Spoiled rotten in California, bad weather isn't quite as imposing as it can be across the country. The sun may hide behind the clouds, the fog may devour everything in sight, but the temperature never really drops below something hospitable, especially at this time of year.
Grey skies, eliminating the possibilities of tans, picnics, blue vistas, shorts and tanktops act like a broom sweeping the roads we love to ride. Though the weather hardly hurts, it seems to clear the roads of those who lack commitment, passion, or just a good jacket.
There's a trend amongst serious cyclists to favor grey weather. Maybe its the empty roads, maybe its a chance to see familiar places in a new light. More likely, I think we like subprime weather because the low visibility, stark contrasts and chill gives a sense of epic to our cycles. Like all things subprime, the bubble always bursts, though in this case the burst tends to be rays of sun through the trees, and soothing thermals gusts.
With the fat cake club this week I had two great rides through the muck and the fog. You don't need sunshine when you have camaraderie and pastries. The warmth of the sunshine is replaced by the warmth of riding bikes fast. If we only did things in perfect conditions, we'd never do anything at all.
Sunday, a big group of us rode through Alpine Dam to Bolinas, where we had coffee and muffins graced by the company of a cute, muscular dog named Sweetpea, aptly named by her burly bearded motorcycling owner. We headed back through the ever scenic Seven Sisters and dove straight into the fog.
It is magical to ride behind your buddy and see him dissapear up the road from you. Roads that we know intimately become new again as curves peter off into infinity. The photo opportunities of course are prime.
Descending down Mt. Tam, blasting down the hill at 40mph we realized all of a sudden we were warm. Look up - blue skies. Gusts of warm winds hugged the contours of the road and our bodies alike. Then the moment passes.
The same feeling came at the end of Monday's ride, a great stroll through Nicaso, Point Reyes and down the coast. Probably my favorite route, for its reservoirs, Eucalyptus forests and craggy coastlines, as we hit Mill Valley at the end of the day the sun shone in full force.
It was gone by the time we hit the bridge, but those twenty minutes of sun refreshed and fulfilled us more than a weekend in the sun. We get spoiled when its so good, and forget how lucky we are. When its taken away, and given back in tantalizing small bites, that's when we can really treasure our luck.