The RAIN ride occurs mid-July every year and runs 160 mile (162 this year, due to construction) from Terre Haute, on Indiana’s western border, to Richmond, on the eastern border. This was my first RAIN and I trained hard (and wrong).
Central Indiana, you see, is where the glaciers stopped. Imagine a wrinkled shirt, half-ironed. Yup, that’s central Indiana. Where I live, it’s ironed flat. I’ve ridden 100 mile round trips (and did so several times training for RAIN) with a total elevation of 300ft. Terre Haute and Richmond are both pretty central, so I didn’t think about it,.
I should have thought about it.
We don’t have mountains here, but what we had, after the first 20 miles or so, was a continuous slow climb, with a few downhills (with inevitable stop signs or stop lights at the bottom). Total elevation gain for the ride is over 4000ft.
Also, did I mention that my Bülk has a single 70t front chain ring?
I made it 96 miles, at which point my knees and feet got together and filed for an emergency injunction.
But I’ll make it next year, because I’ll train with more climbing and I’ll switch to a smaller chain ring, so I can get near a 1:1 ratio.
This year, I had a great time, met some great people, and was absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible work done by so many volunteers, thanks to the Bloomington Bicycle Club.
I also had a fun game of leap frog for a while with a few small groups of riders – climbing up the hills while they passed me, then flying down them to the front, and then again. This was during the first 20 miles, while there were still open downhills.
Did I mention the rain during this year’s RAIN? There was a lot of it.
With no further ado, here’s an 8x speed clip of a little bit of the leap frog. A bit later we went up and down some bigger hills, but my ego couldn’t stand showing you 1-digit speeds on the way up, even if it meant I got to show you 50+mph downhills.