Metric Century in the Rain

Saturday I wanted to get a ride in, but the weather forecast wasn’t looking to good. We had plans for Sunday though, so it was my only option. I finished installing the fenders on the Salsa Casseroll Friday night. That way, even if it rained, I could ride it. I set my alarm for 5am, with the intention of being on the road by 6am or so. I kept hitting the snooze button though, so it was the dogs that finally woke me up at 7:30. Damn. I wanted to be home by 1pm at the latest, so I considered just bailing on the ride altogether. Staying in bed seemed like a great alternative.

I knew I’d regret it though, so I prepared my gear. Mixed some Heed and Perpetuem, grabbed the camera and headed out. It was dry as I pedaled off, but within 2 minutes it started to rain. Well, I guess I’m in it now right? I’ve made the leap to not wearing my knickers over my bib, so I wasn’t sure how that was going to be. Would my legs get soaked? Or would I freeze to death? I only wore my Shower’s Pass rain jacket, but I packed the hood just in case. As it turned out, I only needed the jacket. My Adventure Corps hat worked great keeping the rain out of my eyes for all but a heavy downpour. I felt like I earned that hat today too!

My route was to head out to Little Tujunga and climb up to the first pass. I climbed Chevy Chase first, and then turned around and climbed Verdugo back up to Foothill. I had to stop at one point to adjust the seat, and I noticed that the rear wheel was rubbing the fender. It had slipped forward so a quick adjustment and I was ready to roll again.

Once on Foothill I rode the 7 miles to Osborne and the rain picked up. I was getting soaked! I hit all the lights through Sunland so that was pretty fun. By the time I got to the Little T turnoff it had been coming down steady for a while. I pulled into the 7-11 to get some water, and unload some, if you know what I mean. I reconsidered doing the climb up Little T because of the weather. I didn’t want to climb and then descend that road in the rain by myself. I think I made the right choice, but I also knew I was going to be short of my intended mileage.

After leaving the 7-11 I started the climb back to Sunland, that’s when it really started to rain. Hard and steady. Pelting my face. Then the headwind started. Damn. Nothing like riding uphill in a headwind and getting pelted in the face with rain. I forgot to pack my shoe covers so my feet were soaked.

I just kept pushing through, knowing that it’d be mostly downhill pretty soon. I was in a zone I guess because I missed my turnoff and had to back track. The rain had mellowed out a bit so I pulled over at Descanso Gardens to take a pic and send a tweet.

I stopped to take a picture of this cool mailbox and about a minute afterwards the skies opened with fury.

It was coming down so hard that I couldn’t keep my head up. I had to just look at the road ahead of me. It was pretty intense. It was the only point during the ride that I wished there was someplace to hide under. I was in a canyon though, so I had no choice but to keep riding. Luckily it only lasted a few minutes, but it seemed like forever.

I made my way to the Rose Bowl and decided to do some laps to make up for the lost miles from Little T. Each lap is 3 miles and I rode 4.5 of them. All I can say is that gets boring really fast. I spent just about an hour there before I turned off and headed home. I timed it perfectly, and I rolled in with 64 miles ridden.

The Casseroll was filthy, I was soaked and tired, but I had a great ride. I was really surprised how comfortable I was with only a rain jacket. I should’ve brought my shoe covers, and I think I’ll look into some Rain Legs for the future. The best part was that even with the bad weather, I shaved an hour over my previous Metric Century time! An hour! I know I can do it faster, because I was taking the descents slow today. That is a big improvement for me, and will really help me on the next Brevet. I think a big part of the faster speed was the lighter bike. Sorry Surly Long Haul Trucker, I love you, but you’re a little heavy.

Now for the filthy bike pics!

Ride & Smile, even if it’s ugly outside!

Honorable Mention goes to the Velo Orange Fenders today. They saved the day.

Here’s the stats and map of the route.

Metric Century to Sunland

Map your trip with EveryTrail

So there it is. Another great ride in the books. I’m already looking forward to the next one, hopefully with better weather, but if not, I know I’ll get through it. Wanna join me?