I contacted the Pacific Coast Highway Randonnuers RBA for some advice on rentals and routes to make the most of this warm weather training opportunity. Was I available for his club’s 300K on Saturday? Well, no I couldn't back out of the final day of the conference. In fact, I wouldn’t have time for more than a 3-hour training ride. He suggested renting a beach cruiser to ride up and down the South Bay bike trail.
As the date approached, I consulted the weather forecast. Bad news: heavy rains for the entire three days of my scheduled visit. Someone recently told me that 90% of California’s weather is like heaven and 10% is like Armageddon. We were clearly in store for the 10%. When I arrived on Thursday morning, the rain was Biblical in proportions. Disappointing as this was, I figured that as a randonneur, I had more than a few experiences riding in the rain. It would be good preparation for L-E-L this summer.
Despite the downpour, I suited up in shorts, sneakers and my Gore-Tex jacket and set off to find a rental shop on the Santa Monica Pier. I did not see many cyclists on my 20-minute walk to the coast, but I did see a randonneuring bike chained to a parking meter. With a set of lightweight bags hanging from the bars and a waterproof rear-rack bag fashioned from plastic, bungee and steel chain, it was a rig worthy of P-B-P. Sadly, the owner was nowhere to be found so I could not ask to borrow it for a few hours.
I reached the pier and learned that the rental shop, shuttered for the day, was clearly not owned by a fellow randonneur. So it was not meant to be. My legs and lungs will have to wait a few more weeks to experience the joys of warm weather training. Tomorrow, I'll head back to New York and my trainer. Who knows, I hear the ice is thawing; I may even get out on the single-speed this weekend.