Tag Archives: rain ride

A little rain scared everyone away?

I wasn’t planning on a solo ride today, but Kevin came down with his bi-annual kidney stone gig, putting him in Kaiser ER for most of the day. I was a bit concerned I’d end up missing the worst of the rain as several “orange” cells came over the house and moved on, but I still got to enjoy some fairly significant rain while out riding.

Some would think it’s nuts to look forward to heavy rain & strong winds, but truth is, if you’re going to get wet at all, you might as well go the distance. Light rain makes just as much a mess of your bike as the heavy stuff, and more than once I was thinking yeah, bring it on, I’ve only seen one other guy on a bike out here; everybody else stayed home.

The ride itself was nothing epic, just the usual Tuesday/Thursday ride, done backwards. It took me a while to get into it; about halfway up Old LaHonda before I felt like I had legs. From that point on, it was fun. I even gave brief thought to the original ride plan, heading out to the coast and up Tunitas, but I had gotten off to a pretty late start waiting to see if Kevin would be feeling better, so it was pretty easy to rationalize not heading out quite that far.

I hadn’t thought about doing the ride backward until I started heading back up to Skyline on 84, after descending west-side Old LaHonda. I was thinking, all this rain, that small waterfall at the edge of Skyline in-between Sky Londa and Kings must really be going. And, as you can see in the video at the top of the page, it was.

Descending Kings had me wondering why I waited so long to get a rain bike with disc brakes. The rain & wind should have rattled me, but the predictability of disc brakes makes such a huge difference in handling and sure-footedness that descending and maneuvering in general feels really good. I even checked after the ride to compare my descending time against my normal dry times, but Strava didn’t pick up the start & end points quite right, probably do to cloud cover. Whatever, if you ride no matter what and can spring for a second bike for bad conditions, make sure it’s got disc brakes! –Mike–

Almost, but not quite Epic. Cold enough to be miserable, but steady rain, no downpour.

Another beautiful morning on Skyline!
Another beautiful morning on Skyline!
We are a strange lot. OK, maybe not we, could just be me. I go to bed, night before a stormy morning ride, looking forward to it. There’s something about being out there, when it’s really dumping, and nobody else is on the road (except maybe your son who you dragged out, and an aging airline pilot who is often smart enough to stay in bed, but not always), and the rain is coming down HARD, everything’s soaked through so you’ve already reached equilibrium (there’s no way to get either more wet or dry off)… it’s just a matter of keeping the fire going strong enough to stay warm.

An ideal epic ride would be heavy rain, temps anywhere in the 50s, and maybe a bit of wind to howl through the Redwoods. What kept this morning from being idea was a lack of really heavy rain (seriously, that’s not optional) and it was just too darned cold. Sure, 40 degrees is a whole lot warmer than the 28 degrees we’ve been seeing on some recent rides, but 40 degrees and wet? After the water’s found a way to sneak through your clothes, just before hitting the descent? That’s not part of the requirement. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how to dress for that, to tell you the truth. On the other hand, I might not be too far off from nailing the cold & wet dress code, since I never did feel like shivering, never got that oscillation going when descending because your arms and legs are shaking so bad.

So now I’m thinking, maybe I have too many restrictions on what qualifies as an ideal epic ride? Maybe it’s not truly epic if I say it doesn’t need to include the really bad stuff. Maybe there are degrees of epic, and I should be going for the ultimate!

Or maybe I’m becoming mildly sensible in my getting-older age.