A hazy shade of winter...and spring...and autumn

It does not rain all the time in Seattle. That's a myth. In fact, most people who say that to me live in cities where it rains more. Flipping through the 2004 New York Times Almanac (which the NYTimes shipped to me free for some reason; thanks to the grey lady), I found the following average annual rainfall in inches for some major U.S. cities:
59.74" New Orleans
57.55" Miami
48.61" Atlanta
44.77" Houston
44.12" New York City
43.81" Boston
41.42" Philadelphia
39.00" Washington, D.C.
38.85" Seattle
What is true about Seattle is that it is cloudy. Not all the time, but pretty damn close. 226 days out of the year, to be exact. The weather here does not pound you into submission with cruel winter cold or withering summer heat so much as it saps you of skin tint and cheer through its abiding, unchanging grey.
Somewhere around this time of year, it starts to get to me. Saturday, in the late morning, the sun poked through, and seeing clear skies for a good stretch in all directions, I jumped on my bike and headed around the top half of Lake Washington. The sunshine was deceptive; on the trail, riding into a stiff and chilly breeze, I struggled to stay warm. Just as I reached the farthest point from my house and turned around, the rain began to fall. Lightly at first, but steady, and soon I was drenched and frozen. I cussed my way home like a sailor.
It's not so much the rain itself that I dislike. It's the way the rainwater chills my bones, decreases my braking power, and leaps off of my rear tire like a miniature fountain, soaking my back in water and mud. Cleaning one's bike and chains after a ride in the rain is a messy hassle.
About twenty minutes after I returned home, the sun re-appeared for a few hours. Baseball teams hold hold spring training in Florida and Arizona for a reason. Spring cycling in Seattle sucks.