Friday, August 25, 2006
What the hail?!
We have been having an incredible amount of rain here in Albuquerque over the past two months and I have had several opportunities to ride in heavy rain storms. The storms in New Mexico are very typical of desert storms; clear sky with some towering cumulus clouds that will start to form an anvil head, cloud turns black, heavy winds ensue and then the fury of the heavens lets loose as rain comes down in blinding sheets for the next 10 to 20 minutes then it tapers off and it's clear again. The rains have been welcome to a degree because we are in the midst of a drought that is going on 7 years I believe. However, they have caused a great deal of damage as well.
Yesterday as I was riding my bike home from work one of these monster storms struck and this time it was accompanied with hail ranging is size from pea to lima bean. This is not the kind of weather a New Mexican is used to riding in. Any experts in wet weather cycling can feel free to add your advice but here is the technique I developed for riding in a hail storm.
1) Get into the smallest possible profile
2) Remain calm
3) Continue to focus on the road ahead
4) Pay special attention at intersections
5) Continue to pedal at a nice even cadence
6) Escape deep inside and find your "happy place"…ouch!