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Rainy Day Off

by Tara

We decided last night that if it was raining in the morning, we would take a rest day and Tyler would get some work done. So when we awoke to the pounding of water against our tent we sloshed into town in search of free wireless internet and breakfast/lunch. As we were leaving our campsite Tyler cursed the sky quite loudly and I cursed it silently. The ride was short, but our jeans were completely soaked through when we arrived at our coffeeshop.

I'm just starting to realize how much I dislike being cold and wet. I really need to change my attitude about it. The prospect of completely avoiding this discomfort is slim to nil. It's just rain.

We need to work on how to deal with it because thusfar, it has really only served to dampen our spirits (and our jeans). I try to change my perspective by thinking "it's really lovely for the flowers, and I'm sure the farmers appreciate it" or "It's just water. It's no big deal. It's just WATER." We need the rain. It keeps us alive. Hopefully as the days progress, we will get better about accepting the rain as a part of life.

Indoors with hot-chocolate in my tummy, my spirits were a bit better, though my jeans were still soaking wet. Tyler ordered a beer (unheard of—he doesn't even like beer) and got to work while I spent the next five or six hours reading about Frodo and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings.

This is the perfect book for me to be reading now (I've never read it), especially since it was written in England, and because I feel like we're on a quest of sorts. On nice days I love looking around as we're cycling thinking "ooh that's the Shire!" or "oooh that looks like Rivendell!", and on "bad" days, I find comfort in the fact that it could be worse.

I read things like:

"The first part of their journey was hard and dreary, and Frodo remembered little of it, save the wind. For many sunless days and icy blast came from the Mountains in the east, and no garment seemed able to keep out its searching fingers."


"The Company now gathered together as close to the cliff as they could. It faced southwards, and near the bottom it leaned out a little, so that they hoped it would give them some protection from the northerly wind and from the falling stones. But eddying blasts swirled round them from every side, and the snow flowed down in ever denser clouds."

…and I remember that things aren't bad at all. I'm not on a practically impossible and very dangerous quest to throw an evil ring back into the fires from whence it came. We aren't being followed and attacked by wraiths. We are only bothered by RAIN for heaven's sake. It's just water. I am on the adventure of a lifetime with my best friend. We have fun and laugh all the time. We are safe. We are traveling in England! Soon we will be dry and warm again.

Six hours later, after having had breakfast and lunch at the same place, our jeans almost dry, we set off again to bike back "home" for the evening. The rain had stopped for the moment, so we arrived almost dry at our tent. I noticed that the rain had filled up the fryingpan with water. Our stove already set up and ready to go, I placed the pan on the fire, and it was soon boiling away. I made myself a nice hot cup of water with lemon juice and honey, and settled in for a leisurely evening, nice and dry in our tent.

Hot Water Lemon & Honey
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Nice! Hey, I remember when we were living in Japan, and had a long walk to the bus stop every day, rain or shine, I bought a rain suit designed for farmers that had a hooded jacket and also waterproof rain pants that you pull on over your regular pants. They were great! I loved not getting my jeans soaked every time. There must be some kind of high-tech breathable rain pants for outdoor enthusiasts like yourselves. Just a thought.
Posted by Lisa on May 1st, 2009 at 5:07 PM
I've just started reading your blog and I'm hooked!

As a daily cyclist in London, I'm used to the rain now, but I suggest you get a pair of waterproof trousers - they make life that much more comfortable...!

Onwards and upwards!

Posted by SL on May 2nd, 2009 at 2:33 AM
Hi mom!

There are loads of high tech waterproof pants for cycling but we decided not to buy any for some reason. BUT I discovered that my new Mountain Hardware pants dry pretty much instantly! YAY!

SL-- glad you found our blog! enjoy!
Posted by Tara on May 2nd, 2009 at 6:40 AM
Congratulations Tara & Tyler!! One full month on wheels!!!! What a great accomplishment to get off to such an awesome start. More safe, fun and rewarding travels to you. Love, Dad
Posted by Lisa on May 2nd, 2009 at 3:10 PM
What a shame that you had this bad day just a few miles from my home! Wish I had known...
Posted by Alastair Humphreys on April 13th, 2011 at 9:21 AM
Hey Alastair!

I already told you this in email, but I wanted to record it here, so I'll say it again:

I distinctly remember someone at the pub where we spent the day working say that there was another world cyclist who lived just down the road. It must’ve been you! We were too green/upset about being wet to go find you. A shame indeed. What a small flipping world :D
Posted by Tyler on April 14th, 2011 at 3:35 AM