Monday, February 1, 2010

January Rain

Then new year didn't bring any new changes for riding weather for us last Sunday. We picked the wrong weekend day to go riding. Saturday was warm and sunny, but Sunday had a few showers...10.5 hours of rain. Rick, Steve, and I decided to try a new permanent route out of Lacey. This is a shorter version of the 300k I did in the freezing temperatures in mid December. We got our coffee fix at the start at Starbucks and then headed west to Capitol Forest. It was a beautiful morning with the sun just peeking over the horizon and a glimpse of snow on the Cascades to the east. It was only an hour into the ride when the first drops started hitting our jackets. By the time we crested the steep hill on D-Line, it was a full out rain. I couldn't believe my luck with another wet ride after such beautiful weather the day before. At least I had company to suffer with on this ride. At Porter, we refilled our bottles, grabbed a few bites to eat and pushed on through the water.

We found out that the rear mudflap Steve had on his fenders was not long enough. After scraping road grit out of our mouths, Rick and I decided to pull our paceline south to Adna. I was glad to have my new fenders on my freshly tuned bike. My previous stainless fenders finally bit the dust and cracked at an attachment. I also changed to fresh tires for this ride. I decided to give the wider tires a try and changed my 28mm Continental 4 season tires over to 32mm Panaracer Pasela. The wider tires made the chipseal covered road become much more enjoyable, even if they weren't able to stop a metal wire from giving me a flat. After a quick change we were back on our way.

We stopped briefly in Adna to get our control cards signed but continued on to have lunch in Chehalis. We briefly entertained the idea of stopping at McMenamins in Centrailia but decided that we probably wouldn't want to leave after a beer and burger. After a sandwich, hot drinks and fried mystery meats from the hot case at the grocery store, we ventured back out into the rain. Our route detoured out to the Centralia Steam Plant, a massive building set away from any other development. The Tono Hills were the last challenge before the flat trails home.

The Yelm Tenino Trail and the Chehalis Western Trail link the small towns south of Olympia to Lacey. Usually this trail is busy with kids, dogs and cyclists, but this evening we only passed on other wet cyclist. Just a few miles from the end, Steve got the second flat for the day. We changed it in the dark, shivering and dripping. We pulled into Starbucks and rushed the counter for some food and hot drinks, thankful to be finished. I am also finished with January, making this my 23 consecutive month of riding 200k rides.

A wet start to for the first 200k of 2010 makes me look forward to the warm summer months ahead. When it's cold and nasty outside it's easy to plan epic rides. I signed up for the 2010 Cascade 1200k ride, excited to finish the ride after a mechanical problem stopped me 2 years ago.

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