It’s not a real rain ride unless your bike comes back cleaner than it started. Today was a real rain ride.

It’s odd, I’ll admit, for someone to look forward to the next-morning’s ride in the rain. The night before, you make sure you’ve got everything laid out, that you know where your windfront tights are, your waterproof jacket, your booties, the all-important cap under your helmet. You watch the weather report, hoping that it’s not just damp, but actually raining, because damp just makes a mess of things, but real live rain, that washes everything away. Not just the muck on your bike, but even the muck in your brain.

More often than not, the forecast is a wild exaggeration; the “big storm” moves to the north and all we get are drizzles and messy roads. But not this morning. Hardly epic, but a steady light-to-moderate rain. Reliable rain. Rain enough that I got a text from the Pilot Kevin, saying it was too wet so we’d be riding without him.

OK, that’s one down. Will anybody else be out there aside from myself and my son? Nope. Just us, plus a whole lot of cars diverted off of Woodside Road onto Olive Hill, apparently from some sort of road issue. Nor did we see any cyclists on Canada Road, returning from the earlier Palo Alto “morning” ride. In fact, the whole time we were out there, we saw… nobody. Not a single cyclist. And really, it wasn’t that bad.

Climbing Kings we were just a bit on the warm side, 45 degrees with a bit of that sauna thing going on under the rainproof jackets. Skyline got down to 43, still not too bad, although we were dressed just a bit on the light side so the descents were just a little bit cold. Not too bad, we just need to fine-tune what we wear just a bit.

We bailed on the West Old LaHonda loop, figuring that 24 miles in the elements would be a good start to the rainy season, and looked forward to a warm shower. It really was pretty darned nice out there.

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