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I live for this...(4 posts)

I live for this...Velocipedio
May 20, 2002 1:59 PM
Met up with my road group this morning for a netric century [honey, I shrunk the century!] it was supposed to be a standard century, but it's been very cold and windy in Montreal. Just as we were getting started, it began to rain -- just driddle at first, and then steady light rain. I don't normally mind riding in the rain, but ir was 6C [43 F] and not likely to get much warmer.

Most of us peeled off after a short time and headed for home. After a while, and a good lunch, the rain had stopped, and I figured I'd take a shot at an afternoon ride [today is a holiday in Canada, BTW]. The sky looked threatening, so I decided to do cyclocross.

Good call. No sooner had I made it to Mount Royal, our big central park [pictures here: http://www.blam.ca/cross/ ], then it started to rain. Mostly light, but steady.

You know what? Riding in the rain on the road on a cold day is miserable, riding in the rain on the dirt, sheltered from the wind by the trees, with a whole lot of climbing is a blast.

I did about three hours of mucking through the park, climbing and descending, poaching singletrack trails at the side of the mountain [no cops were around to hand out tickets for riding the hiking trails]. I particularly enjoyed flying past guys on over-engineered downhill and freeride bikes on the climbs. On one technical descent, a guy on one of those bikes endo'ed when he hit a large, exposed root [erosion] that I easily bunnied.

It was an immensely satisfying three hours, with 73.5 km covered, all but 18 km of which was dirt.

I live for this.
absolutely!lonefrontranger
May 20, 2002 2:43 PM
Saturday a week ago I did a 45 minute criterium in the AM. My training program currently calls for 2 additional hours in the afternoon since the crit isn't long enough to qualify as endurance and I had another short crit scheduled on Sunday as well.

The race locale didn't provide good opportunities for a ride (unfamiliar with the area, lots of traffic, etc.) So I buzzed back to the house and since the weather was getting windier and colder by the minute, I decided to make it an open space (dirt) ride. The 'cross bike had been sitting around half-disassembled since the Boulder Roubaix "road" race six weeks ago, so I had to take 45 minutes or so to reinstall rings, cassette, adjust the mechs, etc... By the time I rolled out the door at 3 PM, it was 40*F, blowing a short gale and starting to drizzle. Rats. Oh, well thought I, it's better than the trainer anyway.

I decided to ride into the headwind on the way out to save angst on the return. I actually rode up a few climbs on purpose to keep warm, and decided that riding in the rain in Colorado isn't so bad; the ambient humidity is STILL so low that you (almost) dry off as the rain hits you. And the sand and loose stuff we call soil packs down pretty nice once the rain hits it. The best part was having the open space / MUT almost entirely to myself on a Saturday afternoon; no wandering families, joggers with dogs on 25' zip lines, etc... I saw 2 pretty serious looking runners the whole 2 hours I was out, and one even said to me as I slowly rolled past on a gentle climb "gee at least there's someone ELSE as crazy as me out here..."

That ranks as one of the best rides I've done recently. There were a lot more birds and deer, etc... out because of the relative lack of people, and I had a huge tailwind helping me on my way home. The only part of the ride that sucked was the last 2 miles of (unavoidable) pavement back to the house; I was never cold or even that wet until I hit the street, then 30 seconds later I was soaked to the bone and shivering. Getting back onto the road was like riding in a lake!

Bottom line: Riding the dirt on a cold rainy day will make you filthy, happy, warm and damp. Riding on the road in the same conditions makes you filthy, miserable, soaked and frozen.
Let's not think of it as a crummy spring...Velocipedio
May 20, 2002 4:57 PM
Let's think of it as an extended 'cross season. Ranger, you're a woman after my own heart.

You know, I'll probably miss the mud when it stops raining... :D
re: I live for this...jrm
May 22, 2002 5:57 AM
The trails are empty, and you can practice two wheel drifts in the muck, now thats fun...