What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Return of the Cats and Dogs...

Yesterday started out as a nice Wednesday night ride. I got to the biker's lot early to check the tires and such. It was beautiful and about 80 degrees with sunny skies. So we decided to once again got top to bottom in the park and hit Flat Rock trail. It was looking to be the perfect day for a longer ride.

Well, the weather had other plans and the 20-30% chance of rain and thunderstorms rolled in on us about 6 mi into the 13mi ride. It was a blessing and a curse wrapped into one. The temperature dropped by 10-15 degrees which made it much easier for me to kick it up a notch and hammer out the remainder of the ride. But the rocks and roots became slick as snot, the puddles went from 6in to over 12in deep within minutes, and the soil turned to mush under our tires. I am still amazed when the skies open up here in the SE. It really is no laughing matter to get caught out in the weather as 1-3in of rainfall in an hour can really make a mess of things.

Fortunately the ride went smoothly for the most part and the only delays we had were waiting for people who didn't know where they were going. Usually when it rains it is every man for themselves. But with new riders on the trail there was a lot more consideration, maybe even too much. I found myself crouched under a tree for over 10 minutes waiting for the last straggler and really wanting to push on. But I would hope that if I were bringing up the back that someone would extend me the same courtessy. Call it putting a bit into the Karma bank for later if you will.

I have to say, as much as it is a pain to get caught out in the rain it is also a lot of fun. Sure you get soaked and traction goes to hell, but at some point along the way it turns from work into play. The whole tone of the ride stops being a training race and goes back to the days of splashing in puddles. It is nice to have that reminder of weather being fun. I can remember back in high school taking off with Rodney or Stuart to go puddle jumping on our BMX bicycles. So long as the temps stayed over 60*F it was always fun. Of course a full bike overhaul would follow. Last night I opted for a hose down and light lube. I think the Heckler can take a little water.

In the news:
Another factory video shot on home turf

Brendan Fairclough and Curtis Keene in Santa Cruz from Taylor Sage on Vimeo.

Sometimes I really do miss the trails off the side of UCSC. Good stuff.

In other news, I have started building up another bike for Erin. I know, I said I would never do it again. But she has been hinting that she would like to have a bike and the quickest/cheapest way to facilitate that is for me to build it up from new and borrowed parts. I have taken a few ques from past failure and am really trying to set this one up for success. So far so good. Initial fitting went well and component selection appears to be approved by the boss. Wish me luck.

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