Thursday, August 28, 2014

Embracing the Rain

Dark clouds were already looming by 10am this morning. The forecast called for a 35% chance of thundershowers starting at 11 and I had a three hour endurance ride in the hills on tap. I smartly packed a rain jacket and long fingered gloves and headed out from Gun-barrel toward 63rd. I had one climb in mind: Left Hand Canyon. Never mind that it was shrouded in dark clouds and that from a distance looked like it was being dumped on. I had work to do.

I started counting the dirt patches from the wash out last September. Boulder is still recovering from the 100-year flood that devastated parts of the county. My plan was to climb up to the sharp right hand turn for Ward and then turn around. It started sprinkling at mile marker eight and I had twenty more minutes to go. The sprinkles turned into dime size drops and increased in frequency. I hadn't seen another cyclist for at least a half hour. That's the thing with Colorado. If it's raining, no one goes outside.

I looked down at my Garmin and figured this was as good of a place as any to turn around. I put my rain jacket on and zoomed downhill. Then it started raining harder and I started smiling.

I miss riding in the rain. It's an old friend I know well and one that I realized I hadn't seen in awhile.

It started raining harder and a bigger smile spread across my face.

Is that all you got?

I took off my sunglasses in hopes that i could see the upcoming pot holes in the dirt sections I hit at 35 mph. Squinting, I thread the needle through washboard sections and bunny hopped pinch flat craters. The rain lightened and I turned up Lee Hill and started climbing again.

The vistas from the houses on Lee are breathtaking - shouldered in misty grays highlighted by green trees and stunning canyons. I smiled again - thankful to be here, now.  Thankful for a healthy body, a thinking mind and all of the wonderful people in my life. And then it started pouring.

Sometimes you need a little rain to wash you off and renew your spirits.