April Snow Brings May Showers

Winter, er Spring, has been crazy this year. I was doing intervals in the snow in late April and never took my knee warmers off the whole month. After getting back from Whiskey, I was hoping we might actually get some real spring before summer arrives. (Then again, we might not even get summer this year!) No such luck. After an early May snowstorm last week, we've seen more clouds then sun this month. Yesterday it rained most of the day. There is a fresh layer of snow on Pikes Peak and the front range. It's really pretty, and the slow rain is exactly what we need right now. The forecast is for more rain for the rest of the week and into the weekend. Hero dirt in the canyon! Along with some snow and mud everywhere else...

Yesterday, I watched the steady downpour with trepidation. It was cold, cloudy and damp. Perfect riding weather for January - not May! I got out of work just as the clouds were lifting. Maybe I would be lucky and not get soaked? I still brought all my warm clothes and rain jacket with me. There was a low, heavy cloud over Cheyenne Mountain. I could see the sheets of rain to the south of me. With the wind blowing in from the south, I was pretty sure I would get wet. It was a race against the rain. I planned my ride to avoid the mud, so just climbed up the Chutes to Gold Camp. I needed to get to High Drive for my intervals. I was watching the clouds moving closer. Maybe I would get my whole workout in before the rain. I dropped down to the start of High Drive and lost sight of the clouds. Time to focus on nh workout and not worry about the weather. Two trips up High Drive and I hadn't been rained on. I was soaked from sweat - having overdressed for the workout part. My gloves were soaked, helmet dripping and glasses steamed up. I knew it was cold - id been shivering on the descent to start my second interval - so I wasted no time getting dressed. Warm and dry gloves, hat, vest and Gore jacket. With the work done, it was time to have fun. Jacks was in great shape and fast. So fast I actually wiped out! A soft landing, but one that left me covered in damp gravel.

The rain had revealed much I would never notice otherwise. While I was descending to start my second interval, I caught a whiff of dirty, wet dog.the clean air brought the sharp scent clearly into focus. On my second trip up High Drive I saw the tracks. Tracks that had not been there on my first trip up. Crossing the road several times, always accompanied by the wet dog smell. The tracks reveal an animal in a hurry. They plunged down the steep slopes next to the road, deep claw marks tearing into the soft dirt. I was thankful to riding the other direction - after all, I didn't want to run into an unhappy bear! It's that time of year - despite the snow in the mountains!

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