A few memorable things from this morning’s ride. First, nobody out there but me. I mean nobody. Oh well sure, the two women walking their dog on Manuella, they were there. But no other bikes, not even a runner to be seen. Just me. Younger Kevin likely would have been out there, but he’s in Disneyland with his sister (Becky) right now.
It wasn’t that bad out there. Yes, raining a bit, but not too heavily. Not too cold either; coldest was 43 across Skyline. No biggie, you can easily dress for weather like this. The wind picked up a bit up top, but it was one of those things where you heard it more than felt it. Definitely not an epic ride, despite everyone else being scared away.
I did have the opportunity to clear a large rock from Kings Mtn though, as you can see in the photo. It was also amusing that someone driving down Kings rolled down her window to ask me if the road was open, apparently thinking I must be one of those crazy bike nuts that wouldn’t be stopped by a road closure. How did she know that?
Of course right now it’s raining heavily and yes, I wish I was out there. I just love being on a bike, what can I say?
Speed? There was no speed this morning. 41 minutes from bottom to top, probably a new record (of a dubious type) for me. That did include stopping to move the rock though; I might have been able to crack 40 minutes otherwise. Obviously I was in no hurry to get up the hill this morning.
Wednesday night I went to bed hoping that maybe the weather forecast was wrong; maybe there would be some wind overnight to dry off the roads. Or maybe the scheduled 3am rain shower wouldn’t come through. Maybe I’d get to ride my Trek Emonda instead of the rain bike (my disc & fender-equipped Trek Boone). Sure, the Boone is still nicer and lighter than anything I ever raced with back in the day, but it’s not an Emonda. I’ve become spoiled.
Well this morning was going to be another ride on the rain bike. The roads were wet around the house, which meant there woudld be plenty of areas up in the hills where they’d be soaked. No choice which bike to ride. This winter, my rain bike is getting a lot of use!
I wasn’t surprised by it being wet. I was surprised by the temperature! Not really cold leaving the house, but curiously, it got colder as I climbed over Jefferson towards Canada Road. Normally, it gets warmer as you go up. At the start of the ride it was down to 34 degrees. Despite the wet roads, both JR and (pilot) Kevin were out with me; younger Kevin hadn’t slept too well the previous night so he stayed home. Thankfully nobody was in a mood to ride fast so I managed to keep up, despite the temperature continuing to fall as we climbed. 34 degrees at the base, 33 in the middle and 32 at the top. Heading south on Skyline, we saw a low of 29.7 degrees near Skeggs Point.
It was actually quite beautiful up on Skyline, with the sun’s rays frequently accented by the mist, as seen in the photo above. I was dressed appropriately for the cold, and with my Raynauds now under control with meds, it was a bit amusing to notice others having issues with their hands being too cold! Nevertheless I did take the lead for a while descending 84 to West Old LaHonda, just to get a little bit warmer (it was a pretty constant 32 degrees for the entire West Old LaHonda loop).
I definitely had an advantage over JR & (pilot) Kevin descending, as both were on their regular road bikes. No disc brakes. The difference descending wet roads with disc brakes cannot be exaggerated. It’s amazing. You feel so much more in control, you have so much more control of traction, because the braking is predictable. You squeeze the lever, and the brakes work. Instantly. No 1-2 second delay while your pads dry out the rims before anything happens. They’ll not likely ever have a place on my nice-day bike though; they add about 2 pounds of weight, require that the frame be made a bit less compliant (comfortable), and don’t offer any real advantages in dry conditions.
By the end of the ride it had warmed up to a seemingly-toasty 38 degrees! Funny how nice that felt, while most sensible people wouldn’t go near their bikes when it’s that cold.