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And That’s Why I Have a Rain Bike…

Yesterday was supposed to be a day off.  My legs were tired and I was ready for it.  The forecast was for wall to wall rain, sunup to sundown.  I stopped at a job close to home to check on the progress and was home about a half-hour earlier than normal – it was raining when I walked in the house.  Some small talk later, I noticed that not only had it stopped raining but the pavement was drying up.  I checked my weather app… 15% chance of rain for the next four hours.  I looked at my lovely wife and uttered my second favorite two words; I’m riding.


No chance I was taking the Venge, though.  Days like this are why I have a rain bike.  I didn’t believe for a second I was getting out of that ride dry… though there was hope.  In Michigan, a 15% chance of rain means you’ve got a 100% chance of getting 15% wet.

I didn’t make it out of the driveway before it started spitting.

The horizon didn’t look all that bad, though, so I pressed on.  It didn’t matter much, anyway, we finally happened on a reasonably warm day.  It was only room temperature out, but after the rest of the spring with temps 10 to 20 degrees below normal, it felt like a sauna.  The roads started to collect the water and my tires gave off that unmistakable zipping sound that comes with a rooster tail… and just like that, the spitting stopped.  Two miles later I was on dry asphalt again.

And then my ride got fun.  I’ve put in a couple of faster than normal days on the bike so I was looking forward to an easy day but with a mild tailwind pushing me, how could I not take advantage?  There was something that blew my mind, though.  I’d opted to leave the knee warmers at home but this strange moisture was forming on my brow and dripping onto my glasses.  I had to think back on my cycling database for what this could have been – and then it hit me!  I needed to take my arm warmers off because I was too warm.

Warmers stowed in my back pocket, I took to the rest of my ride like a kid to a Halloween bucket.  I’d been shooting for a 17-mph average but by the time I was half-done, I’d have had to walk my bike for a couple miles to drop my average down that far.  So I did what I do in those situations… no sense in messing up a good average by taking it easy (even if that was the game plan) until I hit the headwind.  And with four-ish miles left to go, I did hit the headwind.  And I relaxed, just spinning into it with a smile on my face.  I made it to my driveway with just under a 19-mph average for the loop and a happy heart.

I showered, had some chili dogs for dinner, cleaned up my bike and did the drivetrains for my wife’s and my bikes, attended a zoom meeting with four friends, then drifted off to sleep watching The Rise of Skywalker.

I should have been rained out.  It doesn’t get better than that for a rain day.


  1. unironedman says:

    We have rain bikes in Ireland too. We call them bikes.

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    Love that line ‘like a kid in a Halloween bucket’. Your positive vibe wafts out of the computer screen Jim. Ride on!

  3. joliesattic says:

    How many bikes do you have?

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