The fact is, I already know what it's like to cycle in weather like this (and worse), because this is exactly the kind of driving rain I encountered on my second ride with Lucille, the first time we attempted Fiend's Hill. As I recall, we walked part way up (Lucille hiding her embarrassment); but the rain was the least of it. I decided to go.
Never did get around to picking up that rain shell, so I did what any New Yorker would do: I improvised (courtesy of Shop Rite). Note: donning helmet before raincoat will ruin neckline. Also render raincoat ineffective (it says so on the box):
You know, we New Yorkers tend to look down on Los Angelinos for their fear of rain on the roads. The fact is, their fear is well grounded because it rains so seldom that when it does, the roads are slick with oil. But what is our excuse in New York?
By the time I left, rain was light, but Eighth Avenue was completely deserted - it felt like a Twlight Zone episode. I crossed with the light, riding freely down the wrong way in the bike lane, encountering no resistance. Passed the dog run. The dog walkers were out - I heard their clients barking - but other than that it was quiet.
That said, traffic on the West Side Highway was in full road rage as ever, the air close and dense with frustration and the smell of benzene. In the park, it seemed only the paid professionals were out: tree trimmers, pavers, one bike messenger. Lucille and I made it up at top speed, only the occasional puddle presenting an obstacle (slow down, coast with feet up!). As I approached the tunnel by the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, my antennae were tingling for signs of "Wayne Lurks" (tunnels are the perfect place for people like this, especially on a deserted, rainy day), but the only person I ran into was this guy:
And now for a confession you will have guessed by now: I was on my way to see my therapist. Hey, I'm a New Yorker. Having a therapist in New York is a sort of badge of citizenship, but it also begs the question: did we come to NY because we needed therapy in the first place, or did being in New York drive us to it? And then there's the issue of cycling; because once Lucille and I have ridden to the Upper West, therapy seems rather unnecessary.
Lucille of course doesn't need therapy. She's perfect. Look at that face: