Took a half day off from work to do some necessary chores. Like getting a new battery installed in my Polar S710. It had been displaying the low battery icon for 2 weeks now and I did not want to take any chances of it dying on me during a ride.
It had rained most of the AM and it only stopped around 2.30pm. The wind dried up the roads very quickly and I had spotted a dry spell on meteox.be. So I decided to take my chances and rode out at 3pm. The sun came peeping through but with 15 degrees it was still rather cold. During the first 20K of the ride I was fortunate to have the wind mostly from behind as I made my way through Bierbeek, Willebringen, Kumtich and Hoksem towards Hoegaarden. When I entered the Ravel I had the wind 3/4 from the right front. Luckily the small Ravel road is bordered most of the time by shrubs and trees. Only drawback is that the road dries out very slow. But this did not bother me and I set forth towards Jodoigne and onward in the direction of Eghezee. When I reached the tumulus of Hottomont I turned right, stopping to take a couple of pictures in the blazing sun.
On the short connection from the Ravel towards the Chaussee de Namur the wind was blowing straight in my face and to my horror I saw a big black mushroom cloud straight ahead. Dark, wide and menacing and with several rain veils beneath it, it was coming straight for me. I quickly turned right towards Hamme Mille but I soon found out that clouds are faster than bikers, even when they are travelling at 35kph or more. The wind was blowing from my left and its gusts made the bike move towards the side of the road. Luckily the Chaussee de Namur is a broad road, plenty of room for bikes and cars. Passing through Ramillies the rain hit me. The fierce wind gusts accompanying the shower made the raindrops almost pierce my skin. Well, except for my face and 2 cm of skin between my gloves and long-sleeved shirt there wasn't much skin to pierce anyway.
I was lucky - again - that this was only the edge of the big cloud, the real rain must have fallen over Eghezee, some 10K behind me now. It quickly stopped raining and a couple of kilometers further the road was dry once more. I sped on, passing Dongelberg and alongside Pietrebais before reaching Hamme Mille. This fast bit sure did wonders for my average speed I'm sure. I decided to add another loop over Nethen, Sint Joris Weert and the Zoete Waters before I ended my ride with a solid 80K under my belt.
Ride Stats : 80.5K and 480/485 heightmeters (Polar/Garmin) in 2h50mins
22-06-2011, 20:56 geschreven door Big Bad Wolf