Singing in the Rain

Yesterday morning I awoke to a steady downpour drumming on the roof.  A perfect day for a ride, I thought to myself, and try out the weatherproof properties of the new bike pants. This was heavier rain than I had ridden in for a long time.   So I donned my gear, fired up the machine and headed out.  Out of Stokes Valley, up through Silverstream and Pinehaven, along Whiteman’s and Mangaroa valleys, past Maymorn and then up into the regional park at the Plateau, where I could ride the metal roads almost up to the old railway tunnel.   
A pleasant hour’s ride there and back, though I was out longer, stopping to admire the surroundings, and go for short walks along the banks of the streams.  From my youth I have enjoyed a walk in the rain.  I used to love such weather for a wander along the west coast in Auckland; Muriwai, Piha, Anawhata, Karekare…  But I digress.
The freshly washed roads were empty in the country side and I saw no one out and about apart from a single horse float heading somewhere, a pair of lifestyle blockers loading a trailer with some sort of machinery of bucolic function, and a Rimutaka Attack Vehicle (RAV) with steamy windows and a load of kids.    I was in no hurry and tootled along well under the limit, which most of the way was 80K or less.   I stopped now and then to admire the swollen streams and soggy looking livestock.  I saw the first new-born calf of the season, staggering around unsteadily on ungainly legs. At the Plateau I went for a walk in the downpour to stretch my legs.  I sheltered for a moment in the railway tunnel, but there was little point really.  By the time I had ridden halfway up the Mangaroa valley I was aware that my chest was wet.  By the time I arrived at the tunnel I was completely soaked in the upper half of my torso, and water was seeping down into the nether regions.  What could not penetrate the superb defenses of my pants, infiltrated by devious routes.   The two prior efforts I had made at sealing the jacket had not lasted long at all. Definitely time to start saving for a proper one.  The wettest weather of the year is still ahead, after all. 
I came back the shorter route, straight down State Highway 2 through Upper Hutt, onto the so – called motorway and off at the Silverstream exit.  As I rode I sang.  The acoustics of a motorcycle helmet are somewhat similar to a bathroom, in that one’s singing sounds a good deal better to oneself than it probably does to outsiders.  Also I thought that the helmet has another characteristic of bathrooms, namely that of being a private place to sing. 
I became aware at the traffic lights that people in nearby cars were looking my way and smiling.  I realised that perhaps I was not in a private little studio of my own at all.  
Well, it is no mean feat to bring a smile to peoples’ faces on a rainy day.    
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About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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