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Monday, January 31, 2011

Yes I'm a Wimp

Last weekend I got confirmation of a very important decision.

I’m done riding in the rain.

Did you know that it rained at every. single. endurance. ride I did last year? With the exception of Tevis?

It is true that with the proper gear, it becomes bearable. And last year, based on my goals I needed to grit my teeth and just bear it. So I did. And I triumphed. This year I have no such goals to keep me from wimping out. In fact, my goals revolve around having fun and having a sound horse. Therefore, I will be cancelling all rides where I wake up to the sound of rain coming down on the steel roof of my trailer. And quite possibly, attending an alternative ride the next weekend.

Last weekend I had a living history event in the bay area. It rained. I was on horse back 3-4 hours in a wool uniform. At first it wasn’t too bad, but inevitably you get cold. For me it starts in my hands and feet. I’m not shivering, but the cold is that numbing, chilling cold that there is no recovering from until you can get a good night’s sleep. My back starts to hunch over and I don’t take full breaths. My thighs begin to ache and it becomes impossible to ride well or even move well. I have Raynaud’s so my hands are usually totally useless as the blood vessels spasm, and trust me – gloves are not much of a help in this situation. Most of the time I get a headache at this point because my shoulders are knotted up. I’m not cold and shivering, but I’m not comfortable either.

It’s extremely difficult for me to regulate my temperature riding. I can do it – but it requires me to be attentive, and proactive something that can be difficult for me during an endurance ride, especially a 100 miler. And this year, there’s no reason to be miserable.

Scattered showers – I’m OK with. Rain, storms, downpours – I draw the line.

So, I’m introducing the new, not-so-tough-Melinda. The revised and revamped Melinda who does difficult things, as long as they are too difficult!


  1. Endurance rides in the rain are, indeed, miserable. I don't mind conditioning in the rain if it's the dead heat of summer, but more than that just sucks. I did my first 50 a few years ago and it rained the whole time. Ugh!

  2. I'm there with you, I have done endurance rides in the rain and it is miserable: for the rider, the horse and the crew.

  3. I ride in the rain a lot (obviously, since I live in the Swamp), but that doesn't mean I like it. Give me "high and dry" any day.

    Proper gear really does make a difference. Do you use chemical handwarmers? I have circulation problems in my extremities, and those little things are worth gold.


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