Desperation will make a man do things he normally wouldn’t. We’ve got another two or three days left of this ridiculous rainy weather and it’s only supposed to get worse until Friday. Yesterday afternoon was looking fantastic as the day wore on. It was hot, of course, but sunny with a nice breeze. I spent the early afternoon with my wife, daughters and my side of the family before heading home to ride. They’re here from all over the country for my daughter’s open house and so we could get everyone back together – it’s been seven years.
I got home just before 5 and cleaned up my bike a little from Sunday’s ride, then got ready. I was out the door and spinning towards Chucker’s house at five after with a smile on my face. I noticed my left cleat had my heel out a little, so I made a mental note to use Chuck’s Allen wrench collection to rectify that. I made my right turn after the first mile, looking left to make sure no traffic was coming – and that’s when I saw the storm cloud. Bigger than a mountain and heading northeast. Unfortunately, the start of that cloud was probably two miles south of where I was. We were going to get wet.
Thankfully, as hot as it was, I was actually looking forward to getting a little drenched. The operative word there is “little”. We got a lot. I was riding into my own rooster tail whenever we approached 22-mph – which prompted my Strava Title for the ride; ‘Twas an Alice in Chains Kinda Ride… Chucker started singing “Here Comes the Rooster” as he rode by and pulled in front of me, dousing me with his rooster tail… to which I responded by coming back around at 25-mph, singing, “Yea-ah yea-aah”, then gave the universal, “nom-nom-nom”.
The road was pooling water and I hit a pretty gnarly pothole hidden under a puddle that sent a shock up my arm but was no worse for the wear.
Five miles later it was drying up and we weren’t kicking up rooster tails anymore, but we weren’t fast enough to bother drafting, either. And then my drivetrain started squeaking a little bit. It was either the chain or the jockey wheels. Too much time in the rain finally caught up.
Once safely in the driveway with a little more than 22 easy miles, I started cleaning my bike waiting for my wife and daughters to get home (my girls got their second shot yesterday) but she called in the middle of my cleaning and asked me to get dinner started because she was tired out, so I dropped everything and got to it. Once done with dinner I went back to it and finished what I’d started. The bike was a mess (I’ll probably have to think about emptying the frame out of water…).
I won’t lie, I hate all of the extra maintenance needed when I ride in the rain… but other than that, it isn’t all that bad! Except eating rooster tails. That part I could live without.