Sunday, December 6, 2009

umbrellas in the rain

So this post on Bakfiets en Meer touches on the fact that the dutch are likely to bike in the rain. Which is fine and good. I've ridden in the rain, and it can be enjoyable under the right conditions.

What the post doesn't explicitly say, but does depict in the accompanying image, is that a lot of cyclists choose to bike in the rain while holding an umbrella.

Not like this crazy banana-helmet dude.

But more like, you know, one hand on the handlebar and one hand on the umbrella.

Which sounds crazy dangerous, right?

Although you can apparently ride with 1.6 hands on the handles like the Japanese:
In Japan, when it rains it is common to see cyclists holding umbrellas. I watched closely, and it seemed like they hold the handle between their thumb and first finger, while keeping the other three on the brake lever.

Of course, sidewalk riding is also common there, so perhaps Japanese practice is not the safest in the world.

All the same, I don't think I could I could do it. I imagine it would be far too distracting and akin to biking while talking on your cell-phone. And cell-phoning while driving is something I wasn't on board with even before reading Traffic.


Mike said...

If it's raining when I'm on my bike, I'm more worried about water being thrown up by my tires than falling on me. It can rain every day for a week and water on the ground still manages to be disgusting.

Cap'n Unclefather said...

I worried about that for a time, Mike, and showed up to work a couple times with the iconic Skunk Stripe. A couple of clip-on fenders nipped that right in the bud!

I'm more worried, in the rain, by puddles. Deceptive things. No way to tell what's under the water, or how deep they are.