Trail Ramblings: There Is No Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothing.

This Nordic saying could be altered to say only bad gear. The rain we’ve had should have given you the opportunity to test out that rainy day gear before it gets really cold. It showed me I have a gear gap between warm rain and cold rain. Last week’s was just cool rain. My rain jacket was too warm and would have made me sweat, even with pit zips, so I opted for the rain cape. I’ve now become disenchanted with the rain cape I have. While water resistant and cooler, in a downpour like we had last Wednesday, it lets water filter through. Not to mention the back tends to fly up in my slip stream. Cars driving through puddles at the street’s edge can send water up underneath it. Also, I don’t have proper rain pants. My wind pants have done a fair job of keeping me dry in the past, but not this time, though they kept me clean. I know rain pants are hot, and can make you wet from sweat. And then there are the feet to deal with. Luckily I had chosen well with the work clothes underneath, and they didn’t absorb, or show wetness much, though I certainly got wet. I’ve since acquired a light weight, yet breathable rain jacket, so we’ll see how it goes.

I actually like riding in the rain. I think watching the water rise and where it runs, is interesting. What I find annoying is getting halfway down a path, like the Billy Wolff from 27th street east, and then having to turn around because the creek is flooding under A street. I wish there was some sort of measurement marking along the creek at the ramp entrance to denote that if the water is up to “here”, then the trail surface will be covered under A St. I could quickly re-route and go past the zoo, avoiding the delay.

It can get like this under A St.

The Tierra Williamsburg trail can also be exciting in the rain. The geese think it’s theirs in the rain and don’t really want to cede the right of way. Also, the trail can become covered with water, as you can tell by the debris line.

The big breakthrough just achieved by our fair city has been that the Rock Island under the Penny Bridges is not flooding anymore. You may remember that the wetland alongside would engulf the trail after a rain, leaving a muddy mess. The trail now seems high and dry.

Hopefully these conditions under 84th will be a thing of the past.

This rainy spell should be a good test for the Billy Wolff under 84th and under Old Cheney, where construction has closed it for months. Other underpasses, like at 70th, I don’t think really have a solution, other than raising the street above. The water level from Holmes Lake is too close.

It can get like this under 70th. The mud left behind is dangerous, too.

Other problematic trails after heavy rains are the Boosalis at 48th and 56th, and the Bison under Folsom and highway 77. Many of our trails follow waterways though, and after a heavy rain a certain amount of flooding isn’t a surprise. If you commute you should have a back-up route in case.
Maybe I’ll go exploring if I have a chance the next time it rains, just to check out what’s going on, and how well my rain gear is working. One thing for sure though, I’ll give my chain a good wiping down afterwards, and a little extra oil.

1 thought on “Trail Ramblings: There Is No Bad Weather, Only Bad Clothing.

  1. OMG

    Mud like that can indeed be very slippery. I’ve crashed in similar conditions under a bridge like that. It was in Ogden Utah, but it looked virtually identical to the one you’ve posted here. Mine wasn’t a big deal…damaged pride more than anything. Lesson learned.

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