June 17, 2016
I was incredibly fortunate. I spent a week riding through Scotland and another 5 days at the Isle of Man, and it didn’t rain once. Until ten minutes after the last race.
That was a week ago today. And it hasn’t stopped raining for more than about 30 minutes at a time since then.
When I arrived at Baskerville Hall in Wales, I was already fairly wet. It had been pouring while I sat in a traffic jam in Hereford, the water literally running off my elbows and onto my pants like two waterfalls. Even my Gore-Tex couldn’t put up with the amount of rain I received and eventually I started feeling the wetness.
The sun came out almost long enough to get the tent pitched. I tossed the rest of my stuff, and my yellow Ortlieb dry bag under the vestibule of the tent and walked into Baskerville Hall to attend a seminar. When I came out, it was a deluge. I walked back to the tent in ankle-deep water (and mud) to find that my tent was basically an island in the middle of a large puddle. The next thing I learned was that there was a hole in the bottom of my “dry” bag, which was now holding about two inches of water. My bluetooth speakers were somewhere in the bottom of the bag; everything else was just camp gear that would dry out.
The sun came out, I mopped out the tent, the dry bag, and most of my belongings, and hung things on the bike to dry. Then I walked back to the hall for another seminar.
While in that seminar, it poured rain again. Of course everything I had laid on the bike in the sun was now in the rain. I came back to things even more wet than before.
It rained overnight so I put everything in the dry bag and propped it up so the hole was out of the water. In the morning, I hung everything on the bike again. And of course, it rained again.
More sun. More rain. More sun. More rain. A seemingly endless cycle of one extreme to the other every hour or so. By this time it had become a real slog to get from the tent to the hall, and my only pair of shoes and two pair of socks were soaking wet, so I went back to wearing the boots.
I guess I can’t complain too much, considering how great the weather was in Scotland and Isle of Man. And Africa. And most of South America. Come to think of it, I’ve been very fortunate nearly the entire trip. So a little rain now really is nothing to complain about. It’s just typical English weather.