This is so not fair!

I don’t get out riding much these days, so I look forward to the times when I can get out and ride. Last weekend, the Altadena Mountain Rescue guys invited me out to a Brown/El Prieto ride. I like riding with them knowing that help is right there should I crash. Well, maybe. They’re pretty fast, even when they claim to be out of shape, making them pretty hard to keep up with.

To prepare for my bi-monthly ride, I checked weather reports and trail reports and all looked good. I was even excited about riding El Prieto since it’s been a long time since I’ve ridden it and it looked like there’s been quite a bit of work done on it.

Come Sunday morning, I loaded up my bike. There were a few sprinkles, but that’s not enough to stop me from going out for a ride. On the way over to the meeting place, I went through some heavier drizzle and some rain. I wasn’t going to bail out just yet since I said I’d go, and I was hoping the weather was better at the trailhead. It was sprinkling when I got there, so all looked pretty good. One of the guys even had a shiny new Jeckyll he was itching to try out. It’s a beautiful bike: mondo Lefty fork, a bunch of travel, disc brakes, a single pivot, and adjustable geometry. Unfortunately, the rain picked up a bit and it was getting uncomfortably wet.

At this point, hitting the trails didn’t seem like such a good idea. As I said, I don’t mind riding when it’s sprinkling, but when the rain really picks up, there’s just a lot I don’t want to deal with. Mostly, trails get pretty torn up when people ride on them when they’re wet and/or muddy. Knowing what El Prieto is like, I’m sure parts of it softened up with the rain which isn’t going to hold up under heavy riding. Then there’s the issue of how dirty a bike gets. I don’t mind cleaning my bike, but I try to keep mud and water out of my hubs and bottom bracket; they’ll last longer that way. I left them with my regrets and made the drive back home, through some heavy rain, and then light sprinkles when I got home.

A bit disappointing, but at least I dragged myself out to ride. It’s hard sometimes to get motivated to go out for a ride, but once I’m there, I’m set. I’m just thankful I have riding buddies who will drag me out for a ride. And that’s what we’re here for – to be riding buddies who make you want to go out and ride.

I’m writing this as I’m looking out at today’s rain and thinking about the ride schedule. Tomorrow’s a Brown/El Prieto ride which I can’t make, but I hope it stops raining so Van Der Veen and everybody else can enjoy the bumpy ride down El Prieto. If not, there are always other days to ride. Like next weekend when Brian will be leading the same ride, or any of the other rides we have coming up.

March is going to be Sundays with Lloyd, and some other rides, including Ray’s annual L.A. Marathon bike ride. My dad and I will be there again. Ugh, I wish they’d schedule it later in the morning, but it’s not too much to get myself out of bed and to the starting line long before sunrise. If you want to do the Marathon ride, e-mail Ray for details, such as good places to park and where we’ll be meeting.

Last, but not least, there’s the Pancake Breakfast in April, but you knew that already, right?