It was supposed to rain a little bit, and then turn to snow. I figured if it rained, it would be miserable, if it snowed, it would be worth the risk. It rained.
I headed over to meet Chris and Kevin at Liberty before riding over to Bent Creek. The sky was dark and stormy, and the rain started falling almost as soon as we got on the parkway. Riding the single speed is fun, but drafting is key. The rooster tails spraying up from the rear wheels made drafting difficult without getting totally soaked.
We rolled up the parkway to Hardtimes road and got on the gravel road. Talking, laughing, falling into somber moods of silence. Carving around the turns, pedal, coast, carve.
The rain continued to fall, off and on, and we were hoping the forecast was right, only 45% chance at 7pm, and less after that. We were relieved when we rounded a corner and could see the clear, star filled night sky up and to the left. Then we rounded the bend to the right and it started raining again.
At one point, bombing down a hill, I hit a large rock, that made a large clunk. I hit so hard, it felt as if both tires would go flat. They didn't, so I kept riding.
We took a right on Bent Creek Gap Rd, then a left on South Ridge Road. Towards the top of the first long climb, my front tire went soft. I did my best to change it quickly and got is filled with one co2 cartridge. Back on the bikes and down the hill, carving again. Enjoying the flow we all got into a rhythm and got quite. The rain falling, tires squishing through the mud, grinding the gravel, slightly made more difficult by the sogginess.
Off in the distance we could make out the Asheville area lights.
We got back onto the parkway, and it started raining again. I was mesmerized by the water droplets passing through the beams of light. Such a cool feeling to be out, riding in this weather.
We parted ways and I rolled home. I was tired, fingers and toes starting to get chilled.
It was a good ride.