Rain Welcome: Craig Fellers Riding in the Santa Cruz Winter
The following is from Craig Fellers. Craig is a Cat 1 racing with Team Mike’s Bikes.
"Today is a rainy day. It wasn’t supposed to be, the weatherman said partly cloudy, but there is a persistent drizzle coming down outside my window. This is a two coffee morning for sure. Let’s text Art and push back that 8:00AM start time, and see if the skies clear up. I’m now done with all my emails, the bikes are clean (even the commuter), and my cycling closet is organized. It’s getting towards lunch time, and the weather has been persistent. These are the days I am happy to have wide tires and disc brakes, since I can’t wait any longer. I kit up, adding an extra layer for warmth and another shell to shed the water as I head out the door. Instantly, my glasses are translucent with water droplets, and I smear a small opening in my vision with my gloves. Pedaling down my street, I am already wet but feel alive, happy to be outside after a slow morning of milling around the house.
On the rainy days, I avoid the big climbs. Well, it is the descent I really despise. Nothing steals the soul like 20 min of blasting wind while you sit legs spinning slow circles, heart rate slowly dropping trying to make it to the bottom of the wet mountain before your braking fingers lose all sensation. I thought I remembered this being the fun part. No, today it is laps around the University. Eight minute climb, three minute descent, never more than an hour from home. The short climb into the clouds to the top of campus is perfect. I find my rhythm and feel the bike obeying me. Pedal harder, pedal faster. I feel myself start to break a sweat at the top of the climb, and after descending am just losing my inner warmth. I step back and enjoy the satisfaction of dressing appropriately for the weather. This is truly one of life’s best victories. This short ride is perfect; it fit the occasion, and after some strong efforts I am home in time to stay happy although soaking wet. I think it may turn into a three coffee day, and that is nothing to be ashamed of."
Craig races on an aeronautical masterpiece, the Specialized Venge ViAS (the Venge was my favorite racing bike). During the weekdays, Craig loves rolling in the Santa Cruz backroads with his Valence Road+. This allows him to keep the race wheels on his Venge and reduce wear on other race specific components while improving the ride experience for his days away from racing.