Two months after my magnificent universal bike rack discovery, it has still not stopped raining – except for the days on which it snowed. Oh Seattle, you are such a cliche.
The child, meanwhile, has not stopped pestering me about bike riding. We need to inflate the tires, I tell her.
I can do that, she says.
It’s raining, I tell her.
Sometimes, when it isn’t raining, she asks about biking, and I point out that either I’m busy or it’s dark or it’s about to rain, what with this being Seattle and all.
Finally, one Sunday, we are sitting in the living room, having accomplished exactly nothing all weekend (and feeling pretty good about that, too) – and the child informs me that we are going for a bike ride.
It’s raining, I say.
I’m not asking you, I’m telling you, she replies. I wonder where she heard that.
You want to go biking in the rain? I ask. This might not be a bad plan: I can do this once, and then we won’t have to have this conversation again.
Yes, she says.
Fine, I reply.
It takes us about an hour to inflate the tires, because I am too embarrassed to go look up step-by-step instructions on the internet and decide I am going to do this myself. The child stands by, holding the bike and offering helpful instructions. I mount the universal bike rack. I load my bike and she loads hers.
It starts to rain harder.
We arrive at Marymoor, set our bikes on the trail, and off we go. Which way? Any way!
With the exception of a few very dedicated and obviously serious cyclists, we have the trail to ourselves. We pace ourselves. We ride through puddles. We go really fast, just to see how fast we can go. We stop to check out some ducks. We go really slow to see what other sorts of birds we might see. We discover a tree whose trunk is wrapped in yarn. We ride with our mouths open to catch the raindrops.
We ride for a good hour and realize we are nowhere near our car, and thus we have to go back the way we came and hopefully not collapse on the trail along the way.
We talk about what sort of rain gear we should probably have the next time we do this.
We get back to the car and to the bike rack and decide to keep going to Starbucks, because being exhausted and soaked to the skin clearly calls for hot chocolate and a comfy chair. Everyone else has had the same idea, it seems – although they are oddly much drier than we are, probably from sitting in those comfy chairs for so long. They are clearly impressed by our determination, and unperturbed by the massive puddles we are creating where we stand, drinking our hot cocoa. Not impressed enough to offer us their seats, but then again, we’d end up sitting in puddles, so it’s just as well we stand.
We talk about what other trails we will find, next time we go biking – rain or shine.