08 November 2008
winter[riding] season begins
The rainy season set in about a week ago and I've been dying to go out and play in it. Camper and I have been taking the Breezer/Chariot combo out for some fast laps around the neighborhood, but we haven't hit upon any serious rain - just a drizzle-or-two.
I've been wanting to take my road bike out in the wet conditions, but haven't had the chance to until today. It poured this morning, which was a little more than I was prepared for, so I waited until the clouds broke and the sun came out.
The pavement was wet, and while the sun was shining at the moment, there were still scattered showers all around. Perfect.
I put my bike stuff on, grabbed my bike and set out on my usual route.
I quickly made a discovery
Skinny bald race tires are not the best option for wet riding conditions.
Compensating for the lack of surface contact, I continued on.
As I rode toward the hills, I noticed the fact that I really couldn't see them, and the way the sun was making those low-level clouds ahead of me glow, was spectacular. I then realized that was not clouds ahead as much as it was a wall of water.
I plowed headlong into the water and was quickly consumed by the downfall. It was pouring, and all the while, the sun was pounding down on me. I had a shadow!
The sun was on one side of me, and on the other was a huge, double rainbow. One end was i a stand of trees amid a wheat field, and was making the trees glow. The other end was on the barn and silo of a farm and was lighting them up.
I rode out of the rain after a few minutes, but looking towards the hills, could see that it was raining. A fifteen-hundred foot descent on wet roads with my current tires was already discouraging. Doing it in the pouring rain was out of the question.
I detoured onto SW Johnson School Road and rode back towards Rood Bridge.
The sun was shining and I quickly dried off in the breeze (of my totally-hauling-ass speeds!). Wool is good for that. I kind of like riding in cooler temperatures. In the summer heat, it's hard to regulate your body temperature, but when it's 55 degrees out, it's easy (wool tights, long-sleeve poly shirt, wind/water resistant jacket - add a layer if it's cooler, open vents of it's warmer, etc.).
It was a good first-of-the-season ride.