Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rain or Shine... or a little of both!

Today's ride started out as a wet one, but it was all uphill from there (literally, we rode uphill on Jefferson). Anyway, today's ride was originally schedule to be a 48 miles ride with 3235 ft of climbing. But due to the rain the TRL's decided to make some changes to the route.

But let me start at the beginning. So, I woke up early this morning so that I would have enough time to get all my gear into my car and get dressed. I new there was a chance of rain, but I made the commitment to drive down for the ride. The last time I wimped out because of rain my team ended up riding and had great weather after all. So I wasn't going to have that happen again.

The drive down was interesting, passing through areas of rain and areas of sunny skies. As you can see, the sun was trying to peek though the clouds.

When I got to the meet-up point it was raining. I got there early because there was a teach back on foam rollers and stretching. Even though I have a foam roller and know how to use it, I wanted to attend this because there is always something to learn. After the teach back, I noticed some of the TRL's were grouped up. As I walked over to say Hello, I soon realized that they were trying to figure out if the group was going to ride or not. I really dreaded the idea of driving all the way down there for the ride to ultimately be canceled. Luckily there were enough people there who wanted to give the ride a try despite the rain. However, since the original route took us on some narrow, windy roads, the TRL's decided it was safer to alter the route. We opted for an easier route with less turns since we wouldn't be having route sheets to follow. 

You can see the group of riders geared up for the rain. I give props to all the riders who braved the wet conditions. I think that we were rewarded with a beautiful ride up Jefferson. 

I feel like I look like a biker (not cyclist) but oh well. The bandanna helps keep my head warm when its a bit cooler outside.

We even got to see a rainbow before we rode out. It's a little hard to see in my photo below, but if you look closely at the bottom of the palm trees. In person, it was actually a double rainbow.

The first 5 miles or so it was still a little rainy. I didn't mind the rain so much, it wasn't raining hard enough to really make my jersey feel wet. But what really wasn't so much fun was the fact that when riding in rain, your tires tend to kick up a lot of water. This made for a rather wet bum! And that was NO FUN!

I saw a product that someone mentioned online a week ago and now I completely understand how nice it would have been to have one. The product is called Smart Ass.

Anyways, back to the ride. We stopped at a Starbucks in West Menlo Park to regroup and take a break off the wet roads. By this point the rain had pretty much stopped. After our rest stop we headed on towards Jefferson. The last time I did Jefferson I struggled to get up it. It took me a while and I had to stop multiple times. Today was just the opposite (well, it wasn't necessarily easy, but I did a lot better). Today's ride up Jefferson was great, I didn't have to stop one (not including the obligatory stop sign stops). The whole time up the hill I had this song stuck in my head. (In case you didn't follow my link, the song is called The Man and its by Aloe Blacc.) As silly as it may have been it helped me keep going. I also keyed into the things that I learned from the Hillz and Skillz class I took a while ago. When my quads started to get tired, I shifted in my saddle and pulled my knees in towards my top tube. It was amazing how this little change made all the difference. What happens is that you start to use different muscles in your legs and you give the other muscles a little break. Below is a photo of my climbing up Jefferson.

The rest of the ride went pretty well but was rather uneventful. I actually added a little detour to my ride that added a couple miles. They were flat miles, but I felt like I needed to get in a couple more since the ride was supposed to be 48 miles and as I was getting closer to the end I realized that we were only a little over 30. In the end, I got in just about 37 miles. It was a great ride and I'm so glad that it didn't get called off.

After everyone made it in safely a few of us when to get some lunch across the street. I love having the opportunity to hang out with my fellow teammates.

When I got home and was putting my bike in the garage, I realized just how dirty my bike got today. Well, guess I know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow. Baby needs a bath!!!!

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