Rain, Alps, and Bicycles

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As we fell asleep to the sound of pouring alpine rain last night, I felt my usual annoyance at the weather.  We knew today was slated to have the same nasty weather and we didn’t feel much like being stuck at our campground for another day.  Rain riding was looking likely and I wasn’t excited.

Sure enough, my first morning awareness was rain hitting my tent walls so after a bit of discussion, we slept a bit more of the morning away hoping for a clearing in the rain.  Sure enough, when we woke up a second time, the rain had slowed nearly to a stop, allowing us to get our things packed up and our rain gear on to see if we could survive a wet ride through the clouds we could see up ahead.  I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about this proposition, but neither was I excited about being stuck in a tent all day, so I dressed warm, reminded Ben that riding in this kind of weather was straight up insane, and pedaled out of camp.

Not 100 meters from where our tent had been, the rain started coming down and we had to stop so we could get our rain jackets zipped up tight before beginning our ride. What a start to the day!  Gratefully the ride was flat (I can only handle so much!) but fifteen minutes on the road had us pretty well drenched, save for anything that was covered in our rain coats.  We moved along at a good clip though, knowing that the faster we moved, the warmer we would be.

It took me a while for my attitude to catch up with the quick progress we were making.  All along the way I thought of my dad telling us as kids to “Be brave little piglet be brave!” even though I sure wasn’t feeling much like being brave.  I absolutely hate being wet since it usually leads to being miserably cold, but the more I pedaled without being more than a bit cool, the less dire the situation seemed.  The less I thought about how soaked I actually was, the less it was bothering me.  Within an hour, we had knocked out almost half of our goal for miles and the rain had started to let up a bit.

Ben was still riding around in total awe of every mountain we passed (near as I can tell, the novelty is never going to wear off) and was enjoying his rainy ride.  We passed frequent photo opportunities, but at the few we did stop at, we tried to keep our stops short so as to avoid having our body temperatures cool down too much.

At some point, the GPS batteries died so another mandatory stop was required.  We pulled over in front of a grocery store so I could grab some snacks while Ben changed them.  I think the grocery store was going out of business because everything was on serious closeout and I stocked up on some chocolate and bread that we ate for lunch before hitting the road.

From the store, the ride got better and better with terraced vineyards, castles, and tiny villages dotting every cliff wall.  We rode along quiet side roads and dedicated cycle paths running along a nice river with the rain having almost completely stopped.

As we pulled into the campground, the rain started to fall again pretty heavily.  The guy checking us in ran some numbers and announced that it would actually be cheaper for us to stay in a private room in the pavilion than to pitch our tent in the rain.  That didn’t take too much convincing!

We had to laugh that the private room we were given actually has room for six people and space to house our bikes as well.  I am pretty excited to be spending this rainy afternoon inside four walls with a real roof, electricity, and wifi.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Bree and Ben, there’s nothing better than dry walls when you’ve been camping in a tent in the rain. It sounds like you are having some great adventures. It’s mostly been raining here at home. There have only been a few days to hop on a bike and ride in the sunshine. Take care

    • Breeanne says:

      It was a welcome change! We’ve temporarily relocated to Itally where the weather is much, much better and the ice cream is endless. We’ll give the alps another shot in better weather!

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