I got the door much earlier than the last ride. I thought it would be a good ride to try out some new stuff: Shimano R088W shoes, new SPD cleats and new white socks. The shoes use the ratchet closure system which I love. The main reason I love this system is the ease of tightening the strap (and loosening too) while I ride. My feet have a tendency to shrink as I ride so I need to adjust the strap. The cleats are new because I did not want to remove the old cleats from my faithful Diadora SpeedR shoes. And why use old socks with new shoes?
Before getting underway at 10:39 I checked the weather radar to be sure the rain was around. The radar showed a distant patch way to the west of Houston. The weather forecast included a 40% chance for the afternoon. I figured I would be back before any rain. On went the sunscreen but I should have used RainX.
Choosing a north route after going to the south yesterday I headed to Community Drive and Valley Ranch. To avoid the Grand Parkway construction at Community Drive on the US59 northbound service road I turned right on FM1314 at Porter to get to Loop 494. This takes me to the Community Drive and then up the overpass to the southbound service road. As I approached the overpass I saw the orange barrels lined up along the east bound side barrier. I figured these were moved out for short term construction issues. Biking the overpass to where it intersected with the curve that normally the traffic takes to get on Community Drive I could see the southbound service road was closed under the overpass. The curved road was now the main service road lanes and the shoulder I ride on gone with white dots at the edge of the asphalt. Since the traffic was not too heavy this did not cause a problem but I see where it might be if US59 itself gets moved there during construction. Once I got back to the service road proper the lanes returned to normal.
Going through Valley Ranch I looked forward to stopping at the Stripes station for a Diet Pepsi and a break. Sitting under the pump island canopy I looked to the north and the sky. Lots of blue with a few white clouds was what I saw but when I finished and looked to the south dark clouds were on the horizon. Picking up the pace I headed out for the last 11 miles of the 29.32 mile route. No problem riding through Briar Tree and Oakhurst but when I turned onto Kingwood Place Drive going south I knew I might get wet. The break at the Stripes station could be the difference between getting home dry or not.
Once I was back on the southbound US59 service road just north of Kingwood Drive the rain drops caught me but taking the U-turn under US59 onto the north bound service road I moved away into a few rain drops. I turned off the service to Kings Manor and the residential streets in Kingwood for the final 4 miles home. The closer I got to the shopping center on Kingwood Drive at Chestnut Ridge Drive the heavier the drops came. I ducked on the sidewalk at the shopping center as the rain picked. Not too wet other than from my perspiration I walked the covered sidewalk to the east end thinking maybe the rain would leaving soon. Reaching the end I sat down in chair from one of the restaurants and waited. The Edge 510 showed 25.5 miles and a few minutes after 1 PM. The rain did not let up and instead came down even heavier. The fabric cover over the sidewalk started leaking badly so I walked back near a Palis Royal store where the cover was wood and not leaking. Loud claps of thunder and lightening appeared periodically so I stayed put. Finally the heavy rain dropped off to a steady one but did not stop. After waiting for about 30 minutes I decided the only I was going to get home was ride in the rain.
The distance home from this point was about 3.75 miles and it rained all of the way but the closer I got to home the lighter the rain. At 2:40 I pressed the stop button on the Edge 510 after turning into my driveway and 60 feet to the garage. I wiped down my bike and the new shoes. It would have been nice to get at least one ride in the new shoes before getting them soaked!!! The new white socks may now be gray ones. The cleats weren’t affected by the rain but they kept my feet solidly in the pedals.
I don’t plan on riding tomorrow (Thursday) so it will be dry and sunny. Friday will be the next biking day.
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