We've been extremely lucky on our long distance cycling trips – we've never had to cycle through serious rain. Until today. It was bound to happen, and I'd say we've paid our dues.
We knew going into the day that we were going to get wet. The forecast was for clouds in the morning and thunderstorms in the afternoon. With 75 miles to get from Acadia to our next destination, we would spend significant time on the road. Trying to beat the rain as much as possible, we got an early start. Just not early enough. Barely two miles into our ride, the raindrops began. It wasn't long before it was raining in earnest. Soon it turned into a thunderstorm. So much for weather forecasts. This was the real thing, with lightening flashing overhead and thunder booming. And rain pelting down hard enough to bounce back up off the pavement and turn the road and shoulder into mini rivers. Oh boy.
We forged on for 20 miles before stopping under the broad awning of a home improvement store. Rather belatedly we fished our rain jackets out of our panniers. Even with the mild temperature I was shivering uncontrollably. It didn't help our psyches to stand and watch the rain come down in torrents with rain pouring off the roof in massive streams, knowing we still had 55 miles to go. By then I resolved that I wasn't going to budge until it let up somewhat. I only had so much tolerance.
Miraculously the rain did calm down, a bit. And off we went again. The rain jacket made a huge difference – imagine that! We didn't know it but the worst was behind us. Thankfully. We pressed on, abandoning our plans to stop for a hot breakfast in a cafe en route. Our sites were strictly focused on reaching our dry motel room. We did allow ourselves a snack stop, making the best of the offerings in a gas station convenience store. No latte for me today, but quality was not my top criterium today – the fact that the coffee was hot was good enough for me.
We were cycling machines as we pressed on for the remaining miles. No stops. Not much conversation. No photo opps. We were so focused on finishing that we barely even registered the fact that the rain had lessened significantly. But Mother Nature wasn't done with us yet. With about 5 miles to go the clouds let loose once again, pelting us fiercely.
It was with great relief that we spotted the motel and sought shelter in the office, where we were greeted with astonishment and chuckles over our day's journey. Dripping wet and giddy to be finished, we happily consumed chocolate kisses from the candy bowl and enjoyed the humorous banter. Juggling extra towels on our gear, we headed to our humble motel room with great anticipation. We'd made it!
We gloated as the rain continued through the afternoon, installed in our room surrounded by the soggy contents of our panniers draped in every available space to dry. Not wishing to get doused again, we were thrilled when the motel owners graciously proferred restaurant menus and drove us to pick up our hot dinners. Some hard cider from the gas station next door, and we had the makings of a feast.
We've now broken our record. We survived cycling through a whole day of rain. But we're in no hurry to repeat the experience.