Woke up Wednesday to wet, drippy conditions and overcast skies. The forecast was calling for the rains from overnight to clear out of the area by late morning with a window of opportunity for a ride happening by lunchtime. Okay, that works for me. I had some stuff I could do before then around The Lab and on the innerweb. I wasn't too worried about not getting in a ride.
Getting in a ride on a bicycle, other than commuting, (which I do not mean to belittle in any way), was rare lately what with the ill timed rains since Trans Iowa. I just have been hard pressed to find the time off that coincides with riding conditions that are better than "duck's weather".
So when I heard the pitter-patter of rain drops mid-morning, my heart sank. I thought that this rain was going away, not redeveloping. Meh! But just then, Captain Bob sent me an e-mail that indicated he had some time to scoot over for a visit. He had some bicycle parts and bikes that he needed to get back to me since they were on loan, and he just wanted to stop by. So I threw on a pot of this awesome organic coffee from a co-operative in Madison, Wisconsin called "Bike Fuel", (Thanks Craig!!!) and waited for the Captain to show up.
We had a nice chat, and when he was about to leave he says, "Hey, if you are going to pop out for a ride at Cedar Bend give me a call." I said I would. So, I made some lunch after he left and checked the radar. No shower activity, the rain was leaving!
So, I threw my riding gear on, popped the new Lynskey Ridgeline into the Dirty Blue Box, and hit the road for Cedar Bend. I called Captain Bob as I pulled out. He said he'd meet me there. I was stoked that I might get a ride in and have Captain Bob there to share it with. Cool.
Well, the skies didn't look so accommodating as I pulled out of Waterloo. Clouds were everywhere. I saw a few sprinkles on the windshield from time to time. "Thick humidity", I thought to myself as I tried to stay optimistic. It went away, but then the drops formed on the windshield again as I pulled into Cedar Bend.
Captain Bob wasn't there yet, he said he would probably get there a bit after I did. So I pulled the featherweight Ridgeline out of the car, put on my helmet and started off. The trails were tacky. Just right. I went in for a ways until I hit the first steep climb, then I heard what every single speeder dreads. "Snap!!!" Came in the direction of the chain. Gah! I stopped. Yep.......loose chain! Checked for my Allen wrenches to tension the chain. Rats! They are back at the car. I soft pedal back, make the adjustment to the sliders, and get set to go. Hmm......I notice that the "thick humidity" is getting "thicker". Ahh.........who am I kidding? It is a full on sprinkly-misty rain now. Nothing that a tree canopy can't stop though, and thankfully the canopy was out now. No Captain yet. Hmmm.........I am a bit concerned, but I speed off into the woods again, expecting the cell phone to ring any second.
I get all the way through the trails on the lower end, work my way up a longish climb, and come out on the gravel service road heading back to the campgrounds. It is raining a bit heavier now, and I am wet. The trails are getting greasy, and I am thinking I am done. I'll just call Captain Bob to let him know not to bother. Of course, just at that precise moment, you can guess what happened.
"Hey! Where are you at? I just pulled in.", says an excited Captain Bob. Realizing he knows it is raining just as much as I do, I figure a lap won't hurt. So we go out for a leisurely lap, trading bikes for a bit, and having a great time.
We get back soaked, muddy, and grinning. Man! It is great to be out riding again!
Salsa 2015: Fat Bikes
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