One of our club riders wanted to go shorter than the planned route this morning. I thought that was a good idea, and planned to join her. But she wanted to leave at 8:15, and the B ride would be leaving at 9:15. Except for one thing: No one had posted a B ride for the day. I emailed her that I would wait until the weather improved.
We’ve been spoiled over the past two weekends, with decent riding conditions, even in chilly weather. Today was different. We had rain Saturday, rain overnight, and when I went out to pick up my morning paper, it started to rain again. In addition, the wind had shifted overnight in advance of a cold front, and was now blowing briskly from the north. The temperature was in the lower 40s (5C). So we had that nasty combination of chilly temperatures, brisk wind, and rain. Even though I had happily ridden in colder weather than this last week, the combination of the three created a threshold for unpleasant riding conditions for me. I decided to wait it out.
Lately, I’ve been reading blogs by randonneurs who live mostly in the eastern U.S. They tell of riding 100-plus miles in conditions much worse than what I faced today. I’m not in their league yet. I was content to sit back, read the morning paper, and drink some hot coffee while waiting for conditions to improve.
My wife Pat was up for a ride, too. “I was thinking, ‘If I can just wait till noon, it’ll work,’” she said. But a check of the radar 10 minutes before noon showed more rain just moving into our neighborhood. The temperature had hardly budged since 5:30 this morning. Pat decided to pack up her gear and head for a local health club she had quit just yesterday. They allow her to stay on until the end of the month, so she decided to take them up on their kindness. This time.
I decided to stay home and do some work. But by 2:30, the rain had passed, roads were starting to dry a bit, and although the temperature was still the same, I decided to get in a short ride. I did 15 miles in the neighborhood and on the Veloway, and was glad I’d put in the effort. I was also glad I’d waited to do it.
But our club president posted online that he and two others had shown up at 8:15 a.m. and done a nice 53-mile ride, which included a tailwind for their return leg. He gently chided us weather wusses by quoting Shakespeare’s Henry V St. Crispin’s Day speech:
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
Okay, point taken. You happy few rode and had a great time. But I knew I would see several club members, including the ones who rode with him at a Super Bowl party this evening, and I decided to check with them.
Pippa, one of the “band of brothers” who rode (even though she’s a sister) admitted they did hit some rain on their ride. But it was light, and was over by the time they reached the 10-mile mark.
“It started raining again when we were just a couple of miles from the finish,” she said, “but it didn’t really start to pour until we had reached Starbucks and were inside getting our coffees.”
But others took one look at conditions and had similar reactions to me and Pat.
“I went to spin class,” said Jordan, who has been organizing most B rides since moving back to the area from out of town. “And I wasn’t the only one.”
Jerry admitted he did the indoor spin thing, too, and they ran into one of our better A riders there as well. The rest said they just stayed indoors and decided to skip riding today.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that I liked my rides to be “pleasurefests” as opposed to the “sufferfests” of some A rides. That includes riding conditions, not just effort. I suppose I need to HTFU, but for now, I think I’ll continue to KBAPMFU.*
*Kick back and put my feet up.