I don’t know what got into me today. Perhaps it was the 4 days off. Or my horrible eating habits that had me feeling like the Michelin man on an over inflated day. Either way, I would be in an ugly mood all day unless I did a ride. The past couple days have been dark, gloomy, rainy, and cold. But as bad as they look, the rain has only been for 30 minutes or so per day. It looked nasty all morning but no rain yet. So when I looked out and saw dark gloomy weather I thought “nice try, I know if I don’t ride it won’t rain at all and I’ll regret not riding… so lets go!”
I suited up, grabbed my bike and went downstairs. By the time I got outside it was raining. A gentlemen sought refuge from the rain under my apartment building’s overhang. “He seems to think it will pass soon, so I’ll wait a little” I thought.
I waited 3 minutes until I came to the revelation that I could probably ride OUT of the rain to an area that was rain free. I pushed off under heavy precipitation.
After 2 miles, it was still raining so I hadn’t escaped the rain just yet. So I pushed on. I began to think of myself as cotton-candy… great in the summer, but if it gets wet it just dissolves into a sticky gross mess. 2 hours, 30 minutes later and 2 countries later, it was still raining steadily and I raised the white flag on my attempt to find the rain-less utopia. The temperature was only 8C or 48F, without factoring in wind or the fact that I was soaked. It was so cold and rainy that I only managed to take one small sip from my water bottle during the entire 100 mile ride. Really wished I had remembered some booties, although they probably only have a 2 hour dry-span under consistent rain. During the ride back, I lost the functioning of my fingers, so shifting was pretty tough as I had to shift by moving my arm/wrist with the outside of hand pushing on the lever. I’m sure I still looked cool while doing it.
I was counting down the “miles to home” and began to imagine warm showers and artificial heat with just 2 miles to go as I entered the city. Of course, I got a flat from what appeared to be a piece of glass. I pulled off and set my bike down and tried to remove my gloves (a difficult task when you have no dexterity) and get out a new tube and CO2 cartridges. Just then I noticed my rear wheel was sitting amongst the broken remains of a beer bottle. Welcome to the #1 beer drinking country in the world (twice as much as the US) at 156 liters per person, per year. I fumbled around with my now clinically arthritic hands to try and change the flat. Dirt and mud were everywhere with water dripping off my helmet, and folks exiting the tram looked at me like I was an idiot for having a flat, (as they finished their last swig and discarded the bottle in the street).
Anyway, with the rain, cold, and wind it was a pretty rotten day, and I don’t think I was lucky either with the flat (had only 1 last year). But hey, a ride is a ride, and today gets a check mark.
Distance: 101 miles
Climbing 3340 ft
Temp: 8C, 48F
Time with steady rain: 5:15
Time without rain: 7 minutes (around when I was fixing the flat at mile 98).