Ah, “springtime” in London

The forecast said no rain and a temp in the mid teens, so I decided to finally shed my winter coat (it’s been a long, cold winter with record snowfall) and wear my vintage leather jacket for the first time. Not too bad on my way catching buses to the clinic, but when I came out just after two o’clock the wind was picking up and it sure didn’t feel like the temp had made it into the teens as forecast. I arrived a couple of minutes early to the bus stop. There’s no shelter there and it’s pretty open, so the wind has a chance to really pick-up, which it did. As it got worse and worse I realized the bus was very late; in fact, I waited over forty minutes before a bus came along. I discovered after contacting London Transit that the bus I should have caught had broken down. By the time I caught the bus I couldn’t feel my ears or toes. It was a good thing I had just got over a cold or I would have come down with pneumonia, I’m sure.

Two days later as I came out of the clinic, I noticed the sky growing very black. There was a light drizzle and a little wind, but nothing too bad. I hoped the bus would be on time before it got too bad. Suddenly the rain  became torrential and, even though I had my umbrella up, the rain was coming sideways and in seconds I was soaked right through. Then a gale force wind came up, pushing me down the sidewalk and, as I heard the huge garbage container at the Tim Hortons go crashing over, my umbrella suddenly turned inside out and broke several splines, rendering it useless. By the time the bus finally came, late as usual, I was soaked right through to my skin. Even things in my backpack were wet. I looked like a drowned rat. When I finally got home and peeled every article of soaking wet clothing off, my skin looked like I had been in a bath too long, it was that wet.

Getting anywhere was becoming quite the adventure with the weather and now I didn’t have an umbrella until my cheque came in for next month. The sweet girl I had sold my bike to last fall to get money to eat was heading back to Italy for a couple of months and we had been talking about her lending me the bike while she was gone. We had made arrangements to meet at Starbucks at Oxford and Wharncliffe last Thursday morning. Although that is a very long way from where I live I figured I would ride as far as I could, then put the bike in the bike rack on the buses the rest of the way. When I got up the forecast was brutal. It was raining and the temperature was falling and it was going to get much windier. I asked her if we could postpone meeting, but she was leaving later in the day to Toronto, so we went ahead with the planned meet. I wasn’t too concerned because I would just need to take the bus the whole way and not ride. Good plan, except that not a SINGLE bus in all of London had a bike rack on it! I rode as far as downtown hoping to catch one of several coming my way, but no luck. I ended up riding the entire way home in the wind, cold and rain. Not pleasant. I learned when I phoned LTC that only FOUR routes in the entire city actually have bike racks. This they don’t tell you on their website. They promote the racks as though they are on every single bus in town. Not so!

Ah, springtime in London. I need to get outta here!!!

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