The wet ride: when to stay in bed

Owen puts the power down through the quiet streets of Jamberoo

The alarm goes off, it’s Saturday morning, time for a nice big ride with the bunch. No pressure to get back for work, a chance to go a bit further than usual, maybe somewhere you haven’t been for a while. Saturday morning rides are great. A quick glance outside reveals its wet. No problem, it isn’t raining now and the road will dry up once the sun’s out. Then it happens, you get a message on your phone, it can only mean one thing at this time of the morning. “Mate, its pouring here, coming down heavy”. Its 30 minutes before the meet up time, and already being completely ready, just short of clipping in the pedals, we decide to give it 20 minutes. Not more than 10 minutes later comes another one, this time from the official TMCC ride organiser, “Men, raining cats and dogs here, back to bed for me”. Followed by “I’m riding, going to get wet but stuff it, cya soon”

We meet up, and what should have been 6 or 7 ends up being 3. It’s not raining but the road is soaked and no one wants to sit behind a back wheel to get a free dirty shower. We can’t have been riding for more than 3 or 4 minutes then the unthinkable happens, someone goes down right in from of me. For that split second I quickly question why all of a sudden Andrew’s bike was pulled from under him. Then I feel my front wheel drift, what ever it is I’m on it too. Thankfully I ride it out, quickly jump off the bike to see if he’s ok. He came down hard, and looked to have slid a bit on the wet tarmac. Ouch.

Shaken up, a cut knee, a bit dizzy but ok. We wait for him to feel up to it, escort him home, then push on with the rest of the ride. Whenever someone goes down during a ride, the rest of the trip always feels different. Everyones a bit more on edge, and it often changes from “lets go out hard” to “lets get it done and get home safely”.

After the ride we went back to take a photo of the crash scene. You can see where the double lines have been painted over with black. We were turning right. Riding over it felt like ice in the wet.

With that behind us we got out into the quiet, country roads of Jamberoo. The weather still looked ominous but we were already wet so it didn’t matter. We had almost an hour of incident free riding, but in the wet that clearly isn’t allowed, so it was time for the next drama. Thankfully it was a just a simple flat, but annoying none the less. After some encouragement from a few cows, a spent CO2 cannister (without explosion disappointingly) we were once again moving, enjoying the scenery.

The rolling green hills ended, now replaced by busy freeway, a fantastic experience in the wet. With the rain starting again it was time to put the hammer down, get back, and most importantly, get a coffee!

Yes thats somoenes shoes out in the rain. Sounded like he poured half a litre out when they were emptied out.

The cafe was soaked. Just as we arrived a monsoon-like rain came down. Seconds later a dripping wet bunch of riders pulled into the cafe, it was the crew that took us on the Free peaks ride – a tough group that wouldn’t be deterred by a little wet. The rain at the cafe was relentless, and was now coming down even harder – time for another coffee.

So that was it, ride done, a crash, a flat, a couple of coffees, and a soaking ride home in the wet. It’s in interesting dilemma. Are you one of the hard ones who’ll ride in any conditions? Did you just wash your bike yesterday? Have you missed a couple of rides this week and just want to get out regardless? Or is a warm bed just all too appealing on those wet mornings?

These are all questions that envariably get asked on mornings like we had, but ultimately, there’s always going to be another morning, and there’s always the trainer! At the end of the day though, its just water.

Weekend rides
  1. David Meikle says: March 22, 201111:31 am

    Good posting buddy! Looking forward to something with a vietnamese flavour to it…see you in a couple of weeks.

  2. Andrew Brown says: March 22, 20116:41 pm

    Thanks for the inclusion mate! Feeling a bit sore but nothing time wont heal. I was more disappointing that I didn’t get a long ride in than thankful I came off with only minor scraps and bruises.

  3. Mike says: March 30, 20112:42 am

    Great story and photos.
    Can’t wait to get back to Aus and my weekend group ride, even if it’s wet.
    In fact, i hope it’s wet!!

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