When I conceived the series I pictured an idyllic start, an Indian summer day and one more chance to solo in the Lightweight Jersey. Instead, as we rolled onto quiet San Jose streets, we were met by brooding clouds and a forecast for the first real rain in seven months.
No matter, wearing the ¾ Bib Shorts and a layer of Mad Alchemy Embrocation (medium heat) my knees were guaranteed happy. Up top I went with the black Long Sleeve Jersey over short-sleeve Merino Baselayer. The 07 Classic Softshell Jacket and cozy Winter Hat completed my kit. Brendan was sporting his Winter Jersey, Winter Gilet and Rapha Cap. I think we looked the part.
Juli followed with camera gear in the bug. We planned to get some shots on the broad boulevard of nearby University Avenue. By the time we arrived it was spitting rain. We circled Juli on a mini-crit loop to the amusement of passing joggers and a lone guy on a mountain bike. Then we rode a few blocks South to a retro-styled railway overpass for another photo op. Happy with the results we said our goodbyes and struck out towards the Guadalupe trail without the team car and media pressure.
The rain fell more heavily, soaking the road and caking us and the bikes in the gritty reality of San Jose's deficient street sweeping budget. I dropped the tail on the Softshell to minimize the spray under and around my saddle. It may look a little ungainly but it sure works. To compensate for my all-black attire I relied on my DiNotte tailights (red and amber). I actually had a motorist stop and tell me the lights were great one morning last week. Complements from motorists; now that doesn't happen very often.
The wet, windy conditions combined with an easy pace meant we had no problems with overheating. Water beaded and just blew off my Softshell Jacket and Brendan's Winter Gilet. With a peaceful detour through Oak Hill Cemetery and a brief chat at San Jose Trek we worked our way North and home.
The bike and kit both needed a good rinse to wash away the road grime, but they're ready to go again tomorrow for what is forecast to be a much nicer day. Perhaps I'll get that Light Weight solo in after all.