Not All Rainy Days Are Alike.

This was written the week before Last Tuesday's crit incident. The last line is more true than ever. I'm still going to ride and race in the rain.

Tuesday it was raining.
A light rain that had just started darkening the pavement. I didn't wear a rain jacket, but tucked a packable one in my back pocket just in case. I didn't wear shoe covers. I slapped the fenders on to keep the rooster tail off my back. Pushing off, I didn't expect much out of the afternoon except low-intensity miles.
Turns out, it was a great ride. I settled into a groove that was a couple notches higher than expected. The rain didn't soak me, but was just enough to cool me off. The legs chugged away happily, and I added extra mileage in to fully use my allotted time. I'm came back a little damp, but happy.
Wednesday it was raining.
A steady rain was falling, pooling on the roads. I didn't even bother with the thin, yellow, packable rain jacket, instead opting for the full-on Paddington Bear effect. Shoe covers kept my feet to a semi-tolerable level of moistness. The fenders stayed put.
My average power was lower. My speed was lower. My head was lower as I squinted into the rain. My chain, bright and shiny when I started, turned black and gunky. My sunglasses threatened to fog over, which wouldn't have been a surprise since I last treated the lenses back in '09 or so. My kit got squishy as the rain poured in and the sweat poured out. I was wet. It wasn't a bad ride, but it certainly wasn't as fun as the previous day.
So when people say they don't ride in the rain as a rule, I always think, "quantify rain."
If I didn't ride in the rain, there would be large stretches of time when I didn't ride. Retreating to a trainer really isn't an option when I know I'll be stuck on one for five or six months during the winter. Some rides in the rain are actually quite enjoyable. Some are decidedly less so. Most of the time I have no idea how the ride is going to go until I get out there and start turning the cranks. I'm often pleasantly surprised.
Not all rainy rides are created equally.


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