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Saturday, November 19: Three Sisters and Wetlands Park, 36 miles

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Ride report: Distance Training #6 (3/24/2012)

Go, riders!

If you were one of today's six intrepid riders, congratulations! You now know what it's like to ride in the rain. If you skipped the ride, congratulations on staying warm. We rode just under 25 miles, and that seemed to be enough for everyone. Here are your bullet points of the day:

-- You learned what parts of you get cold, get wet, and get dirty. Long-fingered gloves weren't sufficient for many of us, and Terri's much-appreciated hand warmers only kept a bad situation from getting worse. Here is an interesting article with some reader suggestions for wet-weather gloves, including one tip I'd never considered: "Wear latex surgical gloves inside full-finger winter gloves. The latex doesn't breathe, but it does save your hands from getting cold." (That also could make for some amusing scenes when arriving at and departing rest stops!)

-- If you don't have gear that helps minimize the coldness, wetness, and dirtiness, now you know how you can expand your wardrobe. Remember that ALC discount!

-- You also learned what parts of your bike need extra care. If you had fenders, you learned whether they work well for you. Mine worked very well, and it's reasonably priced and quick to install and uninstall.

-- Could this type of weather happen in June? Possibly. Would we ride in such conditions? My guess is that we probably would. One day of the ride was cancelled once, but the rain was much heavier than what we experienced today. And with the increasingly extreme weather, it seems like anything is possible these days.

-- Your bicycle requires TLC after riding in these conditions. Clean it, dry it, and lube it. But no high-pressure car wash hoses! And I was surprised by how much dirty brake goop I had to wipe from my front rims after the ride.

-- The first couple of miles are the most difficult. After that, you tend to forget that it's raining.

-- Warm, toasty rest stops play games with your mind. I suspect that, had we not stopped at Starbucks at Mile 22, many of us could have kept on going and going without much complaint. But after that refreshing pause, it was oh-so-difficult to get going again; it felt just like the first few miles at the beginning of the day.

What's next? We will try again next Saturday to ride to Pacifica. The weather is still looking a little iffy, and if it's raining again, we'll do the rainy alternate yet again. Details and RSVP here. If we get rained out again next weekend, however, we will not be adjusting the schedule for the remaining rides, so try to find time to keep increasing your distance. (If we start having exceptionally bad luck on multiple weekends, I'll revisit this.)

Quick reminders:

-- The Expo is tomorrow. The 40-mile route takes us to Pacifica on some of the same roads we were scheduled to ride today, so it's good practice for next weekend. And don't forget all the other fun stuff at the County Fair building in Golden Gate Park, even if it's raining. Details and RSVP here.

-- Registration for Double Bay Double 2 is open and is almost 40% full already. I'll be talking about DBD2 and will answer your questions Monday night in San Francisco at the Different Spokes San Francisco membership meeting. You don't have to be a member to attend, and everyone gets 20% off that night at Sports Basement Bryant. Here is the info.

-- If you're not already doing so, start making a habit of riding on consecutive days. That's a very important skill for June, and if you can manage at least a couple instances of three days in a row, you'll be way ahead when you get to Quadbuster on Day 3.

That's it for today. Thank you for being part of AIDS/LifeCycle.