Just yesterday, after looking at the weather report, I remarked to my wife how much I prefered riding in snow and seventeen below zero temps to riding in the rain. We need the rain, but it takes something that is so amazingly simple and perfect - a bike ride - and makes it a bit hard to love.
In the snow and cold it is possible to dress such that by the time the ride is fairly begun, you are warm and cozy and, provided you vent properly, can remain warm and cozy for the entire ride.
In the summer sun you can remove layers until the sun is on your skin and the wind chills your sweat.
In the rain it seems like you just can't win. No matter what you'll end up soaked. Either you opt for the insulating wool to stay warm even when wet or you choose to go for the rain gear and stay dry from the outside, but if you put in too much effort get wet from the inside as your perspiration condenses on the inside of the gear. I've tried a lot of rain gear and, maybe it is just me, but haven't found a one that can wick and vent fast enough to keep me from steaming in my own juices. (Ewww)
But maybe difficulty is what makes the ride so much sweeter. Maybe it is adversity that makes it so that when I'm heading south along the coastal trail and I look out over the inlet and I see the scrim of clouds form a ceiling well above the tops of the mountains and the sunlight reflecting off of the snow on Iliamna and Redoubt it touches something in my soul. It's a scene I've seen hundreds of times before, but in the rain and the cool air it was special in a way that it normally isn't.
And that is one of the big reasons that I commute by bike. Each day I get the chance to see the world in a new way, a way affected by weather, by time, by my mood. I get to experience the city in my own unique way. The scents and the sounds and the sights.
It is amazing.