Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dodging the Rain

June is a beautiful month for cycling, or just about anything, in the Sonoma Wine Country.  As the temps start to go up you can finally put away all of your winter training gear.  June is the typically the month when we transition from arm warmers to sun screen but not this year.  A new word has been created by our local weather peeps.  There all saying it’s Junuary!

Our first June weekend got off to a very wet start that is very, very unusual for this area at this time of year.  You know you’re in for an unusual weather weekend when it makes the headlines of various weather web sites.  For example, weather.com did a big article on how San Francisco historically receives 0.13 inches of rain in June.  Last Saturday, they received 1.07 inches of rain in 24 hours.  It’s all because this low pressure system was sitting just of the coast and spinning storm after storm our way.

Necessary tools for surving a winter storm! So, what’s a guy supposed to do.  Well, I actually like running in the rain so that was the plan.  After sleeping in a little on Saturday (which means getting up at 6:30 instead of 5:00), I get up, make coffee and settle in to goof around on the computer a bit.  I figured I would hit the road around 7:30.  It didn’t happen. Not only was it pouring but the rain was coming down sideways due to very strong winds.  Fine!  If the weather was going to produce a winter storm then I was going to follow my winter routine by refilling my coffee and staying inside.

Sunday was a little more promising.  It was still raining but the winds had died down dramatically.  I arose at my normal time and started hitting the weather sites.  The chance of rain was down from 60% to 30%.  The only issue was when it was raining, it was pouring.  These were not nice little misty rains.  These were deluges from the heavens that still made riding a bit sketchy.

Around 7:30 I threw on my running gear and hit the road.  With the threat of rain still very real, I started off at a nice pace.  I never slowed down.  In the end, I managed to get in a 3-mile run, at an 8:30 pace, without rain.  Now, I am normally a 9:00 minute mile kind of guy so I guess that one of the upsides to rain is that it makes you run faster.

Later in the day, Sherry had to go to the office for about 3-hours so I decided “rain be damned” I’m going for a ride.  It actually hadn’t rained for several hours but the threat was ever present.   I decided to ride straight up Old Redwood Hwy, which would allow me to turn around and head home if the skies opened up.  They didn’t.  I managed to get all the way to The Flying Goat in Healdsburg 100% rain free.

Vineyard under cloudy skies. After a quick cappuccino, I head for home.  This is when I got adventurous.  You see, I was dressed for rain and since it hadn’t found me, I went looking for it.  I rode towards  every dark cloud in the sky.  This took me into the surrounding vineyards and I began to really appreciate just how beautiful and green everything was because of all the rain.  And, if you add in the lovely grey skies and clouds as a back drop, then it becomes stunning.

Ultimately, I managed to make it home without any rain.  Not bad, eh?  A 3-mile run and 43-mile ride under dark heavy skies and I stayed dry on both.  Still, I’m ready for the sun, which is scheduled to arrive later today.  I’m looking forward to a weekend of basking in the sun’s warmth and riding under blue skies.

Of course, we humans are never happy with the weather for very long, so how long will it be before I start complaining that it’s too hot?

Until then . . . I’ll just keep riding.


0 Comment(s):