The luxury of being self employed. I managed to adjust my schedule to accommodate a weekly Wednesday morning bicycle ride with the Tarwheels. I’ve been doing this almost every week since August when I started training in earnest for the MS150 Bicycle Tour. What was a 9:00 AM ride became 10:00 AM when daylight savings time ended and then starting in December it became 11:00 AM. Figure about 3 hours for about 40 miles plus rest stop plus a little socializing before/after the ride. That’s a big chunk out of the day. Plus shower, change clothes, and somehow I manage to work up a huge appetite so there’s an extra meal in there somewhere. The people are wonderful and the scenery is great. I’ve learned more back roads in my area in the last six months than in the whole 25+ years I’ve been living here.
But – I’m not out there today. I’ve become a big fan of weather websites since re-becoming a cyclist. But – we all know where trusting the weather man gets us. Last night the projected temperature for the duration of our (also weekly) Tuesday night ride (lots of blinky lights!) was in the low 40’s. What actually happened was that it was already down into the 30’s when we started and right at 32 when we finished. That was OK. A few numb toes and fingers but it was a great ride – 20 miles out in the country and then through some Carrboro neighborhoods to check out the Christmas lights.
Today? Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain in the morning. 20%. Translation (using the new updated drought-stricken North Carolina interpretation of weather forcasts): 20% chance of rain means no rain in sight for the next 40 days and 40 nights. But then there was that ominous red sky this morning. “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.” So at 9:30 it started raining. And 10 degrees cooler than the projected temperature. At 10:30 it’s still raining. I have to leave at 10:40 to make the 11:00 ride. I decide no. Rain, OK – I can handle that. Cold, OK – I can handle that. But rain AND cold. No. I’m drawing the line. 10:40 it’s still raining. I’m reading the paper. 10:45 I look up. Rain stopped. 10:50 – clouds are breaking. 11:00 on the dot the sun comes out. Temperature is rising. It’s a beautiful day for a ride.
So – I could have gone out on my own but the truth is I really like these group rides. And there is strength in numbers when biking around here. Plus, I’m taking the chain of weather events as a sign that I really should stay home and get some work done today. Work. Oh, OK.
Did I mention that the sky is almost completely clear now? It’s a beautiful day for a ride.