The Wet, the Wild, and the Wonderful
I dozed to the soothing sound of rain gently tip tapping away at the tent, but as I began to wake the reality of getting up to ride set in. It now ceased to be so soothing, and I cowered back into the warmth pulling my sleeping bag tighter around my face before eventually, I confronted the inevitable: 1, 2, and on 3 I sat up. The cold air rushed in and I shivered uncontrollably as I freed my arms, jumping head first into my jacket.
I proceeded to unzip the tent searching for a morsel of light, some beacon of hope for the day ahead, instead i found a dark dank veil of moisture reigning overhead and a small moat forming beyond my tent pegs. I retreated back into safety, and began the day as I always did, reaching for my stove. With a single swipe of my flint I ignited the gas and began boiling water for the only morning rush there would be today. The intense blue flame lit the dullness and the roar drowned the gentle silence and the rain.
During the worst weather perhaps the most reluctant part of my routine is airing out the tent. The last thing you need at the end of a wet day is to climb into a wet tent. If you know the sun will come out you may wait, but I find it best to get it over and done with, sooner rather than later. In uncertain weather a sheltered spot or a campsite toilet serve as an adequate place to shake out as much moisture as you can.
No matter what the weather, the exciting nature of the Pacific Coast proved so all consuming that it would be a shame to dwell too long on yet another downpour
As the stove roared like a miniature jet plane, I curled back into the warmth one last time before again surfacing to begin breakfast. Each evening I would add water to a fruit, nut, and oat mixture which would sit in my cup overnight. In the morning I boiled water while I ate, and then by the time I'd finished I would add 3 hearty scoops of coffee to the water, clean out my cup and be ready in near perfect time.
More often than not the thought of riding in the rain was often far worse than actually doing it. Once pedalling you become warm, and I even began to enjoy the fine spray and refreshing moisture rich air. No matter what the weather, the exciting nature of the Pacific Coast proved so all consuming that it would be a shame to dwell too long on yet another downpour. Riding, I contemplated the brooding charcoal skies whipping around dramatic coastal precipices, thirsty ferns glistening in the undergrowth, and all contrasted by the closest thing to a sunny glow, the guiding yellow lines that adorn the centre of an American road as they disappear into the distance.
I clasped my warm cup tightly between both hands, the aromas tickled tentatively at my nostrils and I stopped thinking about the day ahead and just enjoyed the moment. I took a sip, and relished the delicious reassurance of this simple luxury. Again I began to enjoy the soothing sound of raindrops as a caffeine-rich boost of morale surged through my veins as I warmed.