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The one that got away
Oct 2002

Day 3 part 2

As I pick up the pace, I pay attention to the BT020 rear tire. Unlike my BT12ss front tire and 010 tires from past experience, the 020 is an unknown quantity to me in terms of rain performance. It seems a little more squirmish. I don't ever remember the 012ss or 010 feeling squirmish in the rain. I make a note to be attentive.

Tracking west, the winds (yes those same pesky westerly winds) pick up significantly. I am now dealing with heavy, driving rain. However, traffic is very light and I'm maintaining a good pace. Glancing at my rear view mirror I notice something flapping behind me and decide to pull over at an upcoming rest stop on the opposite side of the road.

So I'm now facing Wawa again. It turns out that the left belt on my rain shell had come undone at the buckle and flapped freely. Odd. It had never done that before. Then I notice that my right belt had also come undone at the buckle and was also flapping freely. Very strange. What are the odds of both independently coming undone? I carefully do them both up.

Just then a police cruiser appears from around the bend and passes me on the way to Wawa. Hmm…. Had it not been for my belts coming loose, I would have met this cruiser on the road. As it stands, this keen law enforcement officer thinks that I'm on my way to Wawa. Synchronicity anyone?

Back on the road and all is well. Time passes and the rain seems to be getting stronger, but I suspect that it is the winds that are getting stronger as the bike is being pelted. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Hurricane Lili that has battered the state of Louisiana this week. Being on the road, I haven’t been as up to date with the news. But some people are saying that this is a fall-out from that storm.

I'm wearing nylon rain mitts over my leather gloves and my hands initially remain dry. However, by the time I stop for a bowl of hot soup, things have degraded significantly. My hands are now thoroughly wet. I turn my nylon mitts inside out to inspect the stitching and suspect that it is permeable. Could also be water running down my sleeve under the gauntlet.

While they may be good for light to medium rain for an hour or two, these wind-driven conditions are more monsoon-like. Luckily, there is a truck stop across the street. I go in and pick up a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves, the big orange ones. They are stiff, difficult to pull over my wet leather gloves, and decrease dexterity somewhat; but this is no time to be bashful, I need dry hands!

Bruno
Montreal, Canada

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