I actually had some time open in the schedule to join the Basket Case ride. This is a no drop ride and the speeds are typically a little slower than some of the other groups that I ride with. I decided to take the Surly because it had been a while since i have rode it and I figured I could use the climbing work out.
I was running late getting out of work. I still had to go home and get my stuff together for the ride and take the boys to soccer camp. When I got home they were not ready. This really did not help with my current stress level. I got on them about getting ready and then preceeded to get my bike and stuff together. It turns out that we were all ready earlier than we really needed to be. They were ready, so I went ahead and took them to camp. They could sign in early and off I was for the ride.
I was still early, so I decided that I would do a little pre-ride carb loading and had a Man Eater waiting on everyone to get there. Shortly after that, it was time for me to finish getting ready. The turn out was less than what I have seen on previous rides. It was probably the chance of rain that scared most off. I had trouble getting my phone in to a zip lock bag. Ever since I have changed cases, it does not fit real easy in the bags that I seem to grab. I can’t seem to find the other style when I need one. Otherwise they are always laying around everywhere. Go figure.
The first thing I notice was that my bars were not straight. I am not sure where that might have happened. I don’t remember having any wrecks. The problem is that I didn’t bring any tools. I really need to work on getting gear to carry on this bike. I plan on starting to use it to comute to work soon and not having tools is no way to be late for work. I did try to straighten them, but it did not work, so off I went feeling a little more off then I already did.
It did not take me long to wonder if I brought the wrong bike. With the group being smaller and the excitement to ride was high at the start, we were rolling along at over 20 mph. Normally that would not be a problem, but the gearing that is on the Surly makes it a little tough. I can spin 20, but much over that and I can’t sping it fast enough for very long. It was a good thing that some rollers showed up and intersections to slow the pace to a more manageable pace with only shorter sections being too fast.
The first option for our route did not look good by the time we hit the deciding intersection. The clouds were really dark and rain certain. We decided to turn another way and try to avoid the cloud. We did avoid it, but it seems that the rain was following the clouds. The wind really picked up, it started to rain and then we saw several lightning strikes. Probably not the best idea to be on a bike much less the only chromolly bike in the bunch. Nothing like being the designated lightning rod.
To put is mildly, we got soaked. It was really raining and the wind was blowing hard. It made for one interesting ride. We did turn to head back, but at one point it seemed to lighten up and it was decided to go on a little more. No sooner than we headed away from home it started to rain again, just not as bad as earlier, I think. It was hard to tell. I could not see anything. Sweat was running in to my eyes. They burned so bad and I could not get them to be any better. I just saw what I could and hoped I didn’t run in to anything or anyone.
We made it back safe and I think everyone had a good time considering the weather. It was a nice hard ride. Much more than what I thought we were going to do. I am not sure what average we had since I have not down loaded the file yet, but I know we went 20 miles. Nothing huge, but it was not supposed to be. It was the best shake down ride after a race I have had so far. Maybe because that is one of the only shake down rides I have done. I am just glad that I didn’t take a geared bike or I would have a lot of work to do to get it running good again.