30% Chance Of Rain + First Chance To Ride On Saturday In Months =

What else but rain.

I checked the radar before heading out and thought it’d be clear; most of the green was north of the Saturday route. Unfortunately, though, it started to sprinkle just as I got to the Uptown Shopping Center at the corner of Line and Pierremont, where several of us meet in order to ride out to the main ride start at Ellerbe Road Baptist Church, where – on nice days – we’ll join up with twenty or thirty other cyclists. I circled for a few minutes and eventually realized that everyone else must have decided not to risk getting wet, as no one showed. I was about to say the heck with it and head home when one of the other guys arrived.

Neither of us was too excited about riding, but since we were already out in the rain, we figured we might as well stay out in the rain. So we headed south on Line out to Ellerbe, hoping to join with some other riders. It’s about twelve miles down there, and today it was all wet, cold, and into a stiff head wind. Accordingly, when we got there we were not real excited about doing the rest of the normal ride: Forty miles to Frierson and Caspiana, then twelve back to town. I wasn’t too disappointed, then, to find a very small crowd at the start. None of the four people there, who were all waiting in their cars to see if anyone else was dumb brave enough to ride, wanted to have a go after seeing how wet and miserable we were. They offered us a ride back to town, but, again, we figured we were already out there and wet, so even though we weren’t going to do the rest of the ride, we might as well get back to town on our own power.

The rain stopped and as we had reversed directions we now had a tail wind, so we added a short detour out Wallace Lake Road to pick up a few extra miles. We passed the time with stories about rides in bad weather. Compared to snow, ice and lighting storms, today was fine. The other rider had a new bike, which led to discussions about it and the components, especially a comparison of its Shram shifters and derailleurs with Shimano’s equivalent. As roadies do, we reveled in our suffering, mocking our absent companions for staying home because of some rain, and wondering what their excuses would be next week.

By the end, we had done twenty five miles. That’s less than half the usual Saturday total, but enough to make it worth it to have gotten on the bike. Plus it got me home early enough for Car Talk and a hot breakfast (hmm, waffles and bacon and eggs, hmmm). Sure I was wet. And I had to spend fifteen minutes cleaning and drying my bike. All in all, though, it was a good ride for what it was.

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