In my last post, I shared my goals for 2017, which is all about the return of Lee the Cyclist. Just the thought of climbing Mont Ventoux three times in a single day has me all fired up. I worked on the bikes, found all my cycling gear, and place my kits on top of my running clothes in the dresser drawer. While I was ready to ride other forces would mean cycling would have to wait.
Mother Nature doesn’t really care about my cycling goals. She tends to do her own thing and this weekend her thing was wind and rain. Lots and lots of rain!
This weekend, the greater San Francisco Bay Area dealt with one the the biggest storms we’ve seen in many years. This is actually very good news in terms of dealing with California’s drought it’s just not the best cycling weather. Even as I spent the week hoping to ride on both Saturday and Sunday, the local weather folks were telling us to batten down the hatches.
On Saturday morning I awoke to a steady, but light, rain so I decided to go for a run. During the run it wasn’t raining that hard so I started thinking about the Masi, my cyclo-cross bike. Isn’t this why I bought the bike? To ride on wet winter days like this. Before I could convince myself to head out in the rain on the Masi the wind picked up dramatically so cycling would have to wait.
The rest of Saturday brought more of the same and I found myself wondering when the big storm was arriving. When I woke up on Sunday I had my answer. As Sherry and I enjoyed our morning coffee the rain was pouring down and there was a howling wind. This was the big storm we were promised. As I was reading the reports this morning, I discovered we received over 4 inches of rain in Santa Rosa with wind gusts of over 40 mph.
With any hope of cycling gone I once again headed out for a run. Why? Well, there are many reasons I love running in the rain. It makes me feel alive. It makes me feel like a little kid again. But mostly, it makes me feel like a badass! And, I love the “he’s crazy” looks I get from drivers as they go by. Even Sherry just shook her head and said “Tu es fou!” (you’re crazy in French) as I headed out the door. I loved every minute of it as I ran along the local creeks that were already raging as a result of all the rain.
The biggest difference between running and cycling in the rain is that rain and wind does not make running more dangerous. It just means you’ll get wet. With cycling, wind and rain is a dangerous combination that is likely to put on the ground (as in, you’ll crash) sometime before the ride is over. This is why I reach for my running shoes as the bikes hang quietly from the rafters on wet and windy days like this weekend.
Of course, I do have a trainer in the garage so I still could have spent some time on the bike. For the sake of brevity here’s the reason that didn’t happen. I hate the trainer! I have to be pretty desperate to cycle in my garage. I’m not there yet.
So, no cycling this weekend. That’s ok because my trip to France is not until August so I still have some time to get ready. In the meantime, I’ll keep waiting and running until Mother Nature tells me it’s ok to ride.