The weather looked a little foreboding on the drive out with a few sprinkles thrown in for good measure. However, once everyone had arrived it settled down and we proceeded with the trip. Arnold was trying out his new mountain E-bike and this was Brian's first club ride of the year. There seemed to be dark clouds around us with a significant number in the west around the mountains. I couldn't help thinking of Christine's trip into K-country from Longview and how it was going with the weather. On the way out, there was a cross wind from the northwest which required some additional energy to the pedals but no severe gusts so the cycling was not onerous. We had a very short sprinkle at one of the regroup points on the way out but that was it for the first part of the trip. Sim and Alda found a great lunch spot on the Longview FAS Gas porch and the rest of us occupied the picnic tables after Inge confirmed with the store staff this was acceptable.The sun was out for the first part of the lunch (and quite warm in the shelter of the building) but soon disappeared behind the menacing clouds.
A number of us cycled up to the Longview town info centre to check if the washrooms were open. A short sprinkle occurred on the way over that ended fairly abruptly. The washrooms were closed as was the camp gound behind so we cycled back to join the rest of the group who had been enjoying an extended leisurely lunch. Clouds were definitely massing, so we all wrapped up lunch and headed out on the return trip. We had just cleared Longview town limits when a crosswind came up and shortly thereafter the rain. It persisted on the climb to the East Longview Hall and possibly 2 km. beyond and then cleared. The wind associated with the cloudburst made the climb up the hill to the hall a bit more challenging. Some indicated that with the rain and wind they became quite chilled on this section. At the hall the direction of the road changed and the riding became much easier as the wind seemed to now shift to a tailwind and the rain was less driving.
Once the rain cleared, it became enjoyable cycling with a strong tailwind pushing us along. I rode in my top gear for sections and Jim indicated he was in top gear for most of the way back. Most of us regrouped at the High Country Dr. turnoff back through town to the cars. We didn't tarry long as another squall appeared to be coming through accompanied with stronger winds. On this section,we all made it back to the cars before any rain fell. Most of us packed up the bikes before a short rain shower occurred again. Needless to say there was no hanging around or tailgate party today.
A thank you to all participants: Sim,Jim,Arnold,Alda,Manfred,Shirley,Janet,Inge,and Brian for joining me and for excellent company and good conversation. It appeared that the trip was new to most and was a hit due to the lack of significant hills and the strong tailwind which literally blew everyone home with easy pedalling. This seemed to negate the rain shower experience on the return from Longview.
Photos to follow.