I stopped to readjust the rubber straps that hold the front fender in place. After yesterday's soaking and subsequent aches and pains, I decided to go a little more prepared this time. Rain jacket, fenders, shoe covers, wool socks, cycling cap... There really isn't a need to be miserable when you're trying to have fun.
I was going to get wet. The ran always finds a way in. However, if it's a gradual process and the clothing is right, it's less of a soaking and more of a squish. Your body heat has a chance to warm the water into something approaching tolerable.
Eventually my brain and my legs reached an accord as to the proper amount of effort that this day required. It was a contentious debate, as my head was convinced I should push it, while my legs maintained that today should be dedicated to long, slow distance. My stomach, which wasn't invited to the summit, was out in the parking lot demanding to be heard. Something about only having a small bag of pretzels in the last six hours, but nobody was really listening.
Water, water everywhere. It dripped off of my cap's brim. It shot out of my front fender in a sheet that was eventually deflected backwards by the wind onto my legs. It oozed through the holes in my shoe covers and into my shoes, giving them a swampy feel. It filled the low spots in the road, creating puddles that I tried in vain to avoid. Never know what's at the bottom of a puddle. Could be a pothole or glass, and fixing tubes in the rain is never a whole lot of fun. I forgot my water bottle, but never really felt a need for it. Water was there for the asking.
I thought about how I was out there "training" while the competition was sitting home. I wasn't going to let the form leak out and the weak seep in just because of a little rain. Stupid. I had a whole decade of weak to make up for, and they probably need the rest. I'm behind the power curve. I'm always behind the power curve.
I'm glad I rode. Rides like that allow me to reflect on my life and the world around me, resulting in the creation of brilliant solutions to universal problems that are promptly forgotten once the endorphin rush is over. I come home level-headed and calm, so I can deal with everyday chaos. Rides like that clear the slate.
I'm glad tomorrow is a rest day. It's supposed to rain.


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