Checked the weather forecast yesterday at work and it said "chance of thunderstorms". I discussed with JB the ramifications of such a development and he said "well, if you don't come I'll be riding solo." A few years ago I had a (semi-deserved) reputation for being a fair-weather rider and I've been trying to change that recently and I've since ridden in just about every environmental condition the Mountain has offered. Still... thunderstorms?
The proper way to fold and carry a spare tuubaler.
This morning arrived with dark skies but hardly anything that would keep a true Flahute off his fiets. I put Eddy's sew-ups on about a month ago and have been enjoying the zippy commute and now I looked forward to a sweet Vlaanderisch ride up NGR even though it meant I'd have to do some cleaning up afterwords.
Got to the Gate at 8:04 and put a rock up on the post. JB was right behind me but I didn't know it. I passed up a group of three women and another group of two guys right after the Gate. I rode slowly for a few minutes and then JB caught up around the Dumpster Gate.
Wildlife Encounter: A whole BUNCH of wild turkeys down by Little Pine Creek.
We rode along as the drizzle got heavier, each admiring our respective dedication and resolve and then suddenly around a bend there was another turkey in the middle of the road - she ran off right away but it was a fun little encounter.
We saw some more folks coming down and one guy on a hybrid was even wearing shorts. We figured though that at least the group of three women would turn around... after all, resolve like ours just isn't that common.
After Chainbuster JB did a little Cancellara and I figured I'd gift him the win today because I was feeling magnanimus. A little later, the group of two guys showed up from NGR and there were a couple other riders hanging around and we all verbally slapped each others' backs while discussing even more severe conditions in which we've ridden. I used a LensCrafters packaged towellette on my Tag-Hauers and then offered it to the other guys - they seemed to appreciate it.
JB abandonnee' but I said I wanted to go up some more. First though I munched my vanilla crisp PowerBar and BS'ed about racing in the old days with a guy who noticed my sew-ups.
I wasn't sure how far I'd go, but when I got to Juniper the rain was heavy and the fog was thick. I stopped just long enough to zip up my jacket and snap a couple photos.
This is what you would see from Juniper ... if you could see it ... but you can't.
Stopped at Junction on the way down, there was no one there, but I wrung out the water from my gloves. The group of three women were just down the road a piece - suffering with panache. It was really coming down now. I determined that it took about 3 wheel revolutions for my brakes to grab so I just took that into accound and didn't have any problems. I was hoping I wouldn't have to change a flat in the rain though because wet rims and Masticce Gutta just don't go together that well.
By the time I got to the bottom, my legs had that sublime feeling of cold wet tired numbness that fair weather riders will never know.