My wife is heading to Dallas this week for a convention and there’s no way I can miss work right now to stay home with the kids so they’re vacationing up north at grandma and grandpa’s house… That left all weekend for my wife and I to have an awesome weekend to ourselves. We took advantage. We headed up north with the kids Saturday morning but we packed our bikes on the back of the van as well. On the way home we stopped in Midland at the Pere-Marquette Rail Trail for a long bike ride. Originally I’d been hoping for a 60 mile ride (double my wife’s longest ever) but we ran a little bit late and ended up having lunch at my mother-in-law’s house. I had a talk to give at 8 and was figuring that we’d average about 15 mph over the 60 which would take us four hours. Add to that a stop in Clare for lunch (another hour), I figured we couldn’t get to the car before 6 pm and then we’d have another hour and a half to get to the meeting place for the talk… I called that cutting it too close so we cut the ride down to 40 miles.
The weather wasn’t great, a little cool, cloudy and a little windy but on the whole, not all that bad. We spent the first 14 miles heading dead into the wind in almost a tunnel because the path is lined with trees. Mrs. Bgddy fell back and practiced drafting for quite a bit of the way and we just cruised along at a decent pace. At 14.5 miles I caught my first glimpse of the southern skies… It wasn’t pretty. We hit a few sprinkles and when we hit another opening in the trees, I could see the storms were pushing our way a bit. At 15 miles I let her come around and gave her my assessment: We could keep going but we were going to get wet. On the other hand, we could turn around and we’d still get wet but it wouldn’t last as long. I also let her know that I was more than happy to continue on.
Much to my surprise she chose to carry on… And then the weather took a turn for the worse; the skies grew ominous. We could see the rain coming down in sheets just a couple of miles south of us and that was heading our way so I called it and we turned tail. It started raining within a minute or two and intensified as we went. Mrs. Bgddy tucked in behind me, braving the spray off of my wheel, and we put the hammer down. 17, 18, 19 mph… 20 mph for three miles (including quite a few stop signs)… I did the best I could to avoid standing water and kept one eye in the mirror so I wouldn’t drop her and we rolled. As we got closer to our destination the rain slowed and with about three miles to go we hit dry asphalt again. Then my wife surprised me again. She asked if we could try another trail to get our forty in. Four out and four back and we were done. We loaded and locked the bikes up, changed and headed over to the local Qdoba for dinner.
You know, there’s a funny thing about cycling in the rain… When I’m dry and warm, cycling in the rain sucks. On the other hand, when I’m wet and actually in rain, I thoroughly enjoy it. Sure it’s a little nasty when it’s cold out, but a nice summer shower? It’s kinda not so bad.
From there, we headed home, changed and showered and proceeded to parlay that into one of the finest weekends we’d had in years. My talk went quite well, we fell asleep watching a movie, had our ride rained out on Sunday, helped my sister move and had a nice dinner before heading home to fall asleep watching Season Three of Archer.