km of my journey much more bearable, and after a hot bath and some more hot food at my hosts’ house, my ordeal was almost entirely washed away. Yes, it was absolutely no fun riding in the rain, but it certainly didn’t leave me utterly crushed and crying with exhaustion, so if it came to a choice between that and a headwind, then, to quote one of the songs that one of my friends gave me: “I’ll take the rain”.



  1. Hello Again,

    Glad to see you are still making progress. I guess the good thing about really bad days of ridding is that you are still riding. Secondly it makes you very warm inside on the days that wonderful.

    Are you going to be ridding during the winter time?

    • Hi again Michael,

      Yes, I’m still riding and still making progress 🙂 Although, I would be prepared to cope with slightly less warmth inside if the weather were prepared to remain wonderful 😉 I will continue to ride into the winter for as long as practical and safe, then re-assess my options when it gets just too grim.

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