Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Art of Rain Riding

09:30 CST

Today is not going to be pleasant. Other than the first 50 miles or so, it is raining on my entire route. In fact, it's raining or snowing in the entire states of Texas and New Mexico:
Weatherford, TX is near the middle of the green blob. I'm riding straight west to the "L" (for "loser"?). That's 9 hours in what the lying meteorologists are calling "light rain". If you're looking at it out your kitchen window, coffee in hand, cat rubbing against your ankles, it's light rain. Out on the Interstate it's a sea of oily, gritty, grey road spray, ten feet deep and as wide as the highway and you're a two-wheeled bottom-feeder choking your way through it.

Plus, it's cold, 40F everywhere that matters today. Even with a good rain suit (I bought a BMW rain suit yesterday and it's about as waterproof as they get) over waterproof riding gear, some water sneaks in after an hour or two. And there's evaporative cooling: the outside of your gear gets wet, the constant wind evaporates that water and steals a degree or two of heat from your body. Over a 9 hour day, it adds up.

Normally, I'd just plug in my electric vest and warmly grumble my way across the countryside. Unfortunately, there is no way to run the cord out of my new rain suit without cutting a hole in it. I'd rather not do that, for obvious reasons.

So today I'll rely on a carb-heavy breakfast (plus the remnants of the scrumptious Texas BBQ I had last night at the Mesquite Pit- y'all gotta try the Fried Green Tomaters) and lots of coffee/warm up stops.

I've got to ride. You have another coffee and pet the cat.