Monday, March 5, 2007

Heavy Rain Cancels

This Saturday marked our first ride of the season for our Eastside Foursquare Church Cycling Club. As always, I email out our ride information the week before listing the ride description, distance, where to meet, other details about the terrain and pace, and typically end with the phrase, "Heavy rain cancels." In Seattle, it's common knowledge that it's going to rain in the spring. (It's also going to rain in the summer, fall, and winter, too, but that's beside the point.) Therefore, we road riders plan to get a little wet on these early spring rides. But, we draw the line at "heavy rain." That kind of rain, that'll cancel our ride!

But why? Why cancel a ride based on the quantity and velocity of precipitation? What I discovered this past weekend is just exactly how wet you can get in "non-heavy rain."

We left Eastside shortly after 9 a.m. in a light sprinkle. Jim, Bryant, Bob T, myself, and a newbie, Larry, joined the ride. Our route took us southeast through Kirkland to the valley where we found the Sammamish River Trail to Marymoor Park. We followed Lake Sammamish Parkway counterclockwise around the lake, stopping at our usual Tully's in Issaquah. We had a 20 minute unplanned break while we introduced Larry to the nuances of tire changing and prepared riding. His circa 1982 Peugeot was riding on original equipment and we think those wheels last got new tires sometime during the Reagan Administration. In addition to giving him his shopping list for the week (tube, pump, flat repair kit, etc.), we also shared with him the tradition of buying dinner for the guy who loans you a new tube. (Don't think he bought it.)

From there, the rain and water splashing from passing traffic intensified. We were "heavy rain wet" on a "non-heavy rain" ride. Once we returned to Marymoor Park. the rain abated and we had a nice ten remaining miles back to EFC. So, the question still lingers. Why does heavy rain cancel? What are your thoughts?

Distance: 42.80
Time: 3:02:50
Avg: 14.0
Max: 28.7
Temp: 49F


RickS said...

I think it all depends on your individual or group stomach for riding wet. With lite drizzle you can hold out the often futile hope that you might be damp but not soaked. But in a 'heavy' rain you know that unless you are wearing a Scuba Outfit that your are gonna get soaked. (That also brings up the ironic fact that when you dress up enough for the rain, you end up getting just as wet due to the fact that you are sweating yourself soaked in the wet weather gear.)
I also think there is a safety issue with visibility for both the cyclist and more importantly the vehicular traffic. I mean are challenged enough spotting us with the latte in one hand and the cell in the other. Doing that while looking through a rain streaked windshield is just too much to ask.

Personally I will admit that I am a sissy and hate riding in the rain. I do it only under duress and rarely at that. Just don't enjoy it at all.

Bob Horn said...

Rick, you bring up a great point. On Chilly Hilly, I was glad when it started to rain, cuz then I was finally a bit cooler in all that plastic and nylon I was wearing! You are a sissy for not riding in the rain. After two weeks in a row, I'm getting used to it!

Mike Leaman said...

Hey Bob,

I'm from the Reagan era....what gives brother.....those Reagan era bikes were built TOUGH.........ah those raining days. That's what I love about commuting to work on a rainy day in the dark, dirt and mud covered glasses, girt everywhere, grit in the nozzle of the water bottle.

Great blog..

Mike Leaman

Tim Oas said...

I'll try to catch you on the next ride.