Dodging thunderstorms: It’s getting harder

Sam and Sarah, in white jerseys and bike helmets, standing by their bikes. Bright skies but ominous clouds.
Sam and Sarah riding outside London, bright skies but ominous clouds

Sarah and I got out for a ride last Sunday and stayed dry. That doesn’t sound remarkable except it’s been a rainy and stormy month. We waited around, we consulted the radar, and we planned our route carefully. When we stopped for coffee at the 40 km mark things were starting to look ominous. We drank quickly and took the speedier, less scenic route home.

And we just made it. I went straight for the driveway and the front porch. But there are Pokemon to be caught across the street from my house apparently and Sarah stopped to catch them.

Boom! Crash! And the sky opened and down and came a lot of rain.

While we were happy to get a ride in, note we only rode 55 km total and we had the whole day. We were completely flexible in terms of time. Lately the unstable weather has made road cycling challenging in my part of the world. There’s a Thursday afternoon ride I like to do with a local cycling coach and a group of women. It’s been weather cursed. Most Thursday afternoons have been called off due to weather.

Now, I’m not a total fair weather rider. I ride in the rain. See Let it rain, and ride anyway, because sometimes you have to .  Catherine also made the case for riding in the rain.

When Sarah and I rented bikes in Scotland (see Not rain, just a wee Scottish mist: Edinburgh adventures on rental road bikes), there was no option but to ride in the rain. It rained every day we were there. And yet there were lots of road cyclists out doing what we do, riding and training.

This is different. I don’t like to ride in weather I think of as stormy. High winds, hail, lightning. And we’ve had that a lot lately. I’m not sure how much of the weather wildness is climate change related but it’s making road cycling challenging, especially getting long rides in.

Cate, Sarah, David and I were aiming for 150 km on Canada Day  but we got stopped (some of us anyway) by rain and hail after 120 km. Cate and I took refuge from the hail for awhile at a local truck stop/service station and then went on. But I stopped too when I got a flat. Hate fixing flats in the rain and my experience is you often get more. I called home to be rescued. 

Here’s Sam in her Canada Day Jersey, wet from the rain hiding out from the hail

Another Sam bike helmet selfie featuring her “I’ve got a flat in the rain” face

Cate persisted. She’s like that.

Sarah and I have been training for the Friends for Life Bike Rally and it’s been tricky getting out enough. (Sponsor Sarah here and me here.)

I’m also worried about weather on the ride.  Certainly there have been some rainy day rides on the rally. See Bike Rally Day 2: Photos #F4LBR.

And I’m really hoping the weather becomes less unstable.


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