Maybe it's the long hours alone on the bike that provide the inspiration, or maybe it's all that dreary rain. Whatever the cause, participants in the UW's Ride in the Rain program have shown that they are poets, too.
And, no less, poets with a flair for the brevity and punch of haiku, the Japanese verse generally based on the pattern of five syllables for the first line, then seven for the second, and five again for the third.
Like this: Morning downpour ride / Fix first flat of the new year / Smooth roads now -- onward.
Or this calmly philosophical verse: It is a circle / Pleasure, pain, gain and again / Ride hard, ride often.
Or this glimpse of roadway misadventure: Morning sky is blue / Black is ice upon the street / bicycle slides, body hurts.
But wait — what's the connection, again, between winter bike commuting and haiku?
Elena Fox, public information officer for the Transportation Office, home of U-PASS, which sponsored Ride in the Rain, explained that the whole thing came from a wish to engage with Ride in the Rain program participants in a fun way.