Intersection of Wet & Muddy

Intersection of Wet & Muddy

Yesterday was supposed to be a 12 hour Trans Iowa prep ride. The plan was to take off at 4 am, same time the race starts, with no specific route other than heading southwest. Matt wanted to ride to the SW corner of the state to see his dad so the rest of the Wrecked’em Trans Iowa Crushers were going to head that way, too.

As the hours till departure decreased, the rain chance increased. When I bailed on the 12 hour ride plan, the chance of rain sat at 90% with the added promise of wind gusts in the mid-20 mph range. I’ve never liked riding or racing in the rain and mud, but in my early racing career, I did it. Now I’m smarter…not!

There was a break in the rain in the morning, so I took off at 8 am to ride for a couple of hours or until the rain started up again. It started misting almost immediately and the wind didn’t disappoint. This picture shows what the roads looked like. It was one of those days when the people in the three cars I met stared at me like I was an apparition. I imagine it was a little surprising to see a lone biker out in the middle of nowhere when the weather sucked so bad.

I’m sure there are hardier bikers than me who would have said, alright, this is perfect Trans Iowa practice conditions. Aren’t we lucky to be able to get in such a realistic and typical practice ride. This will allow us to be much better prepared for the race and test our rain gear. To those riders I say, “I hate you.”

One thing I have learned, fenders are cool. I used to think fenders were only for sock and sandal wearing touring weirdo’s. Now that I’m becoming a bit of a touring weirdo, minus socks and sandals so far, I’ve seen the light. Fenders extend your riding options and keep your ass from getting the brown biker stripe.

I like big fenders, I cannot lie

I’d probably been riding for an hour when I took this picture and my drive train was still clean and snappy. No cold water rivulet running through my butt valley either! Thank you Planet Bike.

I lasted 90 minutes. By that time I was pretty soaked and starting to get really cold. No big deal, so I shortened my ride by 10-1/2 hours. I think I’ll still be ready and I think Trans Iowa will be 55 degrees and sunny with no wind.