It's good to get back to a place where cyclists aren't afraid of a little rain. I was in Portland a few nights ago and there were riders everywhere. It was raining softly, the sort of non-stop precip I remember from my lost youth. Every bike has got fenders.
A kid named Gilligan came down from Portland about 1988 to race and work (for me) at Marina Cyclery. I got him doing the (Bike) Nook Ride every morning from the flagpole at the Golden Gate Bridge. One rainy morning he came into the shop on his bike and said, "Nobody showed up."
I said, "That's 'cause Californians don't ride in the rain."
Gilligan laughed like it was a joke and went home to get ready for work. The next morning the same thing happened.
"I told you, Californians don't ride in the rain," I said.
"So what happens if there's a race and it's raining?"
"No problem," says I. "You win!"
A few weeks later was the first race, the Cherry Pie Criterium. It was pouring rain. Gilligan blasted off from the start and after the first corner he looked back and saw that everyone was riding their brakes. So he took off and lapped the field.
Once I was riding on the bike trail in Marin, right by the seaplane base, and it was absolutely pouring. Rain running down my chin, my shoes squishing water out with every pedal stroke. Suddenly a fast young guy is alongside me. He looks sideways at me and says "Portland? Or Seattle?"