Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Roll of the Dice

Even though the forecast called for rain well into the late afternoon, I decided to take the bike to work and ride home yesterday. When it came time to leave work, the rain had ceased in Sacramento. Texts from home reported rain up in the hills, though, some 39 miles away by bike.

Angry gusts blew hard from the south-east, hitting me with nasty crosswinds for the first half of my ride. The empty bike trail made me wonder if everyone else knew something I didn't. Periods of warm sun interrupted by dark, cold clouds made it difficult to stay comfortable. I finally opted for a jacket; I prefer heat over cold any day.

While riding over the levee the wind seemed to strengthen, bullying me from my right, and I rode at an exaggerated angle to the ground as I leaned into the heavy air.

Once I entered the singletrack, the forest protected me from the wind. The rain left the trails in perfect condition—damp but not muddy.

Leaving Brown's Ravine, my route turned south-east. The real climbing began just as I turned into the wind. Almost every tough climb seemed to conspire with the wind all the way home, doubling the difficulty while halving my speed.

Rain cells blew across the sky, low and mean. At the summits it seemed like I could reach up and touch the clouds.

After 3.5 hours in the saddle, I rolled down the driveway a little after 7 p.m. A lengthy bike commute makes for a long day, but a good day.


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