Very disappointed; not much rain for test of new bike!


Somehow I doubt too many will relate to this. The idea that I’m frequently disappointed because a “big storm” is forecast for my morning ride, but all it ends up being is a light drizzle. This morning was especially disappointing because I was putting my new “rain bike” to its first real test. I normally don’t even ride on Friday mornings, but thought this was going to be an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Sure, it was wet out there, sure, the roads were probably pretty slippery for those with the wrong tires. But if it’s going to be wet out there, it really doesn’t make much difference whether it’s pouring cats & dogs or just a light drizzle. Your clothes get wet, your bike gets wet & possibly muddy. Same thing either way. But if you go out in an epic storm, you get street cred. People are impressed (by a combination of tenacity and stupidity that they’re frankly thankful they don’t share). Plus, if it’s really dumping, your bike usually comes back pretty clean. Light drizzle and everything’s a mess.

It was just a short ride anyway; quick run up Old LaHonda and back into Woodside via 84. The new bike passed every test with flying colors (well, almost… the fit still needs to be dialed in a bit, mostly the bar height, which needs to come down). The now-severely-aged Dura Ace 10-speed Di2 (first generation) that I rescued from my old bike, with 32,000+ miles on it… still works great. And I can’t say enough about disc brakes in the rain! They were everything I’d hoped for, and more. No lag time, waiting for the muck to clear off your rims before your brakes decide to try and slow you down. Extremely predictable force (easy to get used to). Consider me impressed!

new_rainbikeNow, would I consider disc brakes for a bike normally not ridden in the rain? No. I have all the stopping power I need from my rim brakes, and that dry stopping power of a rim vs disc brake isn’t much different, if at all. Plus the extra weight of a disc brake, and finally, the annoyance of a bit of pad drag on the rotor (noise, which tries to convince you that you’re wasting a lot of effort, which you aren’t).

Two big thumbs up for disc brakes in the wet, two thumbs down for the reliability of the weather service for predicting “big” storms. Of course, as I type this, at 5pm, it’s pretty nasty outside. Wish I was out there riding in it! Go figure.


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Should have ridden rain bike (but didn’t want to!)

I knew it was going to be iffy going to bed; the rain should have stopped in the middle of the night (which it did) but the wind was supposed to be so light (which it was) that the roads likely wouldn’t dry off (which they didn’t). I knew all this, and still rode my nice bike (Trek Emonda).

Eric, Kevin (pilot, not my son, who had a guidance counselor appointment this morning), JR, Jeff, and Jeff’s too-fast friend Roger came out to play. Pretty easy pace through the park and up Kings, but not quite so easy that most moved up the road ahead of me a bit. At one point on Skyline a bit of a gap opened up with Kevin, Jeff & Roger up ahead and JR, Eric and I falling behind. For some reason I felt a need to bridge that gap, which I did, and I’ve been feeling that effort since. Still, good to know it can be done if I put my mind to it.

The roads were, as mentioned, wet. Wet in that way that inspires a lot less confidence in your ability to stay upright than when it’s pouring. Thankfully everyone stayed upright. This group is used to riding wet roads.

Tomorrow morning Kevin (my son, not the pilot) and I head out into the scheduled rain with me putting my brand new rain/cross bike to the test for the first time. I’d finished building it tonight with its first ride being the commute home , and it passed the test with flying colors (whatever that means). Looking forward to disc brakes in the wet!

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