Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Biking - MHCC Half-Century Route...

...or so we thought. With more rotten weather the past few days, and today looking promising, I wanted to get in a big ride. SWC friend Judy and I had once talked about riding the route of last year's MHCC half-century (50 miles), so I got in touch and we set it up. The weather looked like rain gear would be prudent, so I promptly forgot to pack mine, but we set off for the ride anyway.

Before we got too far, we realized that we were not riding the 50-mile route, but a loop that formed part of the 100-mile ride. This loop still came out to about 53 miles, so no big deal. We detoured once from that route because of fresh paving, and again for a nice lunch stop at the store in Galway, and then continued on. The store gladly supplied me with a free trash bag as emergency rain gear, which I hoped I wouldn't need.

Shortly thereafter, around 25 miles, we got the first drops of rain. By 30 miles, it was coming down harder, and we pulled into the refuge of a ubiquitous Stewart's Shop in Middle Grove to wait it out. Things improved shortly, and we decided to skip an additional stop at the Town of Greenfield Park very nearby. Just as we passed the park entrance, KABOOM! A thunderstorm had crept up from behind, and we scurried back to the picnic pavilion just as the skies opened up. Heavy rain, lightning, and gusty winds followed, and we crafted arm and head holes in the trash bag so I could cover up. Much hilarity ensued, as you can imagine from the shots below. (thanks to Judy's cell phone)

"How am I going to ride in this thing?"

"I know - I'll tie the extra up into a knot...oops!"

Once the rain stopped and skies cleared, we headed back to the cars by the most direct route, rather than try to finish the original loop. More storms were around, but we finished up mostly dry, without having to actually ride wearing "the bag". Overall, we covered a little over 42 miles, so it was a good day's ride anyway.

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