Sunday’s ride was a bust! I had planned on turning a medium 40 mile ride into a challenging 65 mile ride by arriving at the meet up point on bike. I got to the meet up spot, Nimbus Fish Hatchery — 15 miles — in plenty of time, and was ready for the last 50 miles. The route is a long challenging hill (Iron Point aka Costco hill in Folsom), followed by incredibly fun downhills. It was grey, but not a drop of rain.
Man, can things change.
|The smile is fake. In this photo, I’m so cold, I can’t feel my fingers and toes!|
We left the fish hatchery, and made it to the base of the hill. We were about 10 riders. About half an hour later, everyone made it to the top in a light drizzle. On regroup, we had some granola bars, and everyone was excited to continue…even though the rain went from drizzle to shower. From the top of Iron Point, the ride is a nice steady down hill on Empire Ridge, past a bevy of gated communities. On this road, it is easy to reach 40 mph, but because of the rain, I checked my speed at 25.
At the very bottom of the first part, I notice that the rain’s picking up. “Hmm, I feel a bit cold.” Then immediately notice my bike feels a bit too bouncy. With trepidation, I dismount and feel my rear tire and learn it is rapidly deflating.
Changing a bike tire on a group ride is annoying at the best of times. When all your mates pass you in the freezing rain, it can be demoralizing. The worst part is that without the physical effort, you get cold fast.
As I get my wheel off the bike and start in on the tire irons, all the bikers passed me (questioning if I needed help, of course). I waved them on, not wanting everyone to suffer the cold. But Katryna, our auto support, stopped as she passed, and thankfully had a real pump.
I changed my tire pretty quickly, and was, even then, under the delusion that I could finish the ride (there were about 40 more miles to go). So I got on my bike in the rain and watched Katryna drive away.
All was well until the first wave of water poured down my Achilles tendon into my shoe. It really felt like a knife blade. Then my fingers went numb. Both red flags! Still I made it the next 5 miles, and pulled into the Taco Bell where, thankfully, all my friends were waiting.
Katryna, Scott, and Susan drove off to get their cars and returned to pick us all up. It was an ordeal, but really served to underscore how much I love bicycling. And I have a new appreciation for Taco Bell.