Never as bad as you think

When I got up this morning, the weather outside didn’t look the best. It was raining and windy – not the best conditions to encourage anyone out on their bike.

It was so bad that my fiancée offered me the use of her car. And I was seriously tempted to take her up on the offer. But having made the commitment to do the 30 Days of Biking during April, I thought I should at least make the effort to use the bike instead. And besides, I have some decent waterproofs, so I would be okay.

Anyway, as luck would have it, the rain has almost stopped by the time I got out, and on both my rides today I encountered nothing more than a bit of light spitting. You see, even if the weather looks really horrible, and the forecast says it’s going to be a bad day, it’s often never as bad as you think, once you get out.

Indeed, according to the Dublin City Council study in 2005 entitled Weather and Cycling in Dublin : Perceptions and Reality (PDF) found in a survey of 300 car commuters that bad weather was one of the top 3 reasons why they wouldn’t consider switching to the bike. But the same paper looks as some real Met Eireann data, and found that cycle commuters only have a 5% (or 1 in 20) chance of getting wet on their way to and from work – and that applies year-round.

So, it seems that there’s a real mismatch between the perception and reality, and for the vast majority of the time – like for me today – you won’t get wet at all!

Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog

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