Sometimes, you just can’t help remembering those ‘endearing’ phrases your dad made when you are growing up.
Editor’s note: Hmmm, I wonder what my kids will remember coming from me? The only one I can think of is “Remember, I am bigger, meaner and uglier than you’ll ever be! So don’t push it!”
Sorry I digressed. When it came to being out in the rain, I distinctly remember him saying “Boy, you aint that sweet, so you aint gonna melt in the rain!”
This runs through my head every time I get ready to ride when I KNOW I am gonna get wet. Yesterday was one of those days…
As you may or may not of read in my recent “Eye of the Tiger” post, the riding has suffered this month. It’s been a busy month and, quite honestly, I just wasn’t feeling the call of the 2 wheels. Add to it, with REALLY crappy weather, even I wasn’t inclined to leave a warm house.
However, with the strong encouragement of my wife (OK she threatened to kick my butt if I didn’t ride!), I rode yesterday.
Editor’s note 2: This is self-preservation on her part. When I don’t ride I get grouchy and very down on myself. She knows this, and a good butt kicking is called for when it gets bad.
Christmas was good to me when it came to cycling. From the Brother in law, I got a gawd awful ugly, shiny as a mirror and waterproof jacket. I will guarantee a car will see me no matter how dark it is! I’d tell you what brand it was, but everything about it is in Chinese….
I also got the ultimate set of cold weather gloves from REI. The Novara Stratos Tech gloves. Waterproof and warm!
I haven’t tried them on a touch screen yet, but I did test their weather proofness! (the passed with flying colors! hands warm and dry!)
Sunday dawned dry, but by all accounts, the wetness was looming. On days like this, the only way to make sure I get a ride is to get started before the rain. I know “I won’t melt!” but damn, given the choice of reading a book by a wood burning stove or taking off in the rain, which would you pick?
I drug my butt out of bed and made the morning Starbucks run, took care of the cats. cranked out breakfast and got the fire started. By 9 AM I was out the door.
I decided on my old reliable 40 mile loop. It takes me up to Everett, through a tiny place called Cathcart, past the Maltby Cafe, into Woodinville and home. I like this ride as it starts with the Interurban trail, then has a dedicated bike lane through Everett. Once past this, it is a two lane road through the country.
Sure enough, I was 15 miles into the ride, and feeling pretty darn good, when the rain started. I made a quick stop under the doorway of a bank to slip on the rain pants and did a quick mental “go, no go!” At the 15 mile mark, I could have turned around. It would have resulted in a 30 mile ride, which, for this month, woulda been pretty darn good. But, I was dry, warm, and like Dad said “I aint gonna melt!” so on I went!
I will say, I started wondering if I had made the correct decision when I swore I saw a snowflake or two, but, as they say, “No guts no glory!” so I continued on.
As the ride progressed, the rain started coming down harder! As I passed the ever-present rooster (No lie, no matter what time a day I pass his yard, he crows. If I was his neighbor, I would put on the ninja suit, snag this bird and make him into soup!) and then my buddy the llama (seen here on a nicer day)
The clouds just opened up. Doing a quick check I was still dry, and aside from my toes, warm. Plus, the llama is the halfway point. I had no choice but to continue! So on I trudged. What better way to test the new rain gear!
There are two good things to report along with the dreary weather. The first is the legs were strong. Even with a lack of December miles, I powered up all the hills on the ride. In the rain and cold up hill is good, warms you up, and feeling strong makes it much more enjoyable. The other good news is the work being done on the road. It’s been almost a year since I’ve ridden this route. It looks like Snohomish DOT is widening the road for either a bike lane or a wider shoulder. This will make a good route even better!
By mile 30, I had seen only one other rider. I started wondering if maybe I was nuts to be out there! However, when I hit the Burke Gilman, the other nut jobs joined me. I had 3 or 4 pairs of cyclists going the opposite direction. Most gave me a smile or nod as we passed, misery loves company ya know. There was one lady though, who was distinctly NOT smiling!
She was riding behind a guy. he was smiling and happy, while she had the death glare going! In an instant I could tell what happened. He invited her out for a ride saying “Don’t worry, we’ll be done before it rains!” and they weren’t! The man had better done some serious sucking up afterwards otherwise he is STILL in the dog house!
A mile from home, cold toes, and a bit tuckered, I look around, and sure as hell SNOW!! It wasn’t the sticking and accumulating kinds of snow, but, after a long rainy dismal ride, the snow was pretty and a GREAT way to end the 40 miles.
I came inside, shucked the wet layers, and jumped straight into the shower to get the feeling back in my feet! Then, Michelle made homemade nachos to fill and warm the innards! I great ending.
41 miles, in under 3.5 hours, in the rain and yuck! A good day AND I did NOT melt.