Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bike Club

Well...Mother Nature sure is chuckling at us mortals (specifically ME) this weekend. It started raining for us Thursday afternoon literally as I was driving to the start point of my Thursday mtb ride. It wasn't forecast to rain until late in the evening...but Mother Nature is good at blowing predictions out of the water. I believe she takes special pleasure in doing that.

And then...yep...the weekend forecast: rain rain rain. Not huge torrential rains that would actually do drought stricken California some good. Nope...just drizzly 'keep everything wet and muddy' type rains off and on throughout the weekend. And then Monday it's supposed to be clear. Of course. Mother Nature knows my work schedule.

And even though the forecast called for rain starting in the morning on Saturday and going on and off all the way thru Sunday, I figured I'd call an audible on it and see what things look like Saturday morning. Sure enough, I get up to dry roads. Looks good to me I figured...whatever rain is headed our way I can beat. That was my thought.

So with that mindset, I didn't prepare for rain. AT ALL. I took off wearing my bibs, a short-sleeve jersey, and arm warmers. That was the extent of my 'cold weather' gear...arm warmers. Oh, and wool socks, but I always wear wool socks, so that doesn't even count.

And so...I get to the half-way point of my intended ride (the top of  Tepesquet Canyon) and thought smugly to myself "yep...I beat the I'm half-way and still dry". Ate my banana and started descending, and almost right away there were tiny sprinkles in my face. Much like when you get a pre-cramp 'twang' in a leg muscle telling you a full-blown-epic-cramp is imminent...I knew it foretold of bad things to come. Our 'normal' winds here (about 345 days a year) blow from the north...but our quite rare storm winds come from the south. As I descended SOUTH the wind was in my face coming up the canyon, carrying with it the smell of lots of moisture.

By the time I was at the half-way point of the descent it was no longer just was full-on rain. The roads had passed being 'damp' or 'wet' a few miles back, and were now standing water with the rain blocking my visibility to a few hundred yards at best (also my photo-chromatic sunglasses were being pelted with rain, not helping the view one bit). I didn't even have a wind-vest with me, let-alone on. I was S.O.A.K.E.D. My feet were squishing around in my shoes, rain was running down my body and I could feel the water being flung up my back from the rear tire, and spraying my calves/thighs from the front. I peeked at the temperature on my had dropped from 63 to 56 in the span of about 10 minutes. To say I was COLD would be a huge understatement. My toes were totally numb, fingers too.

I thought about stopping to call Jeannie for a 'bailout' ride home...but kept descending hoping as I got to the bottom and turned west I might ride out of it. I did. As I crossed Santa Maria Mesa (at as high a speed as I could hold, just trying to get some body heat going after the 10 mile descent) the road got dryer and dryer. Then the road got wetter and wetter...but I didn't hit any new rain..just some more sprinkles...I think I had caught the tail-end of the next system moving thru and was quite thankful. I wasn't drying out any, but I wasn't getting any colder, and also the temp had picked back up a few degrees and was now just over 60.

I made it home uneventfully, setting a PR (Personal Record) on the Clark climb (again, just trying to keep my body heat up by riding as hard as I could). When I got to the top of the Clark climb I knew I was basically done with the 'hard stuff'. It was all downhill (or very nearly so) from there. I hit over 40mph hammering the Clark descent into Orcutt as hard as I could hold, knowing I'm now less than 10 minutes from a HOT SHOWER. As I was nearing home after what was going to be a nearly 50 mile road ride, I couldn't help but laugh at myself, and realized that I forgot the Bike Club rule.

You see, there is only 1 rule in Bike Club: "you can't beat the rain".

Even after the "Godzilla El Nino" winter we 'sort of'' just had, we are STILL in our 100 year drought. Our reservoirs are almost empty, and our groundwater supply is at historic lows. But's all about ME, and knowing the rains this weekend will likely be the last we see for quite some time. Long enough away that I will most likely once-AGAIN forget the rule of Bike Club next time I try to beat the rain. Why do I always do that? It must be some genetic abnormality that I refuse to accept the forecast and steadfastly deny it will rain on me, and thus go out totally unprepared. I will work on my mantra: repeat after me over and over: YOU CAN'T BEAT THE RAIN. YOU CAN'T BEAT THE RAIN. YOU CAN'T BEAT THE RAIN.

