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19/30 This is a test...

...it is only a test. If this were the actual end of the world, I would be worried about other things than getting a bag of sugar home without it dissolving in the rain.

It feels a bit world-endy, though. I committed to a car-free way of life on the grounds that Portland's famous bad weather is really just mild, damp and gray--not All-Summer-In-A-Day-levels of unbroken heavy rainfall for weeks on end.

Still, that's what we've got. Monsoons of rain. Typhoons of rain. Buffoons, spittoons, doubloons and poltroons of rain. Looney Toons of rain. It is, in a word, wet. In two words: very wet.

This climate-changed weather is a test of my commitment to bicycling as my primary mode of transportation. Today, a car would have made my errands easier. But carshare is too pricey and inconvenient for a grocery run, and Sunday bus service kind of sucks, so I donned a rain jacket and pedaled off will-she-nil-she (and I was nil-ing in my heart), and just plain got wet.

DarkEm in a blue rain slicker riding a bike on a rainy street    Grocery basket on the front of DarkEm's rain-soaked bike.
Wet streets, wet bike, wet raincoat, wet groceries

The streets are coated with twiggy, leafy, chestnutty debris--which takes from riding some of the fun that the rain has failed to squelch. The rain is as ceaseless as I've ever seen it here. My baskets are soaked. My shoes are soaked. My saddle is soaked. My hair is soaked. My phone very nearly got soaked taking silly panda shots.
Bike grocery basket and black Doc Martens drying on an electric radiator
Shoes and grocery basket A drying on the radiator

The sugar survived, courtesy of a plastic bag. Eleanor O is in the living room because I'm afraid the wind will blow her over if I leave her outside.
Eleanor O The Dutch Bike in the living room
Eleanor O taking shelter from the endless storm

Ah well. The stock pot is simmering, Hungarian mushroom soup is in the works, and hey, so far, the power's still on, so there's that.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 30th, 2013 06:44 am (UTC)
It certainly looks wet! Is getting a taxi not an option on days when you wished you had a car? It's a type of car-share, after all, and much cheaper than an actual car-share.

I was wondering what you do when it snows, but on checking I see that you rarely get snow. It does sound as though your autumn and winter are very rainy, although I think that it's more usually light rain than the heavy stuff you've been getting.

Hope it lets up soon!
Sep. 30th, 2013 07:03 am (UTC)
Using a taxi for my grocery errands would definitely cost me more than a Car2Go car. Of course, it would offer the advantage of someone else driving. I've gotten to where I really don't like to drive at all.

The actual rainfall here isn't even in the top ten of US cities, but we do have a lot of rainy days. It's just that the rain is intermittent. Lots of breaks. Though I may ride under cloudy skies and on wet pavement from October to May, I can go weeks without actually getting rained on. Or I could, until this year. Things are looking significantly soggier this year.
Sep. 30th, 2013 11:56 am (UTC)
Hold in there with Eleanor O! But yes, from half a year's worth of experience of mine two years ago: taking taxis is an excellent fall-back plan. Well-planned taxi trips (basically to work and back, with maybe one quick stop-off en route) + heavy-duty grocery-delivery from a company called Peapod (a local branch of Stop & Shop) got me a long way. It was much less expensive than owning a car and having to pay for repairs and gas, and I was surprised how many stores would make deliveries even though that was never cheap. Bad weather always breaks eventually, and in the meanwhile it can provide an excuse to do some cooking and tuck in with comforter and tea and get some reading done. This idea's no good, though, if you've got a thousand errands to run!--and maybe not, either, if bad weather is month long.
Sep. 30th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC)
What's so wonderful about living in a city is that there really are so many options available. I can get delivery from Safeway, there's Car2Go, ZipCar, several taxi companies, and pretty good bus service (especially after I retire, when my errands won't be limited to Sundays).

Besides, I'm hearing that it might stop raining once in a while over the coming weeks. So we'll see. I got to work today without getting a single drop on me.
Oct. 1st, 2013 10:52 am (UTC)
There are also, I've been thinking for the future, handy car-rental places where I could (budget for and) rent a car for once-a-month weekend getaways. Maybe going camping. (Not possible if I didn't want to drive at all; not possible if I were still paying for my own car's gas, repairs, and insurance.) This would get expensive if I were to drive a long way away, because of the cost of extra gas, but for quick weekends away-but-nearby it would make possible some good adventures.
Oct. 1st, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
I did finally try regular car rental a couple of months ago for a beach getaway. On a monthly basis it would quickly rival car ownership for cost, but twice or three times a year it's certainly within the budget. (Beach house rentals are another thing!)

As for the general concept of out-of-town adventures, it's true, particularly here in the west, that a private car is necessary. There is no public transportation to the coast, the Gorge, or the mountains. I think there's a train to the desert towns east of here. But still, I have friends and family members who still own cars and who still take jaunts out of town, and I can sometimes get in on one of those.

Surprisingly, though, I don't feel a huge need to leave the city. Not being able to jump in my car and head out on a whim seems to have translated into not really wanting to all that badly. And I get a lot of fresh air on my bike.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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