Monthly Archives: October 2012

It wasn’t supposed to rain

There was no rain in the weather forecast when I went to bed last night. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. So what do I wake up to? Rain. OK, heavy drizzle, but certainly nothing that’s going to dry up in the next 35 minutes and let me ride my “nice” bike. Plus the “leisurely” 35 minutes I allow between the alarm going off and getting out the door suddenly becomes not-so-leisurely as you have to get all your wet-weather gear on. Motivation for doing things more-quickly seems dulled by the realization you’re going to have a tougher time out there because you’re riding a bike with slower tires, fenders, and an accumulation of crud from the past few rain rides.

But the icing on the cake? The rain bike (my Trek 5900) has a flat tire. Discovered at 7:28am. Need to be out the door by 7:32am to get to the start in time. Still got a few other things to do… this isn’t going to work out. So I grab the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket instead and head out the garage, with Kevin, at 7:38 I think. This was one of those “We’re not going to make it, are we?” moments. On our “nice” bikes it’s an 8 to 9 minute ride to the start. On dry roads. Figure 11 minutes on rain bikes in the muck. 10 if you push it. The ride leaves promptly at 7:45am. We arrive promptly… at 7:48. Nobody’s there (they shouldn’t be, they know the rules!) but was anybody there? We look for tire tracks, but it’s inconclusive. On Albion I’m pretty sure I see recent tracks though. No way to catch whomever might be ahead of us, so instead we ride up through the midpoint and backward on the route, from Sky Londa to Kings, hoping to catch them in the other direction. It worked; we came across John and Eric descending towards Sky Londa, just slightly behind schedule.

Because my Bike Friday doesn’t have fenders I rode in the back; in general, riding when it’s wet, without fenders, isn’t allowed on this ride. It’s just not nice to have water spraying up at everyone else, but of course I’m a professional rider on a closed course. Not! I’ll look into some fenders for my Bike Friday; hadn’t give it any thought up to now, but it’s actually a very capable rain bike. The small tires didn’t have an issue on the tar stripes, and the brakes worked better than expected.

In the end the ride was only 29 miles total, not 30.4, but that’s a lot better than not riding at all. And it gave us a chance to figure out what needs to be done to reintroduce ourselves to real winter riding, when it’s a lot colder than 44 degrees. Need to remember things like wearing a hat under the helmet (allows you to keep the rain out of your eyes by simply tilting your head down a bit) and which gloves work best when soaked (none of them).

44 degrees but still a great day to ride

The iPhone’s panorama function almost does justice to West-side Old LaHonda. Too bad you can’t take such pictures while riding. Maybe Todd could, doing a trackstand.

Did everybody get scared off by the rain? Just me, Kevin and Mark today. No rain, just damp pavement and gradually-clearing skies… nice enough to bring our regular bikes, although we did check the rain bikes last night to make sure they were good to go. Kevin and Mark rode on up ahead, doing a relatively-easy ride at 26-something for the climb. Me? About 2 minutes back, out of sight before even halfway up the hill.

Long-range weather forecast says no rain on my ride days, with Sunday showing a very-pleasant 73 degrees… and rain curiously scheduled for consecutive Wednesdays. I can deal with that. Bring it on, but only on Wednesdays. Once it becomes a sure thing I’ll even alter staffing at the shops for presumed fewer customers on wet Wednesdays. I like it. Leave the weekends nice & dry, and have that one not-nice day to make you appreciate the great days. Works for me!