Rain Training: Canada Rd Loop

Anne did this loop last year, as part of an organized training series for Cinderella. She suggested we do it this weekend.

The forecast was for rain, but since we already got the new rain fairing set up, and we anticipate some rainy days on the tour, we figured we’d suit up and go anyways.

As promised, it rained nearly the whole day, varying from misting, drizzling, and approaching downpour.

The first bit, across Dumbarton Bridge, is part of my commute. Ruth was pretty excited about biking over “Daddy’s bridge.” Instead of my usual turn, we kept going past the Facebook campus.

We stopped for lunch at Bedwell Bayfront Park. There weren’t any picnic shelters or anything, so we stood against the downwind wall of the bathrooms, which kept us pretty dry. As we were leaving, I realized that my wheel was going flat. So, we stopped to fix it. We couldn’t find the leak, or anything in the tire. Fortunately, there were puddles everywhere, so I could do the water-bubble trick. We then found and pulled the staple embedded in my tire, put in a new tube, and finally got moving again.

Then across 101 (highway overpasses are always exciting) and through some fancy looking neighborhoods in Menlo Park.

As we were climbing to the hills, Ruth started complaining about being hungry. The rain wasn’t too strong, so we stopped.  While we were eating, a man walked up the bike lane (no sidewalk), and asked if we needed anything, and if we were touring. We told him we were training, and it turned out that he (and his lady friend, who came along a bit later) had done the west coast as well. We chatted for a bit, then went on our merry way. It was very nice of him to stop and offer help.

Finally, we made it to Canada Rd, the focusing reason for the ride. It had some nice views, and Anne reported seeing some deer huddling under some trees. It was supposed to be a Bike Sunday, where they close the road to cars, but it turns out they cancel it when it rains. There wasn’t really enough traffic to matter. There also weren’t a lot of other bikers on the road.

It stopped raining for a bit on Canada, but then the winds picked up. I preferred the rain.

Before long, it was time to turn around. This was our first ride where Anne and Max’s trailer had a Weber hitch, which matches mine and Ruth’s. Anne suggested we switch, which was kind of fun. Ruth certainly enjoyed being pulled by Mommy. The weight between the two seemed pretty even.

The ride back had some more short ups and downs, although the rain meant we had to keep the speed down. More fancy neighborhoods, this time in Atherton. We took Willow back towards the bridge, which is my usual driving commute path. Biking it is a lot faster than rush hour driving, although I was glad we weren’t doing it when there was a lot of traffic. Then back across the bridge and home.

As we were unloading the bikes in the driveway, there was a loud bang, enough to get neighbor dogs barking. It was my tire/tube popping. We haven’t investigated or fixed it yet, but I certainly got both water and grit under the tire when changing it in the rain. There was also at least one patch that may have failed catastrophically. I’m glad it happened after the ride.

The rain was certainly a challenge. Even with rain covers on the panniers, some of the contents got damp. Fortunately, the stuff in dry bags stayed dry, and nothing was more than damp.

There was a lot of running water in the gutters, and some significant puddles and debris in the bike lanes and road.

I got water under my rain gear, especially socks and gloves. I stayed warm and comfortable, though, so still a success. Ruth kept warm and mostly dry under her rain cover. Same story with Max in his trailer.

So, success! We can ride all day in the rain without being destroyed, or destroying anything.