Yesterday, Rushlee and I rode a solid 4.5 hour ride.

In the rain.  Yes.  I am not complaining.  We have covered this is, in fact,  in my job description.  I love riding in the rain.  Love it.

I must say that a 4.5 hour ride is much better with company than solo.  Rushlee is the current NZL National Road Race Champion.  I felt important to ride with the “All Blacks” type Kiwi kit.  Rush was on TIBCO with me last year, and currently races for Colavita/Baci.  It is good to have friends on teams sponsored by Peanut Butter, and teams sponsored by chocolate and olive oil.

About 2.5 hours into the ride, we ventured onto Highway 116.  We hadn’t seen a car in 30 minutes.  Just when we reached the middle of nowhere, I hit a pothole and flatted.  Poof!  The rain then quit spitting and came in torrents.  Poured, actually.

Rushlee looked at me, quite unamused.  “Starnes, you better change that quick…”  I winced.  I hate changing a flat.  I wanted to impress her with my quick skills but I hesitated.  Did I even bring flat fixing necessities?

Suddenly, I saw it.  “Rush!  A van with bikes on the roof!”  She looked at me with disbelief.  Sure enough, Backroads Adventures came rolling up (a bicycle tour company, too bad their May Sonoma bike tour was met with torrential rain).

“Would you like me to change that flat, ladies?” His timing was impeccable.  What luck we have.  Two blondes in middle of nowhere.  Can we say fortitude? Another flat I didn’t have to change, and I friendly face in a downpour.  As tempting as a ride in the van sounded, we trekked onwards.

Anyway, it took Rush and I a good 3.5 hours of happy conversation to then start counting down the wet kilometers back home.  Discussion went from parties and cute shoes to what we were going to consume upon arrival.  Hot chocolate.  Ham and Cheese Omelet.  Once the stomach starts rumbling, it is all downhill from there.

However, I am very fortunate to have good friends to ride with, even if it is raining.  I am also lucky to have friends to provide me with a warm shower and Baci chocolate upon finish!

I am a lucky girl, even in the rain.

This dedication is the easy part.  I can ride in the rain, but what about performing when it counts?  Then the true dedication will show.

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