Got it.

Until next time anyway.

And GO FABIAN...ride like the WIND in the Hell of the North tomorrow!



  1. Seems like we can't beat the snow this year...Hi Matt, SusieB and anyone else! I may have lost any hopes of a fruit crop on my backyard garden after the past several days. Drove home from Cincinnati last Friday through TWO separate hailstorms, sleet, rain and snow. It snowed off and on all day yesterday and everything was coated with ice on the way into work. The hospital's top deck of the parking garage (where I must park) had not been treated for ice, and staff (including me) were falling all over the place. I am very sore today! Absolutely insane.

    Looking forward to watching Paris-Roubaix on TV this afternoon (NBCSports) since I didn't try to find it online until just 15 mnutes ago -- I could watch the end but since I know there will be a replay I am going to wait. Sentimental me, I would be thrilled with either Fabian or Tommeke for the win! How close Fabian came last week, and Boonen didn't have a terrible placing after sacrificing for his team, so fingers crossed here!

    But there are a few of the younger upncomers that would be fun to see pull it off -- Sagan, of course, Niki Terpstra, Edvald B-H; Sep Van Marcke is looking strong and it would be nice for Lotto-Jumbo to get a win although I haven't really warmed up to him. But isn't it strange that Cav is riding this race? As I type this I am sure that it is done and dusted, but I will wait until this afternoon to see what happened!


    1. And... my heart is still breaking for Tommeke. If he had taken one less pull on the front, or hadn't gotten boxed in on the track for that few seconds, if if if...

  2. He's sure been right in the hunt the last few races...and poor Fabian...lost out from a crash in front of him and then 2 crashes as he tried to catch up. Tough way for his final season to go...I'm hopeful he will win one of the few remaining classics...(Amstel Gold 4/17, Fleche Wallone 4/20, and then Liege-Bastogne-Liege 4/24...and that's about it for the 2016 Classics).

    Sorry to hear about your horrid and APRIL! It sucks anytime, but especially in SPRING!

  3. Hey Matt, Rae & everyone. Hope all are well. I haven't been able to comment (more later) for a long time but have been coming by every week to read or look for new posts (hint, hint, Matt :) ). Will you be catching any of the ToC in person? I think Jensie will be there & you can buy his new book.

    Going by the posted TV schedule, I SHOULD be able to catch the last 30 min - hour of the TOC next week. And I think I'll be able to see the taped coverage every night of either the Tour de Susie (Suiss) or Dauphine. Can't remember which one I saw would be on Universal HD every night between 5-7 pm. And hey, the VUELTA will be shown daily on that channel too. It's been a while since I was able to watch that race. Of course, I'll be exhausted after all my Olympic watching so don't know how much I'll want to see.

    Have you been reading about all the RUSSIAN & KENYAN DOPING? I've suspected for YEARS about Russian state-sponsored doping. (And China - guess we'll have to wait for an informant to finally see THEIR dirty deeds). Makes me angry, depressed, & worried about the Olympics & those sports. And then there's the Zika virus. Scares the heck out of me! Plus, with all the economic chaos going on in Brazil the past few years, many of the venues are STILL not completed! And then there's the horrendous water conditions. I blame all except the Zika virus on the IOC, an organization that could give FIFA a run for their MONEY regarding power-mongering, greed & corruption. Anyhoo, if the Russian track team is allowed to compete, you KNOW money changed hands, well, MORE money...

    I've desperately missed commenting here but the past 9 months or so have not been good for me. Can't go into more detail as I still don't have home internet & I can't write too much here, if you get my drift. I was planning on coming to IA last Saturday when I got my car serviced, but they had removed the complimentary computers from the Customer lounge because some MALE customers were accessing porn. In a public area! In full view of customers & their kids. Sheesh, some people!

    Can't wait to hear from everyone & I hope I'll be able to keep writing a bit (but probably won't be able to write opus like in the old days). :)

    BTW, it's been raining around here for 2 WEEKS STRAIGHT! Anybody seen Noah?