With the weekend century plans kaput due to relentless rain (hoping to reschedule for next weekend), I took off for an afternoon ride in the rain, if for nothing else than to test some new gear.
First, I wanted to check out the new rain jacket I bought (a Specialized Deflect Jacket). This seemed to work fine, though with warm temperatures and heavy humidity, I think I was nearly as wet inside the jacket as I was outside. The jacket didn’t feel terribly breathable, but I’m not sure this was a valid test case. It did seem to do a fine job of keeping rain out, however.
Second, in anticipation of riding the century on wet roads, I’d purchased a set of fenders. The Planet Bike Freddy Fenders aren’t full fenders, but are of the clip-on variety. They don’t fit terribly well on the mountain bike — the rear fender’s clip, in particular, interferes with my front derailleur cable — but I eventually got them installed. And despite a bit of interference on the front fender during tight turns, they worked great.
Third, I rigged a helmet mount for my Planet Bike Superflash. This blinky light comes with a seatpost mount and a built-in clip mount, but no obvious way to mount it to a handlebar. Normally, I run this on my seatpost, but I was concerned that its visibility would be blocked by the read fender and expanded seat bag. Plus, higher is better, I think. So I came up with a simple solution, using just a tie-wrap and a hunk of old inner tube. Basically, the tie-wrap connects the inner tube (which acts as a fat rubber band) to the helmet’s internal webbing, and the light’s clip is inserted into the inner tube. I’m not sure how well I explained that, but it seems to work very well, allowing me to position the Superflash securely onto the helmet, yet still allowing for some adjustability.
The ride itself was just a quick 23-mile loop. The rain, as I left, was light but steady. Later on, it stopped entirely (and the sun even came out of the clouds for a few moments), before resuming just before I returned home. A few minutes thereafter, the rain started pouring down.
The title of this post, and the photo (which is not mine, as I neglected to bring my camera), refers to what I saw when I crossed a low spot on a lightly-traveled road — crawdads walking across the paved road. As I stopped and rolled near them, they’d rear up onto their tails, raising their claws toward me in a defensive posture. The little buggers are so ugly they’re kind of cute, and the claw-waving “salute” behavior is really funny, especially when they lose their balance and topple over on their backs.