I left work last Monday and rode around Beaver Lodge for 90 minutes before the start of the weekly group ride. The puddles were hub deep; within 15 minutes I was covered from head to toe with soupy mud, and the rain was blowing sideways so badly that I couldn’t see the trail, no matter how bright my light was shining.
Despite the weather, I was having an okay ride, but about an hour in I got cold. I realized that the water had penetrated all my rain gear and my winter riding boots were full of muddy goop. (Apparently submersing them makes them less water proof. Who knew?) It was at this point that I was thinking, “What an Idiot I am for being out here.”
The good news was that in this weather there was no way anyone would show up for the group ride, so I would just head home for a nice hot shower. As I rolled into the parking lot to confirm the ride was cancelled so I could continue on home, I found four other riders waiting for me. The next thought in my head was, “Wow there are four other people as dumb as I am”.
I faked a smile and we headed for the trail that I thought would be the driest…It wasn’t dry at all and we rode through the trails in what seemed like one lake after another. Somehow I started to warm up and the ride began to flow nicely through the trees, the puddles were less noticeable, and we even found some fast down hill and a technical climb to keep us smiling.
As we were riding back to the finish, we all decided to take the long way through the trails before heading home. I would have definitely skipped the ride that night, but due to four friends as dumb as I am, we had a great Monday night rip through the slop!
So to those who showed up to ride in the nastiest weather of the year, thanks for the motivation, I wouldn’t have done it without you.
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…Rain or Shine!