Tag Archives: epic

Riding the BRB (Big Red Blob)/Bill Watterson understands me

I was thinking about Calvin & Hobbes as Kevin and I descended 84 in Monsoon-like conditions (except that aren’t Monsoons usually warm?). That BRB (Big Red Blob) in the weather radar map? At 9:05am this morning, it was right on top of us.

Finally, everything lines up for the almost-perfect rain ride. Or so it seemed last night, with the Big Storm dominating the new. Rain bikes checked out, lights charged, wet weather gear laid out. We were ready!

Except, at 6:50am this morning, there wasn’t much going on outside. A bit of wind, light rain bordering on drizzle. I felt like Marvin the Martian in the Bugs Bunny cartoon, wondering “Where is the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering Kaboom!” Many past potentially-epic rain rides have fizzled out, and I was afraid this might be one more. Nevertheless we put on our “epic-ready” gear and headed out.

It was pretty warm as we approached the base of Kings, and the drizzle upgraded to a legit light rain. We climbed… methodically. Nice talkative pace, also aware of the need to ride consistently so, if things did become epic, or even semi-epic, we wouldn’t freeze. From bottom to top we saw a gradual decrease in temp, and a gradual increase in rain & wind. 40 degrees on Skyline and we were still pretty comfortable, but I did make a point of going to the front and burning some fuel to stay warm.

The first sign of good things to come? The roadwork at Bear Gulch is complete! No more one-lane traffic control. A very good thing today because that’s exactly where it began to really rain as well. Descending towards Sky Londa we could tell we were immediately entering a darker-green territory, and thinking we just might see yellow. Little did we know we were about to very quickly move through the full spectrum, dark green, yellow, orange and, we couldn’t be sure, we’d have to verify later, but about a third of the way down 84 it felt like we found the BRB. The Big Red Blob, the way the weather radar depicts the very heaviest of rains.  Victory!

Of course, when you’ve found the BRB on a descent, you really don’t feel the need to spend a lot of time in it; it was very nice to get to the bottom of the hill and be able to burn some fuel again. The rain gradually decreased as we rode home, which normally would take away a lot from the ride because it’s the beginning, and the end, that provide the benchmarks for those who think you’re nuts to be out there. But not today; we have proof! Proof that, at 9:05pm, we were solidly within the real of the Big Red Blob.