Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weather freakout

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.- Mark Twain
We're in a very nice restaurant in Ashland, Coquina. White tablecloth. A table on the back patio. It's a clear, warm evening, the beginning of the high season. The summer solstice, in fact.

The subject of conversation is weather. Specifically, how to avoid the front that is approaching the Pacific Coast. Not typical for this area, rain in summer. It wasn't part of the plan. Start in Ashland, ride to Klamath Falls on Day 1, ride to Alturas on Day 2.

Two fronts are on the way. There's a gap but just how big no one seems to know. The forecast keeps changing. Looks like rain the morning of Day 1, tomorrow. Showers in the afternoon. Maybe thunderstorms. A bigger, wetter system on Day 2, with strong gusty winds. Am due in Alturas Tuesday morning. That's a hard requirement.

Much research ensues.

It's actually only 100K to Klamath Falls. Could ride further than that on Day 1, while the weather is good. It would help to know where water and food and motels are available. We're talking about remote Siskyou and Modoc Counties here. Never been here before, not even in a car. It's the far northeastern corner of California. Towns are few and far between.

On his way home Danny could drop me off in Weed. He says, wouldn't save any mileage. That turns out to be right.

Day 1 and Day 2 could be collapsed into one long day. Leave first thing tomorrow. This would work if it's not raining, if they're wrong about when the rain starts.Otherwise I could leave after breakfast, catch thunderstorms in the afternoon, and ride all day Monday in the rain. Hmmm.

There are two kinds of conditions where I refuse to ride: ice on the roads and thunderstorms. Neither is any fun. Out there to the east is a high plateau, no shelter. Want to avoid lightning, even torrential rain and hail. This is what I'm thinking while getting gear together. Lying in bed, thoughts racing.

I wake up at 5:15, before the alarm. Grey clouds but no rain yet. It's taking its time. Streets are empty and quiet on Sunday morning, on the way out to Dead Indian Memorial Road. That's the real name! It was an optional climb before the official start of last year's SuperTour. Even though the weather was fine and perfect that day we opted for a brewery in town for lunch.

Having climbed the lower pass along this ridge, Green Springs Highway, the Dead Indian climb has to be at least 18 miles.

And we'll see what it's like in the rain.
View of Ashland from Dead Indian Memorial Road.

No comments:

Post a Comment