Saturday, August 18, 2007

Beating the rain - against the odds

I arrived at Ste-Jovite in a pouring rain storm on Friday afternoon. With my bike, with plans for a ride.

Did I give up?


I figured that the storm was a very localized storm cell, and it would pass. But I hate waiting, so I drove what was to be the circuit (as sourced in the Velomag Randonnée des Reves guide book).
When I arrived at the turn to Val des Lacs, I noticed that 1) that the rain had gone away, and 2) that I was at the west end of the amazing chemin Nordet (aka chemin des cyclistes) between St-Donat and Lac Superieur.

Perhaps, maybe, if I assumed an attutude of extreme weather-positivity, I would have an hour or two ride on this amazing, newly-constructed road without any rain. THere could be rain to the east, west, north, and south, but the rainwould stay away from this road and specifically, the section of road that I was riding on.

That was the dream.

I got ready, locked the car and hopped on the bike. The first thing I notices was the temperature had dropped about 15 degrees and that it was actually cold. Well, that's better than rain.

I climbed hills, climbed some more hills, and then some more and was finally at the top of the big west-end climb of the ride. I wouldn't be able to go al the way to St-Donat, but from here I figured I could go a bit firther, perhaps to the river in the middle of this isolated plateau. This sounded good so I rode east, which from this point was downhill, hitting 75 km/h without really trying.

I could see rain clouds to the east, west, north and south, but non overhead. THe plan was working. I got to the bridge over the river and I could see major clouds to the east, so I u-turned here after 49 minutes of riding, and headed back. Black clouds were overhead, but the most I got was tiny amounts of light cloud spitting.

After several good climbs I hit the top, the famous lunch ledge with it's rock bench on top, but didn't stop. With ever-blacker clouds overhead I came down the west other side with lots of motivation, hitting about 72 km/h on this perfect road. I reached the car, parked at the turn to Val des Lacs (chemin quenouilles) without rain, but with a good 90 minute ride accomplished.

Mission Accomplished!

I had salvaged a good ride from the late afternoon weather gods.

Interestingly, I had spend the earlier part of the day on a test flight of the CRJ900 Nextgen aircraft, being self-loading ballast for a fuel-consumption measurement under passenger flight conditions. We flew north from Mirabel straight up the laurentians and flew laps of a circuit between Rouyn-Noranda to Roverval (saguenay) for about 4 hours.

During this time I watched the cloud cover build and build and the clouds get steadily more rain-filled. I knew there would be afternoon storms, and as I reached Ste-Jovite they let loose. So I was extremely happy to get this ride in with these conditions.


Post a Comment

<< Home