Todd doesn’t understand what 40% chance of rain means

Actually, I’ve had issues for some time over weather reports that show the rain graphic for a given day, and you’d think that if they actually show the graphic that means it will rain, but then show 30 or 40% chance of rain. But the reality is, whenever it shows the graphic, it generally does rain, regardless of what the percent shown is.

Realistically, if it says 40% chance of rain, doesn’t that mean it’s not likely to? As in, 60% odds it won’t? So this morning Todd shows up at the start of the ride, and grumbles about how it’s raining but there was only supposed to be a 40% chance of that happening. And that’s when the light bulb lit.

40% chance of rain means that 40% of the rain drops will hit you and 60% elsewhere. Doesn’t that explain everything?

I’ll admit it was disappointing to get up, look out at completely-dry streets, but then facing the reality of a weather map showing green & yellow blobs coming my way. We’d prepared both sets of bikes (“nice” bikes and our “rain” bikes) last night, just to make sure there’d be no temptation to take the “nice” bikes if things looked iffy. And of course, things looked pretty nice, aside from that stupid weather map.

“Pretty nice” ending 15 feet from the house, as light rain started coming down from rapidly-darkening skies. We chose the right bikes. Kevin (pilot Kevin), Eric & Todd awaited us, with only Todd unprepared, and why not? He’d ridden the early-morning ride first (the one that starts in Palo Alto at 6:10am or something ridiculous like that) while the skies were still mostly-clear. By the time we hit Kings, he (wisely) decided to turn tail and head home, as the light rain became much heavier. Eric and Kevin (the pilot) rode on ahead while Kevin (my son) struggled to get a light jacket on over his winter gloves, a process that seemed to take forever! Eventually he gets going again, by which time Eric and Kevin were way out of sight.

So Kevin and I started out with quite a handicap, hoping we were gradually reeling them in, finally seeing a flashing tail light in the distance just as we approached the park entrance. I understand Kevin (the pilot) and Eric had a really nice ride the rest of the way, finding the rain to have stopped once they were up on Skyline. Kevin (the pilot) spoke to me later and told me he “won” the sprints and climbs, while Eric sent me an email saying that was, at best, in his dreams. Would have been nice to have been there with them, but Kevin had a seizure at that moment we finally saw them, and banged up his knee pretty good, such that continuing up the hill didn’t seem like a great idea. Darn.

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