Monthly Archives: March 2011

Do not fear the yellow blob. Embrace it!

By sheer will I am going to make it stop raining. Last night, I told myself this is it. This morning’s ride was going to be the last rainfall on one of my ride days until early November. That big yellow blob, supposedly representing high winds & heavy rain in the forecast? Bring it on. One last time. After the ride, I told myself, my rain bike goes back downstairs, into the garage, where it will sit, lonely, for the next six months.

Well, that was the plan, and yes, I did ride this morning, but in the absence of photographic proof (cameras don’t do well in the rain) and nobody else showing up, how can you really be sure that I didn’t decide to stay home? I actually thought that one through ahead of time, and turns out, there’s an app for that! LocUpdater works on iPhones running IOS4 (the latest version of its operating system) and can be set to send emails to addresses of your choosing, at either 5, 15, 30 or 60 minute intervals. Here’s the string of emails from this-morning’s ride (emails at 8:35 & 8:50 are missing; those two were up on Skyline and possibly not in range of a cell tower at the time the message tried ot transmit).

Do not fear the yellow blob. Embrace it! If you dress appropriately and have a suitable bike, rain & wind don't have to keep you off the bike! I am still trying to find adequate waterproof gloves though.

Speed 7.93 Mi/h
Altitude 839.12 ft
3/24/11 8:04 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.4364,-122.292
Speed 7.90 Mi/h
Altitude 1469.29 ft
3/24/11 8:19 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.427,-122.299

Speed 15.86 Mi/h
Altitude 405.53 ft
3/24/11 9:04 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.4307,-122.276 
Speed 34.69 Mi/h
Altitude 569.94 ft
3/24/11 9:19 AM
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.4597,-122.263 

Looks to me like my "last ride in the rain" might have done the trick! Starting Sunday, no more rain in the forecast. You can thank me by sending a donation to my favorite charity, the Becky & Kevin College Fund... :-)

That’s my proof that I was out there. That and my lone witness, the woman we see out there jogging, as consistent about being there and schedule as we are (the woman sometimes referred to as “articulated lady” because of the interesting way her body moves, as if she’s put together with hinges).

So is my bike in the garage now? Not yet. It has to do some serious draining first. It would be interesting to weigh my bike and clothing before the ride, and after. But I feel like I did my part to stop the rain. My next ride is Sunday, then Tuesday, then Thursday. So, did it work? Check this morning’s forecast.

Of course, if the rain does stop, I’ll have to wait another year to come up with a “waterproof” glove that actually works. The Gore gloves I used this morning? Near total failure. Cuffs way too short to fit under rain jacket, so water came down into the fingers and stayed there. Thank goodness I brought along an extra pair of gloves to change into up on Skyline!

Nothing stops the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride!

First things first. When it’s wet out, your ride your rain bike. Your rain bike has fenders. Fenders keep the water from splashing up into the face of anyone riding behind you.

This morning, it was wet. Not raining, at least not when we were riding, but very, very wet in many places. Wet enough that my rain bike was the only real option, since it’s got tires designed for traction when wet, and… fenders. Eric also showed up on a bike with fenders. I won’t name names, but we also had George, Karen, John & Kevin with us thus morning. That’s six total, only two with fenders, one of whom was Eric, the other, me. The obvious solution is to be strong enough to ride from the front, and, literally, make those behind you eat dirt. Obvious but impractical for me; George was the strongman this morning, riding strongly at the front, the rest of us streaming behind, holding onto his wheel.

Rockslide on west-side Old LaHonda this morning

There was a lot of water in the creeks, and a lot of water on the roads. That what March has been all about… water! Lots of downed trees that had been chain-sawed into pieces, and lots of small branches still on the road. But it’s one road in particular that concerns me most- west-side Old LaHonda. On Sunday’s ride, my son and I had noticed, from up on Skyline, that it looked like there had been a large rockslide might have made the road impassable, but today, there were no signs warning that might be the case, and maybe it had been cleared away by now?

The photo says otherwise! Fortunately, plenty of room to get through by bike, and it didn’t seem like it would have been too tough for someone to clear most of the rocks out of the way by hand to get a car through… but in three days, nobody had. We’ll be paying another visit Thursday morning (apparently in some of the worst weather we’ve seen in some time) and see if it’s still there.