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.