Après Nous, Le Deluge!
No, that’s not a misquote from some French royalty. It’s the motto of 617 Squadron, whose story was told by Paul Brickhill in The Dam Busters - one of my Thrilling Yarns that I read over the summer.
It was Daughter’s first swimming lesson after the summer break. And although the weather forecast was for ‘rain’, I’ve really got the environmental bit between my teeth at the moment. I’ve also been reading a couple of smart European blogs with increasing fervour, and noticed that they both said that rain was nothing to worry about . . . like in this post from Amsterdamize . . . and this one from Copenhagen Cycle Chic.
So I thought, “No. We. Will. Do. The. Right. Thing. And. Cycle. To. The. Pool”.
I picked Daughter up from school, and it was windy and wet. Never mind - we were on a mission, and now that we’ve got a tandem, the 9 mile round trip was well within her capabilities. That rain though . . . and it was pretty chilly too. As I’m a Caring Father, I opted for the warm route for her, and bundled her into a fleece and waterproof mac, worn with her skiing trousers and mittens. I opted for waterproof shorts (no- just don’t even ask what the point is), a rain coat, gloves and a hat to keep the water out of my eyes. Oh, and my nice Sealskinz socks to keep my feet dry and toasty.
I’ll spare you the details of the journey . . . but let’s just say we got wet. Her less so than me - I think I provided a little shelter for her. Highlights included a puddle forming in my lap, which then drained through the zip on my shorts. Nice!
And then about two miles from home, it REALLY STARTED TO RAIN, and the water running down my legs (no doubt with the drainage from inside my shorts now contributing to the flow) started getting into the top of my socks. Which then filled up, so on every pedal stroke I got a pleasing sloosh around the arch of my feet. Lovely. Just lovely.
After hot baths to revive us both, Daughter confided that yes, it’s fun to ride the tandem; but perhaps it might be more fun not in the rain. And I thought she was keen.
Oh, and in case you were wondering . . . the translation of the motto is, “After us, the flood”. And they got that right today. Except it should be, “during the flood, us”. Or something like that.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 09/05/2008
- Time: 22:10:20
- Total Time: 1:30:00.00
- Distance: 13 miles
- Average Speed: 8.67 mph