Friday, September 29, 2006

"It's not artistic"

Date: September 28
Mileage: 36.4
September mileage: 330.6

The camera's just wet.

Does that mean I can't love this photo just the same?

According to the West Juneau weather station, today's rainfall so far is 1.34". Not that bad, really. We did a moderate ride in the afternoon that Geoff was not a big fan of. (The backstory behind that is that it took us nearly three hours to get out the door after a long morning, and we were running on little more than a 9 a.m. bowl of cereal until 4 p.m.) Anyway, during the last five miles he complained of lightheadedness and blurring vision, and then dropped me anyway. As for me, I pretty much forgot it was raining after a while. 25 mph headwinds and a 1,200-foot climb will do that. But to be honest, I enjoyed the ride. It wasn't bad. I really should just, as I said earlier this week, suck it up and ride more often.

As for rain gear - it's pointless. Who in their right mind would suit up in a bunch of breathable Gortex and then go jump in a lake, expecting to stay dry? You wouldn't. And you don't go biking in Juneau in the fall with any such delusions. This is why I'm such a huge fan of neoprene. I used it a lot last year to stay warm in the -30 degree windchills of January's deep freeze (hands, face and feet.) But it's also the ideal gear for 35 to 50 degrees and raining. If it had better range of motion, I'd go biking in a wetsuit. As it is, several layers of synthetics work pretty well. The most valuable riding-in-rain lesson I've learned: it's all about warm, not dry.

Another valuable riding-in-rain lesson: wet brakes have all the stopping power of a determined thumb. All I can say is that, at 35 mph, I'm pretty lucky I discovered this at a long straightaway while Geoff was several hundred feet in front of me.

This rain riding thing is still hard for me to volunteer for, but I'll get used to it. Otherwise, I won't be able to keep up much of a bike blog.


  1. It's supposed to rain here on Tuesday ... It will be the first real rain I hae seen since my frosty feet mishap.

    I have to give this more thought. Neoprene ...

  2. I admire your determination in the challenges of biking in Alaska and facing odds I can't even imagine doing myself in that arena of sporting, but just between you and me, I read more for the,

    "ice, bears and distant dreams of the midnight sun"

    Especially the "dreams of the midnight sun" part. Because I have those dreams myself.

    So if you did happen to stop biking, you'd still have me as a reader. :-)

  3. Girl, haven't you ever heard of a cycling cape? Keeps the rain off of you, and then lots of ventilation from underneath. Of course fenders or mud guards can help a lot too as well as spats. I've ridden hours in the rain while on tour and commuted with them too.

    I agree, Gored-Tex is over-rated and way too expensive.

  4. Just think how much powder you'll have on the mountain for snowboarding this winter.

    All you'll have a nice snowbike too.


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