Breaking free of the indoors…into the wet

As much as I’ve grown to like riding indoors, I really missed the open road. Due to my work shift however, I couldn’t join my old riding buddies as they headed out on weekend mornings. I’m not as young as I used to be, and changing sleep schedules is becoming much harder without succumbing to sickness. I decided to load up the bikes in the car in preparation for a Saturday afternoon ride at my old stomping grounds in Alabang.

It turns out that Saturday afternoons…aren’t quite the best day for what I had in mind. Traffic to and from Alabang is pretty bad at this particular period; just getting there is an exercise in patience. The trip was certainly long enough for the heavens to open the taps once we had finally made station, the rains shutting down any hope my wife had for joining me on my ride.

I decided to make the most out of not-so-nice circumstances, and just went for it. I had started late, and I didn’t want to keep my wife waiting too long, so I gave myself an hour and basically rode as hard as I could.

That hour was pretty glorious. I modified the usual loop route to avoid traffic hazards while making sure it contained some hill repeats. Rain jacket on, breathing and eventually heaving through a surgical mask, which drove me into oxygen debt in the later stages as it got wet and complicated each inhalation, I provided the stoke through the cranks while Hyro just sailed on through the wet roads. Together, we smashed out a sustained 23 km/h on the flats, and attacked the hill repeats at 300 W. Not very special on most days, but doing it in the rain felt mildly naughty.

This day was a reminder of the type of all-weather riding I specifically built up Hyro for. Hydraulic disc brakes, full-length fenders 53 mm wide, a full complement of front and rear lights, and relatively wide 28 mm tires meant that I could just keep with the business of turning the pedals, while avoiding a cold, muddy skid mark of standing water on my back, keeping muddy street water from washing my face, ensuring reliable stopping power, and protecting Hyro’s exposed drivetrain as best as possible.

It was a short jaunt, but it hit the spot.

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