Cold and Wet Brevet – how the Internet can help you stay dry
As someone whose job is to “make Internet” it is mind blowing that last Saturday, I left the house at 6AM wearing a wind jacket, gloves I know not to work under 5 degrees Celsius, and no thermo protection. It is also unexplainable how, for the first time in basically forever, I actually ate properly before a long ride, but, and I can not emphasize this enough, was dressed for a completely different day. And so, the first brevet of the season began.
“Getting it right” is really quiet simple in a brevet:
- Make sure you have a bike you can ride for hours without feeling much pain
- Make sure your seat is comfortable and augment with a healthy doze of chamois creme (I can not recommend the Assos stuff enough)
- Bring loads of food. Forget that power bar stuff and think sandwiches, fruits and specifically bananas
- Make sure your lights are working
- Make sure you are dressed properly
I failed miserably on the last part. Earlier in the week I spoke to one of the other riders and mentioned to him that I am going to install fenders on the Mudxium. He commented that I should not install them because if I do the rain will come and if I don’t it will be dry. My response was sadly to tempt the devil and I answered quiet tongue in cheek “I rather plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
On Friday as I was gazing outside the office window it was very obvious that spring has arrived. The weather was warm, the sun was shining and not a cloud was in the sky. I rode in the early evening wearing a light jacket and t-shirt and my brain shifted to “it’s spring time”. There was a “woohooo” and “finally!!!” somewhere in there as well. 12 hours later, winter returned with temperatures grazing the freezing and persistent drizzle that just got everywhere. About an hour into the ride, roughly when we left the city borders, it started raining. It stopped raining roughly when we returned to the city – some 212 km later. At that point I had no sensation left in my body and as I was trying to snack on a salad at the end of the ride the fork kept falling down. Sven who finished earlier and was already post shower had a fine giggle watching me shivering and dropping my fork repeatedly.
Well at least I had fenders.
There is a lesson to be learned here and it is rather simple. When drinking coffee on the morning of a brevet, do yourself a favor – call up your favorite weather app, check the weather report. Look for answers to essential questions like “how many hours of sunshine are expected today?” “What is the chances of rain and how much rain is expected?” “When is sunset and am I going to be riding in the dark?” (the last question is a little silly since after Brevet number 1, you can plan to ride in the dark in each Brevet). With the answers to these questions you decide on what to wear and do yourself a favor – bring extra gloves.
Well at least I had fenders.