Riding in the Rain, Just Riding in the Rain

It was a good week – Nearly 100 miles in. Between bronchitis and injury, I’ve lost the better part of two months of riding this spring. But finally, I can breathe without coughing up a lung and it doesn’t hurt much to shift and brake with my right hand, although I’m still not ready to ride without a wrist brace. Sprains suck – You think, “It’s just a sprain – should be good in a week.” Not always.

In any event, I commuted both ways Monday and Tuesday. I was on the road for work on Thursday, so I rode in on Wednesday, left my bike in my cube and took a company car home and then in on Friday morning, and then rode home on Friday. And that’s when it got fun.

Thursday was a 12 hour day for me, so I bugged out a little early Friday, about 2:30. The air was thick and pudding-like, and as soon as I left the building raindrops began to patter down in a gentle shower. No thunder sounded, so I wasn’t worried. Nonetheless, I dawdled not at all, setting a couple of downhill PRs on Glen Road. When I hit the flats of River Road though, I decided that it was just too humid to bury myself in the ride, so I pushed only moderately hard and relaxed into the rain.

Water dripped from the brim of my helmet, and I could feel my cotton socks getting heavier. My tires hissed along the wet asphalt. At the decision point at Stillson Road, I chose dirt. The rain was light and I knew that Flag Swamp would be nicely packed. However, at the top of that descent, the skies opened and the road became a mud-fest. And at about the bottom of hill, right after the dirt section ended, the rain dialed back again, stopping a mile or so further on. That was some serious Type 2 fun.

At home, Gravel Gertie got a shower before I did.



About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.
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