The sound of driving rain coupled with wind lulled me into postponing my departure from the comfort of a warm bed. Once up, I wasted no time in checking the weather outside. Yes it was raining and raining hard but in Miami it could be over in minutes. I turned on the tube (dating myself) and the weather man showed a rain pattern long and wide yet finite. I will ride south through the weather and estimate enduring only two hours of rain then a dry ride the rest of the way.
Even at Seventy-two degrees rain can turn a ride from fun to uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Staying warm will be important so I pull out the Rapha ¾ bibs, a merino base layer, winter Jersey. Always take care of the extremities. I add my Rapha booties to the pile. Toastie feet are a blessing on any winter ride. Long finger gloves, winter collar and Rapha cap complete the kit and the red accessories accent the grey jersey and black bibs beautifully. I struggled to decide whether I should wear the rain jacket or gilet. The rain jacket might be too much protection and tend to overheat. The gilet will not protect the arms and will only shed so much water.
I stepped outside. The roads were empty.
It was pouring so hard loud laughter rolls from my “belly like a bowl full of jelly”.
Within a mile I was positive the rain jacket was the correct choice. My core was dry and comfortable. In ten miles I was still comfortable and smiling from ear to ear. No cars, no cyclist, no pedestrians… houses were hidden by the deluge. The suburban landscape appeared wild and untamed…
the world was mine.
I was keeping a decent pace and was amazed at how good I felt. I still wonder at the recuperative powers of the human body. Yesterday, I finished my ride with a decent amount of pain and today I am riding through the rain at tempo. I keep my first break short to keep moving, too keep the juices flowing.
I ride through the palm nurseries and out towards Roberts the weather breaks and the sun begins to peak through the clouds. I open the rain jacket and let it flap, a chance to dry out before I stuff it in my jersey. I ride out into the Killing Fields to get in some extra miles. The sun has made its presence known and has pushed the temperature to 82 degrees. Off goes the rain jacket and into the jersey pocket. The winter jersey is now open…the Euroflag in full flight.
After Fifty miles I have my first cyclist sighting of the day.
The sky darkens and my headlamp has lost power. I don’t know what happened since I had turned it off at the first break. My plan to have a backup headlamp failed when I left this morning with it still on the kitchen table. I point one of the three rear lights forward to ensure I am seen from all directions but it does nothing for the dark road ahead. The cloud cover and the mangroves make for difficult riding and the motorists are out taking chances. I head to Starbucks and call in the cavalry for the second time in two days. I am disappointed that I could not complete today’s route but satisfied with the 79 miles.
This leaves me with like 36 miles left to complete the Festive 500. Tomorrow I leave for Jamaica and will not return until 12/31…the last day of the festive.
I find it difficult to leave things unfinished.