It’s been some time since I ride didn’t just live up to its billing, but surpassed it. We’ve been watching the weather for some time, and had resigned ourselves to nothing better than a wet & messy ride this morning, as the “big storm” continued to wimp out. There’s been a consistent pattern; a day or two out, it looks like we’ll be riding in epic weather, but as you get down to the wire, starting about 8 hours out, the hourly forecast becomes less and less severe.
And so it was this morning, as Kevin and I were getting ready to leave for a 9:15 redezvous with Kevin (pilot), that the hourly forecast showed… well, no rain at all between 10 & 1pm. That’s the worst. Messy wet road that trash your bike and sap your spirit. But today, that didn’t happen.
We had light rain/heavy drizzle at the start, and pretty cool temps as we climbs up Old LaHonda. 46 at the bottom, 41 at the top. Not too far from the top we met up with Lo, a regular commuter from Seattle, who seemed to enjoy being out there on a rainy day as much as we do. Turns out she was planning the same route, just random chance her first Bay Area ride in the hills would coincide with ours. We introduced her to the scenic spots on West Old LaHonda, telling her what she would be seeing if not for the clouds, rain & fog. Kevin (pilot) peeled off at 84, heading back home because it was apparently colder & rainier than he expected. And make no mistake, at this point it was definitely raining. Real stuff, as opposed to that “humidifier on overdrive” stuff we’ve gotten used to. Found out later that it might be our last West Old LaHonda opportunity for a while, as the county sent me a text message saying it was now closed due to a “wash out/sinkhole” and “The repair time is unknown at this time.”
We got to show Lo the Duck Pond detour and then head up West Alpine. It was pretty clear that she’d just been riding easy up Old LaHonda when we caught up to her; the pace increased significantly on West Alpine. Easy for Kevin but I was pretty maxxed out, although I might have been able to do a bit better if I wasn’t trying to be tell Lo about the roads we ride. And also find out that she’s done some racing, a gravel ride across Wisconsin that sounded pretty intense, and later, looking at her Strava profile, seeing that she’s got a ton of QOMs. Serious rider and seriously nice person. Very much enjoyed riding with her. There just aren’t that many crazy people who really enjoy riding in weather like this.
Parts of Skyline were pretty crazy, with some really strong sidewinds while the rain was coming down. Thankfully nobody got blown over, and glad I’ve got all-weather tires that offer more traction in wet conditions. And disc brakes, too, which she didn’t have on her bike. What else didn’t she have? Leg warmers. Could not believe she’d be comfortable like that, but she is from Seattle after all.
She peeled off in Woodside and headed to her hotel in Menlo Park, and I’m sure spent some serious time in a hot shower warming up cold legs. Kevin and I arrived home soaked, tired & happy. Couldn’t ask for more than that.