I should clarify, ahead of time, and this could be a bit of hypocrisy if you want to be persnickety about it: I can’t start a ride in the rain and have it be a great ride. I just can’t make my mind bend that way. I have to wait for it to dry out, take the day off, or ride on the trainer. Rain starts while I’m already out riding? Now that’s a different story.
Yesterday was our crappiest day, I think, since there was snow on the ground. Sadly, that wasn’t all that long ago, but let’s not get lost in the weeds on this trivial fact. It was raining when we fell asleep on Friday night and it was raining when we woke up yesterday morning. The rain was supposed to stop at 8am, though, so we made plans for 11. Three hours was surely enough time for things to dry out, I figured.
It was still sprinkling at 9. At 10, it was misting, and no closer to drying out than it was at 8. Jonathan, a pastor of a very large local church, and an excellent guy to ride with, texted to see if the ride was still on. He’s always on a tight schedule and doesn’t have the same flexibility as most do on the weekends, so I asked if he could move the ride to 1. He said he could so I sent out the text… And at 1pm the roads were close enough to dry for government work, and the Trek.
Mike had called earlier, he was taking the day off – he’s very rigid about riding first thing in the morning. He hates riding after 9am. My wife rode on the trainer to get her ride in, she doesn’t like waiting, either. Five minutes to 1pm and Jonathan was the only one here, just he and I.
It was damp and a little bit chilly, but not bad enough that extra layers were required. Leg warmers, bibs, jersey, long-sleeved jersey, headsweat, toe covers and full-finger gloves were plenty. We rolled out.
We had some tailwind heading out but kept the pace reasonable, between 20 & 23mph. The asphalt was mostly dry but we evaded a few wet patches before heading south with more push from the wind. The ride home was going to be interesting. We stopped at a normal gas station friendly to cyclists, then continued on to loop around and finally head into the wind. We’d decided at the gas station to take it easy the rest of the way, to refrain from burning it too hard to get back. It was starting to warm up and the sun was trying to break through the clouds.
We arrived at the home stretch but decided to head into town and add another five miles onto our 33-ish miles that we would have had. The conversation was great and it had turned into a fantastic day for a bike ride. Phenomenal, really.
We stopped by the bike shop for a minute, but they were absolutely slammed with spring business so we shortly after hello. Five short miles later and we were in the driveway with just shy of 39 miles, a smile stretched across each of our faces.
When we departed, I had no idea we’d run into a great ride. I was pretty sure it was just going to be a run-of-the-mill ride and I was glad to be wrong. Run-of-the-mill would have been fine, no doubt about it, but if I hadn’t shown up for run-of-the-mill, I’d have missed great.