Walking Everywhere, and Anywhere!

Every now and then I will update this blog with thoughts about walking, and being a pedestrian in Southern California. As of 2014, this blog will also be featuring posts about my bicycle adventures around Southern California.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pedestrians And Bicyclists Will Get Wet When It Rains

This is an issue that people who drive everywhere will not understand. If you are a pedestrian or a bicyclist you are more likely to get wet when it rains than someone driving a car.


Even if you ride the bus rather than walk or bike in the rain, your chances of getting wet will be higher than those who drive. Waiting for a bus in the rain can be worse than just walking or biking, but that is just my opinion. I know people who will wait an hour for a bus in the rain, and they have to compete with everyone else who is waiting under the weather structure for the bus. I would rather move and stay a bit warmer during a rain, but it is just not that cold in Southern California, and people act like we will freeze during a rainstorm or something.

 In the UK people walk and bike in the rain all the time, but people act like it is unthinkable here in Southern California. On Tuesday I rode my bike home, and took a picture of the water flowing through this storm drain. It has been so dry here in Southern California that I was excited to document of our first big rain in a long time. As someone who does not drive I like riding my bike, and it is inevitable I will get a little wet doing so.

I had to stop and pick up a few groceries on the way home, and some woman giggled when she spotted my soaking clothes clinging to me as I entered the store. What I have discovered when it rains is other people are more upset and/or disconcerted about me getting wet in the rain than I am. I grew up in the mountains and walked three miles in a snowstorm, so a little bit of rain on a day when it is sixty-five degrees outside does not seem like a big deal to me.

Well meaning people who drive tell me I should wear a rain coat or wellies when I walk or bike in the rain, but this is not always practical. Yes, I should look into getting a rain coat, but how often will I really use that thing here in Southern California? Most days are sunny, and buying another item of apparel I will rarely use feels a bit cumbersome. Also, have you tried walking or riding a bike in rain boots? That is just not manageable at all, so I opt to dress in layers and hope for the best during my bike rainy rides. I will get a little wet, but oh well. I think other people who run from their cars to buildings are more upset about it than I am. Also, this might sound unthinkable, but I actually had fun riding my bike home in the rain. It felt exhilarating to feel the rain drops landing on my face for the first time in a long time.

It might not rain that often here in Southern California, but the song is correct about how it pours. Our storm drains fill up at record breaking speeds when we do get rain, and flash floods in the local mountains and canyons are quite common.


  1. I am glad you finally got some rain. I agree that it is harder to wait for the bus in the rain than just keep moving. In Taiwan, where I walked and took the bus, I got wet frequently. People chided me for not using an umbrella, but it was very windy, and my umbrellas got broken often. So I did not mind getting a little wet.

    One thing you can do, if it rains infrequently where you are, is keep a folded up light weight rain poncho in your purse or bag or locker. Folded up in its original packaging, it hardly takes up any space. When you wear it, it does not impede your movement and is lighter than a garbage liner. When you are done with it, you can throw it away, because it never folds back as small as it was in the packaging.

    What I hate the most is getting my shoes soaked. They are never the same after that, even when they dry out. I don't have a solution to that except wear shoes made of cloth, that you can later wash in bleach.

    1. Those are good points, Aya. I suppose one thing about the fear of the rain I do not share with some women is it might mess up their hair or makeup. I really do not bother with doing elaborate hairdos, or applying make-up that will wash off in the rain, so I cannot relate. It was fun getting wet in the rain that day, and I feel like some people would not get that when I share that. I never tell people things in general because the responses are always chagrining or lecturing about the way I do things. Well I guess if you decide to do things differently, you have to expect that.


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