RAINStorm | July 2013

Sometimes ya sign up for things ya never thought you could do and ya just do them.

That’s the way it was with RAINStorm in 2013.

RAINStorm is an endurance cycling event where cyclists ride five centuries in as many days and cap it off with the RAIN ride, which is a 160 mile bike ride across the state of Indiana.

Tom and I had both completed the RAIN ride before, and Tom, a RAINStorm ride two years earlier, but this year, however, in late May, on a whim, I committed to riding RAINStorm. Tom was already registered, but it was so late in the game I didn’t even get the jersey. What? No jersey to proudly wear if I finished? It would be worth it just to see if I could do it.

Having saved a little money, I upgraded from my 1995 steel frame touring bike to a carbon frame road bike just two weeks before the ride started.

New ride for an old cyclist

Although I’d been riding the touring bike in June, all I had to do now is get some rides in on the Trek before RAINStorm.

This is what I was training for:

Sunday: Drive to Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and park your car.

Monday: Ride from Earlham College to Brown County State Park (113 miles)

Tuesday: Brown County State Park to Clifty Falls State Park (100 miles)

Wednesday: Clifty Falls State Park to Spring Mill State Park (105 miles)

Thursday: Spring Mill State Park to Bloomington (100 miles)

Friday: Bloomington to Terre Haute  (100 miles)

Saturday: Terre Haute back to Richmond, where your car has been parked all week.  (160 miles for the RAIN Ride)hoosier popoverIf you’re ever in southern Indiana near Brown County State Park be sure to stop in Gatesville Country Store for their popovers. They’re legendary.

We met a bunch of new buds and met up with some “old” friends, Brian and Paul who also completed RAINStorm the same year (and many before and after).

Brian, Deb, Tom and Paul

Although the RAIN ride has only a couple rolling hills, there’s quite a bit of elevation in southern Indiana. The hills aren’t long but they’re steep for this Hoosier flatlander. And it was hotter than Hades that week with some ratchet head winds to contend with. Since RAINStorm was point to point, it wasn’t like you had the benefit of turning round to enjoy a tailwind. #gofigure

And it wasn’t gawdawful hot every day. Sometimes it rained. A lot. Well it IS called RAINStorm so there’s that.

Paul gettin’ it done.

Logistically, RAINStorm was a pretty sweet deal. It included all breakfasts and dinners, all maps, SAG support each day and you get to sleep in awesome Indiana State Park Inns three of the five nights. There are two hotel rooms included in the price as well. The ride directors have your gear shuttled to the day’s destination in a UHaul each day.

Since I always finished riding after Tom, my bag was already in the air conditioned room when I got there. #luckyme

Cute baggage handlers
Finished with five centuries under our belt and ready to ride 160 miles across Indiana the next day.

Here’s our finish pic. See the cool jersey I missed out on? Next time I’ll register early. Wait, will there be a next time?

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