Thursday, February 1, 2007

 This morning (first day of February) a news guy on the radio announced that this had been the coldest January in Phoenix in 30 years. Super. I’m so happy to have been part of this historic January!

Yesterday I dashed off early on my Surly (heh!) when the low clouds looked ominous but there was as yet no rain to the post office in Oracle. Fifteen miles, more than half of it dirt--seemed like I could make a surgical strike and be back at the POD before the inevitable rain started falling.

The road was soft with Tuesday’s rain, so it was difficult to carry momentum. Then the drops started to fall. It wasn’t blowing in from the west or the north, the clouds all around were dropping lower and it began to rain all around me at once. I got a good soaking in pissing rain just as I hit the highway. I climbed into Oracle with traffic hissing by raising mist. I got to the post office just before it opened and went inside to peel off my wet windbreaker and replace it with the rain jacket. I wasn’t cold because I’d been climbing, but the ride home was going to be chilly.

Luckily the rain stopped and I only had chilly wind, wheel wash off the pavement, and then an even softer dirt road to contend with on the way back. When I returned to the POD I considered doing a quick mtb ride, since it was windy but not raining, but my feet were numb and I was cold. So I went inside to warm up. By the time I was halfway warmed rain returned, and then hard wind-driven sleet, then even more rain.

Blah. It’s been a good trip, really. And Colorado has had a really harsh winter that I haven’t been too disappointed about missing. But man, I have nearly worn out my leg warmers and winter jerseys. And who would have guessed that it would have been a good idea to rig up fenders for the Trucker before heading down to AZ to ride? An hour before dawn, I sit in the POD listening to rain and sleet coming down outside as the heater fires up and runs--again.

At bed time last night the gibbous moon shone in a mostly clear sky, and the promise of a clear day sent me to sleep with a hopeful smile and visions of tacky singletrack dancing in my head. Will today be another day spent lounging around reading or passing time driving to town to surf the internet?

The weather has sure been a pain in the ass for the last 8 months or so. Let’s hope that it’s just El Niño or bad juju or some other temporary shit. Cyclists in the west may be praying for the return of the drought this year.

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