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19 October, 2004

Season's end - has passed

I've just cycled home in the first real anticyclonic rainfall of the season.  We get brief bursts of heavier convectional rainfall in summer, but they're usually over within an hour at most, whereas this is reasonably heavy rain that will keep coming until the front passes, probably in a couple of days.
The dense clouds brought dusk a full two hours early, but my riding conditions were less than optimal anyway.

Turtled-down into my high collar, partly to reduce the trickle down my neck, I couldn't hear well, couldn't adequately turn my head, and breathing was impaired for the more strenuous uphill sections. It also tipped my cycle helmet forwards, preventing my usual habit of looking over my rain-speckled (outside) and steamed-up (inside) glasses. Kind of dangerous, really. I think it's already time to break out the winter kit: a scarf wrapped around my face is far less limiting to hearing, neck-mobility and breathing). At least I'd thought to take waterproofs to work, so only my feet and hands are damp.

I suppose it all starts here: the need to keep two jackets available, one to be worn whilst the other remains at home to dry off. Battery charging will become an additional daily consideration, for bike lights. Bikey is largely maintenance-free in summer, but leaf mulch (and before long, road salt) are more of a mechanical problem, not to mention a road hazard. I nearly fell off yesterday: turning a 90° corner on wet leaves, my slick rear tyre lost traction and tried to overtake me. Scary.

Still, cycle parking on campus ought to improve if the fair-weather commuters switch to the bus.

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