Well, this is what happens when you schedule a weekend ride around here in September. Just 3 of us showed up for our annual ride from Madison to Muscoda. Saturday wasn't bad, though overcast, dark, and cool, about 58 degrees. There was an east wind, though, which made it an easy trip on the way out. Chuck only had one flat tire, and no broken spokes.
Sometime during the night, the rains began. We tried to wait it out, but finally had to leave about 9:30, and it rained the whole way back. Naturally, the wind was still out of the east, now a headwind. Just outside Muscoda, Chuck managed to run over a piece of glass about the size of an iceberg. NeiI took a more direct route, while Chuck and I headed for Gov. Dodge, where the beach wasn't very crowded at all. I was planning to take the longer road route home, to avoid the sloppy Military Ridge trail, but by the time we finished lunch, there wasn't time, So, the last 45 miles was on the trail, which got increasingly soupy as we progressed. On one short stretch where the trail detoured onto a highway, I ran over a staple about the size of one of Ellis Nelson's iron birds, and had to fix the tire in the muck along side the road. Bikes and legs were a sorry sight by the end! It was still raining when I got home, and down to 53 degrees.
All got back before dark, but not by much. I just hosed down the bike, gear, and my legs and feet out in the driveway. There wasn't anything dry inside the panniers, the contents of which are now all spread out on the floor to dry. I'll have to get some oil on the bike as soon as it dries out, before everything rusts. (And clean the sand out of the inside of the rear tire.) No pictures this time; if anyone HAD brought a camera, it would have drowned. It wasn't too uncomfortable riding in the rain, but I don't think I've been that wet since my last trip to New Zealand!