By Kyla Windley
Last week’s rain was scary. I had to bike to and from Design Sketching (ME 110) under the influence of the “Pineapple Express” atmospheric river — thank you Stanford Newcomer Guide (SNG) for telling me that fun fact! And yes, before you ask, scientists came up with that name … they must be really bored.
Throughout the week, I realized that I was doing so many things wrong in regards to traveling to class in the rain, and I want you all to learn from my mistakes. Here are five repeated mistakes that I made last week while it rained and what you can do to make sure that you don’t make the same ones.
If you decide to bike in the rain …
- Check the forecast, then get a plastic bag and cover your seat. I continued to wear sweaters so that I could use my sleeves to sop up the moisture on my seat — not the move. While my seat was very well dried, my arms were absolutely disgusting. It was especially bad when I accidentally missed my sweater and wiped the seat with my Uniqlo (which does not do well with water!).
- Wear a long rain jacket that covers your thighs. For some reason, I decided that wearing jeans was the move on a rainy day, even though we all know that jeans do not do well with moisture of any kind. By the time I biked from my class west of Tresidder to my dorm in Wilbur, my pants were literally soaked.
- Get a back fender for your bike so that rain/mud/other moisture on the ground cannot grace the back of your pants. Avoid the freshman stripe! It’s kind of tragic to have a stripe of wetness on your back. And when you combine the freshman stripe with the so-called “swamp ass” from not wiping off your wet bike seat before biking, it’s pretty gross.
- Leave for class three to five minutes earlier than usual so that you’re not rushing. Of course, I did not think to leave class any earlier than usual because of the rain, so I ended up constantly worrying that I would crash while biking to my class. Fortunately, I did not experience this, but I saw a lot of people wipe out and/or crash into someone else.
Don’t bike! It is actually far safer to walk in the wain rather than bike, especially at night when visibility is even more limited. I don’t know about how you feel, but the light reflecting onto the puddles is pretty trippy at night — I have a hard time concentrating on where I’m going. Also, when biking, your thighs are more or less perpendicular to the rain falling from above, so they are making contact with the rain the entire duration of your bike ride. If you want to stay dry and safe on a rainy day, I highly recommend walking over biking.
Contact Kyla Windley at kwindley ‘at’ stanford.edu.