Friday, June 4, 2010

First wet ride!

I got to ride home in the rain for the first time today! There was a nasty sounding thunderstorm building up right as I was about to leave the barn. I had been listening to it rumble for about an hour, then just as I was locking up, little drops if water started sprinkling down.

Not knowing how waterproof my lights are, I covered them with some sandwich bags that I had in my saddle trunk. (Like zip ties, you never know when some sandwich bags might come in handy!) I ditched the flip flops in favor of my boots for the ride home, donned the ball cap and sunglasses to keep the water out of my eyes and set out. At first it was just a light drizzle, but soon it became a full on down pour. It was fantastic! And felt SO good after a long hot day. I even found myself sticking my tongue out to catch droplets, as if it were snow. :) I have to say, I LOVE riding in the rain. In the summer at least. Helena on the other hand, is emphatically opposed to being ridden in the rain.

She did NOT want to stop or even slow down on the hills. 40+ year old caliper brakes, even with new Kool Stop brake pads just don't cut it in pouring down rain on steep hills. Which was fine so long as there was an uphill after the downhill, which is the case for most of my commute, but the last intersection that I cross is at the bottom of a hill, and she almost didn't want to stop for that. I had to put feet to the road to brake for that one. This is only the case if it is actually raining. On wet road, it seems as thought the brakes catch, though not as well as they do when it's dry. But at least they DO work then. So, as much as I might have enjoyed the rain, I think it best not to ride Helena in that much water. I'll call for a ride or wait the storm out from now on. At least until I can save up for my Pashley or Oma (haven't decided which, but the internal hub/drum brakes would have been wonderful today!)

In the mean time, Helena is going to drip dry and sulk on her towel in the kitchen.


  1. I might take Josephine out for a ride today. We had a thunderstorm this morning. I'm not sure how well the brakes will do on the wet road. My neighborhood is very hilly. (I live on "Hill Street," seriously.) Glad you made it home safely, though. I would have freaked out if I couldn't stop at the bottom of a hill. Yeesh.

  2. Joelle - I think that the problem Helena had was that it was raining hard, so the rims didn't have a chance to dry off with the air moving across them. As soon as it stopped raining, even though the roads were wet, and even if I went through a puddle, she would stop. It took a little longer, so I would start braking sooner. Just take it slow, and stay on those brakes before you get going down the hill. Have a fun ride!