hill repeats in the rain
debated the ride possibilities for the day all the way home this evening... brave the cold rain and get in an interval workout on the roads of rock creek park, hook the road bike up to the trainer and spin for an hour, or just bag the workout all together... i wasn't going to let myself get away with not working out so i decided to hit the roads in the park.
i've always been a bit of a fairweather rider, the prospect of riding in the rain doesn't appeal to me, but whenever i do it, there is a sort of perverse enjoyment in being out in the kind of weather that non-cyclists would never expect people to out in.
on top of the conditions, i've always felt pretty sketchy riding in the rain... back when i first got a road bike a couple of years ago i had a pretty bad fall when the bike went out from under me on wet pavement. i was in the middle of rehabing my knee after ACL reconstruction surgery and fell right onto it when i touched those wonderfully slick painted lines on the road.
i pulled out the gore bike wear jacket that i wore riding in the winter, not completely waterproof since it's a softshell but pretty water resistant, breathable, and pretty warm with it's fleecely liner, and a pair of fleece lined hincape knickers... made sure i had a blinky light on my road bike and hit the road out the back door. i took a different route down to the park, though the zoo instead of the direct route, to avoid the traffic and the worst pavement. spent the first 20 minutes of the ride trying to get my heart rate monitor to read correctly, but it never worked right.
found my hill for the day... 3 minutes to the top getting steeper as you climb, then a turn and it flattens out for a couple of yards, then another turn and road tips up a bit to the top... keep the cadence high and the gear big enough to keep my heart at my anaerobic threshold... up the hill then a couple minutes to recover while i ride back down, dragging my brakes the whole way... then back up, lactic acid burning in my legs, rain getting heavier, lighter, then heavier again, water dripping down from the brim of my cap, from the tip of my nose, my fingertips, spraying up from my tires... repeat, repeat, repeat...
i was, as i find i normally do, enjoying this rainy workout... close the ride with a spin through the park, taking a bit more care in the wet corners, watching the whitewater churned up in the swollen creek, then up the hill to home... shift into the big ring and stand the whole way, pedals turning smoothly and the bike swinging lightly underneath me, back to home and warmth...