How did we ever manage the weather back in the pre-Internet days, before we had Intellicast, Wunderground, and Accuweather?
Used to be, if you wanted to ride, you looked up at the sky to see if it looked like rain. Or turned on the Weather Channel to catch the 10-second glimpse of the radar. (Does anyone even watch the Weather Channel anymore?)
Now, we all get to be amateur meteorologists.
Want to go ride? Check the radar first. It’s saved me from some wet rides, and helped to find dry slots on an otherwise washed-out day.
One evening last week I was able to ride around the rain. The skies didn’t look promising, but the radar showed the rain was scattered. It looked like I could stay dry riding south, then east, and then the rain would have passed north. Out riding, I could see the edges of the where the rain was falling, and only had wet roads the last 15 minutes near home. One more session on the trainer avoided.
It doesn’t always work out that way. The radar can’t capture everything, especially when you throw in the dreaded lake (Erie) effect.
Over in Salamanca, NY, at the Raccoon Rally road race, the weather looked fine at the start. Overcast but dry roads. The radar had looked clear.
But 6 miles into the race, over the first climb, the roads turned wet and it was raining. Coming back, over the second climb, it was dry. It was that way the entire race. Raining on one half of the course, completely dry on the other half.
Talk about your micro-climates.
I’d almost rather it rain on the whole course. Once you’re wet, you’re wet. Having part of the course be dry just makes you angry at the stupidity of the weather. Had it been a training ride, I would have turned around when the roads got wet, and just stayed dry.
I’ve had my share of good results in the rain though (like at the Raccoon Rally). I figure if I’m going to get wet and dirty and have to clean my bike afterwards (the worst part), I should ride hard and get my money’s worth.