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The Unlikeliest of Enjoyable Bike Rides


It’s well-known to anyone who’s read this page that I hate riding in the rain. I’ll do it, but only if I’m caught out in it. I won’t start in the rain. That all changed this week with the strangest weather pattern I’ve ever seen. The outlook on Friday (and yesterday morning) was for a 40% or better chance of rain every day for the next ten to fourteen days.

For someone who hates riding in the rain, this presents a bit of a problem.

Mike called my wife yesterday morning and it was raining – it had been all night. Everything was soaked. There was a fair chance it was going to continue raining for the rest of the day, but it was at least light at the moment. Barely more than a drizzle – and it was one of those warm rains that are quite enjoyable, not the chill you to the bone cold rains. I asked my wife to let Mike know I’d ride with him. Mike was taking the gravel bike and I liked the choice. At least I wouldn’t have to spend the day cleaning the Trek after the ride…

We rolled out into the light rain at 7am sharp with a mild temp in the mid-70s (23 C) and barely any wind. I was in bibs, a short-sleeved jersey and a vest. The vest was too much. The pace was a little slow for my liking but Mike and I just rode side-by-side and talked – when traffic, which was mercifully light, wasn’t present, of course. The craziest thing happened as we rolled down the road… I was enjoying myself. In the rain.

About a third into the ride the rain stopped but with 94% humidity, the roads never dried out. It was sloppy the whole way but it wasn’t a cold, nasty sloppy. It was a mild, comfortable sloppy.

I dropped Mike at his road and turned to go the long way home. I had 25 in already but I wanted to stretch my legs out after the mild pace till that point. I took it to the barn, averaging around 20-mph for the last six miles. Pretty decent for the gravel bike.

I cleaned up and ate some lunch… and I wore a decent smile the rest of the day. Who would have thunk it? I enjoyed a ride in the rain! I just might lighten up about that in the future.


  1. unironedman says:

    Ha! Come on over to the dark side, Jim 😉

  2. Lisa M. Boyd says:

    I don’t think I want to be charbroiled so this is will not be a maybe issue for me this week. There as hard as it will be no riding in the hot temps we are having. I can do Iight sprinkling, have been caught off guard by a storm. That is no fun at all our rain like yours is cold. I could maybe even handle a Florida rain, it is warm rain. Then again I haven’t done it. I just remember what warm rain felt like. I didn’t ride when I lived there. I love the P.N.W for all it offers riders. Thanks for the share Jim. Have an awesome day!

  3. Brent says:

    We got caught in downpour last week at the turnaround point of a daily ride. At the stop sign, she says: “That sounds like thunder. Did you check the forecast before we left?” Me: “Uh, no. Didn’t think I needed to.” She: “Why don’t you check it now.” Me: “Accuweather says significant thunderstorm starting at your location in 9 minutes.” We turn around and head for home. 9 minutes later, the heavens open. 10 miles later, we’re home and completely soaked.

    My partner has been perhaps excessively concerned about riding in the rain on our upcoming bike tour. Now she knows what it feels like, and while we won’t seek it out again, not only was it not horrible, but it was kind of fun. And when we’re on tour, we’ll have GoreTex rain suits just in case. Investing $300 apiece in high end waterproof gear ensures that it won’t rain on the trip. Either doing without raingear or buying cheap crap, on the other hand, virtually assures biblical flooding.

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