You know those days as a cyclist; you know you should probably phone it in for a day off. The radar shows you’re hit but the hourly forecast says you’ll be fine (from three different weather sites). You show up, do the warm-up and figure you’ll cut it short if it looks hairy… Right?
Then, it looks hairy but you’re having too much fun because the winter went on forever and you’re tired of that stupid trainer anyway, so you hope for the best. You ride on, only for the skies to open up on you.
Two miles later you’re hoping you can outride the rain. Two miles after that and you know by the size of the drops hitting your helmet that it’s gonna get bumpy. Then, because the group you ride with is awesome and strong, you do outrun the rain.
That was last night, in a nutshell – and it was awesome.
The weather was iffy at best. The radar was awash in green and we were scratching our heads as to whether or not we should even ride. On the other hand, the hourly forecast showed no appreciable rain until well after we’d be finished. As is typical with me, I don’t mind if I’m caught out in it but I find it difficult to start in the rain. It really wasn’t raining, so I supported going with it, and ride we did… and wet we got, though it was more of a “damp”, really.
As for the rented mule part, including last night’s 38+ miles, I’ve ridden 213 miles in the last five days and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time up front. I do this, in part, because I can. I also do it because there were a lot of people who did the same for me when I was a noob. We had a double pace-line with four cyclists per side rolling last night and I took a lot of turns up front. I spent so much time up front, I had nothing left for the sprints – both the midway sprint where I simply got beat by Chuck who’d ridden my wheel until I was out of gas 50 meters before the sign and the final sprint where I finished dead last in the group. I had nothing left in the tank. While I didn’t get my sprints, as I’ve written before, sometimes you’re the sprinter, sometimes you’re the lead out in group rides. Last night I was the lead out, I just led out for a bunch of miles. What was important, at least to me, was that I left everything I had on the road. It was awesome.
And by the time my fish and shrimp dinner was set down in front of me, I wasn’t thinking about the rain or being wiped out… I was thinking about how awesome it is to be me, and that’s what cycling is all about.