January 8, 2005: You just do it

I knew this was going to be a miserable ride before I even got out of bed this morning (afternoon). I've been feeling very tired lately, and, further sapping my initiative, the weather was grim -- very cold and windy with sporadic showers. The trails are still waterlogged and the oceans are fouled with sewage runoff; a Lobitos triangle was planned.


You know, I can handle getting caught out in the rain and having to deal with that in the field, but it seems a bit excessive to start a ride in the rain. So what do you do on a day like this when it's been spitting and drizzling all day? You get a waterproof shell, you layer up, and you accept the fact that you ARE going to be wet and cold. Accept that, embrace it, and move on -- or don't go at all.

Defying the established pattern, today's heavy wind was out of the WSW, which is very unusual for a winter storm. This wind didn't seem too bad in terms of MPH, but it was a powerful wind that steadily pushed hard against me. Going south on the coastal bikepath, I was barely pulling 9.5 MPH.

About halfway up the Grapevine, I was hit by my mysterious internal pain. This pain, which last hit me on a ride in Moab (See August 24, 2004: Eh-pic), has been diagnosed as a spasm, but nobody seems to know what it is exactly. It is a kind of pulsing or throbbing three-seconds-on, one-second-off pain that is at once localized somewhere between my stomach and my piehole and at the same time all encompassing. It usually hits at night, but all I know is that when it hits, it hurts. Today, it came on hard and fast and I had to stop and hunker down by the side of the road to wait out the pain using breathing techniques because I didn't have any Tylenol in my pack. Usually, these episodes last about an hour, but today the pain had ebbed after fifteen minutes or so.

I resumed climbing the Grapevine with the intention of shortening the ride to a Purissima out and back (ONB) instead of the originally planned Verde ONB. As I approached the summit though, I was assaulted by a huge ominous roaring sound that blasted the eucalyptus fringe at the ridgeline. The trees were being buffeted to their breaking point and it started to rain pretty heavily.

I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid -- I turned around and high-tailed it for home. With the wind behind me, I hit cruising speeds of up to 25 MPH on the return trip.

So, to recap: it rained on me pretty much the whole ride, but my wool jersey acted kind of like a wetsuit under my rain shell by heating my sweat to 98 degrees and providing a warm layer of insulated liquid. No animals today except crows and gulls, everybody else was kicking it in their dens watching Animal Planet on the wide screen. When I got home, I rinsed, dried, and lubed the Hoo-e and put her back in the rack.

How do you do it on a day like today? You just do it and then think about it afterwards in the glow of a dinner and a hot shower.


Mileage: 20.18 Time: 1:34:34 Avg: 12.8 Max: 35.0 Weight: 171.5

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