Tag Archives: rain

Beautiful day!

A great day for a bike ride. Seriously, we live for this stuff. Raining, cold & wind. OK, wouldn’t mind a bit warmer. But you gotta take what comes and make the best of it. And yes, the temp is showing 39.6 degrees.
Not much of a view here!

It’s been some time since I ride didn’t just live up to its billing, but surpassed it. We’ve been watching the weather for some time, and had resigned ourselves to nothing better than a wet & messy ride this morning, as the “big storm” continued to wimp out. There’s been a consistent pattern; a day or two out, it looks like we’ll be riding in epic weather, but as you get down to the wire, starting about 8 hours out, the hourly forecast becomes less and less severe.

And so it was this morning, as Kevin and I were getting ready to leave for a 9:15 redezvous with Kevin (pilot), that the hourly forecast showed… well, no rain at all between 10 & 1pm. That’s the worst. Messy wet road that trash your bike and sap your spirit. But today, that didn’t happen.

The Bridge of Death at the start of the West Alpine climb.

We had light rain/heavy drizzle at the start, and pretty cool temps as we climbs up Old LaHonda. 46 at the bottom, 41 at the top. Not too far from the top we met up with Lo, a regular commuter from Seattle, who seemed to enjoy being out there on a rainy day as much as we do. Turns out she was planning the same route, just random chance her first Bay Area ride in the hills would coincide with ours. We introduced her to the scenic spots on West Old LaHonda, telling her what she would be seeing if not for the clouds, rain & fog. Kevin (pilot) peeled off at 84, heading back home because it was apparently colder & rainier than he expected. And make no mistake, at this point it was definitely raining. Real stuff, as opposed to that “humidifier on overdrive” stuff we’ve gotten used to. Found out later that it might be our last West Old LaHonda opportunity for a while, as the county sent me a text message saying it was now closed due to a “wash out/sinkhole” and “The repair time is unknown at this time.”

We got to show Lo the Duck Pond detour and then head up West Alpine. It was pretty clear that she’d just been riding easy up Old LaHonda when we caught up to her; the pace increased significantly on West Alpine. Easy for Kevin but I was pretty maxxed out, although I might have been able to do a bit better if I wasn’t trying to be tell Lo about the roads we ride. And also find out that she’s done some racing, a gravel ride across Wisconsin that sounded pretty intense, and later, looking at her Strava profile, seeing that she’s got a ton of QOMs. Serious rider and seriously nice person. Very much enjoyed riding with her. There just aren’t that many crazy people who really enjoy riding in weather like this.

Check out the tree blowing down on the right.

Parts of Skyline were pretty crazy, with some really strong sidewinds while the rain was coming down. Thankfully nobody got blown over, and glad I’ve got all-weather tires that offer more traction in wet conditions. And disc brakes, too, which she didn’t have on her bike. What else didn’t she have? Leg warmers. Could not believe she’d be comfortable like that, but she is from Seattle after all.

She peeled off in Woodside and headed to her hotel in Menlo Park, and I’m sure spent some serious time in a hot shower warming up cold legs. Kevin and I arrived home soaked, tired & happy. Couldn’t ask for more than that.

Yes, I rode this morning. Why wouldn’t I? Skyline needed to be cleaned up. Who else is going to do it?

How many cars just drove on past without doing anything about this?
The “after” photo, with the tree removed from the roadway.

This morning began pretty strongly; lots of wind, lots of rain, and even some thunder tossed in for effect. In fact, a big one hit just as I was rolling out.

Just… me… today. Well, guess I should count the one other person I saw out there, a woman jogging, who titled her run “All the adversity” on strava. Younger Kevin wasn’t feeling well (seems like he’s getting over something) and I later got a text from the other (pilot) Kevin asking if I rode today. As if? Was he hoping I’d say no, so he’d feel better about staying in?

I took it pretty easy, just enjoying nature’s show on the way up. Pretty noisy from all the wind, sometimes making it sound like there was a car nearby. I looked for tire marks on the wet pavement, thinking maybe, possibly, someone else was out there this morning, but no sign of anyone else.

There was a fair amount of debris on the road, as can be expected when it’s windy, but it was only the one place on Skyline where part of a tree actually fell into the road, waiting for me to come by and clean things up. Think about how many cars drove past without stopping to do something about it. Quite literally an accident waiting to happen. It was a bit heavy but not impossible to move; more difficult was a very large branch that I had to break off to get out of the way. Whatever, you do what you have to do to make the world a little bit better place, one fallen tree limb at a time, right?

Somebody did likely call in the downed tree though, as  I passed a Sheriff and County debris-clearing vehicles heading in the opposite direction after I got going. They’re just not quick enough for the cyclists!

Temps weren’t too bad; I was a bit overdressed for the main climb but fine up on top and descending. Because I was taking it pretty easy, there was no way to do the West Old LaHonda loop. Surprisingly, the roads felt pretty grippy, so much so that, despite the rain, I wa sable to keep up with the cars descending 84. Keep in mind this was on my rain bike, a Trek Boone ‘Cross bike with wider tires (Bontrager AW3 700x28c) and disc brakes, both of which make a big difference in the wet.