This winter has been the wettest on record in Northern California, and our drought has been crushed by an endless, merciless torrent of rain that the National Weather Service terms an "Atmospheric River". It seems our every-three-day storm cycle is accompanied by a deluge of closed roads, closed schools, and flash flood warnings. Yes, we're soft Californians - we live here because of the weather, not in spite of it, and being relegated to the trainer every weekend seems like an odd twist of irony. In response, we came up with a list to buoy our hopes, and to embrace our newfound friend: The Rain.
THE TOP TEN REASONS TO RIDE IN THE RAIN
1) Hydration. It comes from the sky. Skydration? When it's pissing rain, we hardly touch our bottles, even on multi-hour slogs. Is this healthy? Probably not. But that's beside the point. Functional dehydration is now a thing, so it stands to reason that Giardia-induced functional diarrhea is, too.
2) Rain bikes. Instead of obsessing about how to add ceramic bearings to a bike or shave ten grams, we get to figure out how to kludge fenders onto an aero fairing, or under a $600 brakeset. Alternatively, we just buy Trek Domanes. All hail the forgotten fender mount.
3) Spectacular solitude. Nobody else is on the road (including cars), except the jovially insane/delusional. Like us. And you.
4) Chow down. It's a scientific fact that riding in shit weather negates all nutritional surplus. Calories do not count - they just don't. Rumor has it that even Team Sky unlocks the Nutella jars for races in the rain. Pizza? We earned this, don't judge our lovehandles.
5) The Smell. Ignore the fact that as you careen through standing water lining cow pastures you're ingesting millions of tiny particles of cattle feces, and take a deep breath. Smell that? It's like clean sheets, but significantly more uncomfortable.
6) Pros don't ride in the rain. Through simple math and a process of elimination, this is liable to make you the fastest motherfucker on the road. King for a day, as they say.
7) Imbibe. Drinking whiskey before, after, and during a rainy ride is perfectly acceptable. Always.
8) Cleaning. Riding in what's coloquially known as "The Shit" necessitates cleaning and lubrication of equipment. These duties can slide in summer months, but when the deluge hits, seized bearings are a thing, and there's nothing like a chain squealing louder than a Sherman tank rolling into Northern France to remind us to clean/lube regularly.
10) Guilt. Staring into the abyss of a closet full of nice rain kit motivates, even when it's warm and dry out. Chicken? Egg? Do we care? We're outside.