Sunday, November 1, 2009

Deluge November First (DNF)

Jayjay and I rode the first 25 miles of the RUSA Showdown at Black Creek today, in big rainstorms and crosswinds. It was fun, but we eventually had to admit we were not properly equipped. We turned around at the convenience store on the Bunn Bypass (Old Halifax/Brantleytown Rd at Pearces Rd), rather than risk hypothermia.

We learned a few good lessons:
  • Don't put a Planet Bike Superflash on your bike, then put your bike on a rack on the back of your car and drive to a ride in the rain. This unit is infamous for wet failures, and inundating it with rain at 65mph is not very smart.
  • Wool socks work. I blew the moths out of my wallet before the ride and bought a pair of wool socks from REI. $12 for one pair, mind you, but well worth it. My feet were soaked but warm. Next I must think about the rest of my body.
  • A helmet cover works. It really kept the rain out of my face and reduced the water running down my neck. I covered my helmet with aluminum foil. (Fear not, I wasn't about to buy two commercial products for one ride.) Aluminum foil is highly visibile, it complements my 'lunch pail gruppo' (kudos to Dean for that phrase), and the din of raindrops on the taut foil helped me gauge the intensity of each squall.
  • Hydrate from Mother Nature. When the rain is strong enough, you can look up, open your mouth, and drink a few drops. Just be sure to steer so you stay on the road.
  • Don't put the second half of an Egg McMuffin in a leaking pocket with intent to eat it later. It disintegrates and makes a royal mess.
  • Enjoy comments and belly laughs from strangers. Three senior southern gentlemen had fun at our expense: "You must really want to go bicycling if you are out on a day like today, he he he", one guffawed. The next one followed, "I was going to go buy a horse today, but I don't believe it's fair to the horse, he he he." Laugh with them. You know they are right.
  • Cyclists really can see much better than car drivers. This became painfully obvious as soon as we got back in the car and started driving with rain pelting the windshield and wipers flapping back and forth. Be visible out there.
Oh yeah, there was one other point. As I biked back to the starting point in North Raleigh, the rolling hills didn't seem as bad as I had remembered from the last time. And my bottom wasn't really sore when I got into the car. Then I realized this was only a 50 mile ride, and not 120. Ha, just wait until next time...

1 comment:

skiffrun said...

Love it!

Now I have to read the "revenge" post from later in the same month.

You may wonder how I found / read this post NOW. Answer: doing some stats for possible 2013-year-end-party "entertainment," I saw the 2 DNF ride in the RUSA stats AND the 1 success later in the month, and I thought, "I wonder ... ."