It’s been a biblically rainy late-fall here in the PNW, and while my neck of the woods hasn’t gotten hammered quite as hard as parts of British Columbia have, the last couple of months have involved a whole lot of cold, wet riding for me. Part of that is just a job requirement — I’ve been hard at work testing a whole lot of bikes — but it turns out that getting out into the woods is pretty key for my sanity, too.
Reminding myself of that has been crucial when it comes to finding the motivation to load the truck up and head for the trailhead as it’s raining and 40 degrees out. It can be tough to find the activation energy when you’re warm and dry at home in your pajamas, but I’ve lost track of the number of times in the last few weeks that I’ve found myself looking through a misty forest and felt like I’d come home.
And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the self-satisfaction of being the only car in the parking lot, and knowing that I’m getting after it when everybody else is staying home feels pretty good, too. There’s something special about feeling like you have a little corner of the woods all to yourself, and a dark, misty day only helps accentuate the sensation of isolation. It’s a special feeling, and one that I’ve been cherishing of late. And that perspective shift has been making it a whole lot easier to head back up for another lap when my pants are soaked through, I’m a little cold, and I know I’ve got a dry pair of sweatpants waiting for me in the truck.
Of course, good wet-weather riding apparel goes a long way towards making the experience more enjoyable, and we’ll have a lot more on specific pieces coming soon, with a bunch of reviews dropping shortly. And while wet-weather riding certainly isn’t viable everywhere — maybe your trails are under snow, or have a soil type that isn’t conducive, for example — my real point is more general. We’re all here because we love our various ways of recreating outdoors, and while we’d all love to ride hero dirt on a 65 degree day, or ski perfect blower powder all the time, less-than-ideal conditions are still way better than nothing. So don’t fixate on what could be improved, and just get out there and enjoy what you’ve got, when you can.
So let this be your call to action for the weekend — get out there and have fun in the woods, even if conditions aren’t exactly all-time. It’ll be worth it. And as always, let us know how it goes in the comments.