After the Storm
An intense storm raged for about 20 minutes at the end of the work day. It covered the bike lanes with puddles, and I don't have fenders on my bike so I had to ride slowly if I didn't want a black streak of road water on the back of my only pair of jeans. This is difficult. You have to commit to riding home at a very slow pace. You cannot lapse for even a moment and speed up, because you'll get blasted with spray that one time and have a huge stain all over your back and butt. Every traffic light turned yellow just as I was pulling up to it, but I couldn't hammer through it. A guy on a mountain bike in his lowest gear peddled at a pace that looked about 1,000rpm, but I couldn't pass him since I lacked fenders. Cars swerved into the bike lane, parked cars opened their doors, but my only option was to slow down and wait. No hammering down, swerving into traffic and getting around it all. It struck me as being very similar to growing a beard. Slow progress and a lot of discomfort, but one moment of weakness -- you give in and go fast on your bike or shave your beard -- and it's all over. You may as well have ridden home the entire way at top speed or never have bothered going a week with mangy, itchy beard stubble.