Remarkably calm, beautiful, wet & cold

Warming up to a toasty 30 degrees as we head south on Skyline!

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.

The required view from West Old LaHonda. No sign of the big storm coming in this weekend.

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.

Print Friendly

A few hours ahead of the real storm

36 degrees and light rain, a bit of wind, but hardly epic.
It was another one of those nights where you go to bed knowing it’s going to be wet in the morning, but that’s pretty much it… just wet. Nothing nasty, nothing wild, nothing epic. It’s going to make a mess of your bike, and at least you’re going to be really thankful you have a “rain” bike for days like this ‘cuz your nice bike would be seriously trashed by the end of the ride.

The guy on Kings with the way-low seat
At least, up on Skyline, it was fairly cold. It took a while to get there, probably 36 minutes or so, as neither Kevin nor I (or any of the other people who didn’t show up) weren’t feelng really fast this morning. We did pass a guy we’ve seen before on the way up, notable for not wearing leg warmers (in weather like this???) and a seat that’s way way way too low. I wasn’t positive it was a low seat causing his knees to kick out about a foot away from his bike at the top of each pedal stroke, but as we passed, yep, definitely a too-low seat. No helmet either, but hey, wet roads, maybe if you crash you just slide right?

At the top we caught up with Millo, a used-to-be-regular on our ride before he got sensible and started riding with a group that goes out about the time our group returns. Not sure what inspired him to come out on a day like this, but the company was appreciated, and the added visibility of yet another bright-yellow-clad cyclist in the group couldn’t hurt!

Due to the slow climb we ran out of time to do the West Old LaHonda loop, heading directly back down 84 from SkyLonda. Overall a nice ride, but would have been even-nice had we had some real rain, not just light drizzle, to accompany the 36 degrees. That would have made it epic, not merely messy. And yeah, if you want to think I’m nuts, I’m not going to try and talk you out of it.

Print Friendly