I like the rain – always have. As a kid, I enjoyed being out in it, playing tag or football, doing what kids do. I left San Diego to head to college in Santa Cruz knowing there would be more than twice as much rain there as here. My first winter turned out to be the wettest on record with more than 20 inches falling over a three-day period just after the new year in 1982. Flooding and downed power lines prompted the closing of the university for an entire week which ultimately resulted in Saturday classes and final exams during spring break. The following year, we all learned about El Niño when even more rain fell than the year before. Still, I liked the rain.
When I got involved in cycling, I became a weather watcher. Training schedules don’t care about the weather. You have to put in the miles to be prepared for your event, but riding in the rain is neither safe, nor desirable for most recreational cyclists. The past couple of weeks, I have been glued to the Weather Channel app on my iPhone, hoping the days I could ride would align with the rainless days. With 16 days of vacation on the horizon, I was certain to get in a few training rides and some fun saddle time with some of the very best people I know. Then came last week and six solid days of rain. Combine all that sogginess with holiday commitments and my saddle time half way through vacation comes in at a big fat ZERO. Sigh.
I write a lot about silver linings, being thankful for what’s good in life rather than focusing on what’s not, but I must admit I’ve had a pretty good pout going on this last week (Carol can confirm this, I’m sure). And the one sunny day I could have gotten in a ride on Christmas Eve, I didn’t know anyone was planning to ride until I saw a mid-ride post on facebook. UGH!!! With all our tech tools and means for staying connected, how did I miss it?
So here it is Sunday morning, another opportunity to ride and I awaken to a light rain and wet roads. As I write, the rain has stopped, the roads are drying and the sun is being a tease, but with an afternoon “eat and greet” engagement, there is no ride in the cards today. Another training opportunity literally down the drain. I know I am still more than five months from that 545-mile ride down the California coast, but I am starting to get anxious about getting in the miles. The long-range weather models predict we will get most of our rain early this winter – already I am crying “UNCLE!!!” Honestly, I don’t really care how much it rains, but I DO care about WHEN it rains. Leading up to vacation, we had lots of nice “sunny and 70” weather during the week, but the weekends have been “soggy and 60” for sometime now. Yes, I’m whining again. Still.
Since I can’t beat the weather, or bring synchronicity to the sun’s schedule and mine, I’ll focus on the silver linings and the ways in which life is STILL good – here’s my Top Ten:
10. Paid vacation
9. Watching football on the TV while pedaling the bike at the gym (miles in the saddle, right?)
8. Knowing the Winter Solstice brings with it a return to more daylight each day
7. Good food shared with cherished family and friends
6. Gift cards for REI and Hi-Tech Bikes
5. Morning mocha courtesy of Kona coffee from a colleague and homemade cocoa from Kristi
4. Carol’s festive decorations to brighten the dreary days
3. Slow, cozy mornings with Carol and Birdie
2. Having the means and good health to do AIDS/LifeCycle
1. The unending support of friends and family who give me strength and inspiration to commit to raising $5000 and riding 545 miles in support of those battling HIV and AIDS
Yep – life is good, I am blessed, and the sun will come out – tomorrow – or the next day…eventually, I will ride again.