I’ve been following MSR, and chuckling a bit. There’s a really good series of tweets and pics here, at neilroad’s Storify page. Apparently, it’s a “snow apocalypse” because the temps are around 1 degree Celcius (33-34 degrees F), snow’s falling, and there’s a good inch on the ground.
That sounds like an average training ride here, for the past few weeks. There’s a part of me that wants to say that the pros should HTFU…but I know they can all wipe the road with me, so I’ll refrain from going down that road. (But if there’s no ice (and it doesn’t look like ice…it just looks snowy/slushy), I don’t see why they can’t ride. It’s not that cold–look at the spectator’s attire).
Instead, what I will comment on is preparation.
Before I go out for a ride, I check the weather. I’ll check the day before and get my kit set, and then check before the ride and make tweaks. If it’s cold or snowing, I’ll dress appropriately. I am flat astounded that there are pros who seemingly lack the Weather Channel app for their iPhones. Guys going out in MSR without gloves or vests. What do you think the outcome will be? The weather wasn’t a surprise…it was forecast. It makes me chuckle to see guys with enough chutzpah that they are oblivious to the weather. As I blogged this morning…if your contact points are uncomfortable, you’re not riding. Go out without gloves and ride in the snow, and face the consequences.
I think this is the face of: “Why didn’t I prepare better for conditions?”
If he had worn a better outer layer and a stocking cap to cover his ears…maybe even a gaiter…he would’ve been a much happier camper. And the guys wearing summer road shoes, without covers, with exposed calves and cotton socks. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that they’re going to have a problem.
Now, to be fair, as the day progressed, conditions deteriorated further. I’m not sure that this is rideable on 700c slicks.
So perhaps the race suspension was merited. But why all of the pre-suspension whining? It seems like a majority of it was coming from gents who simply were not properly kitted for the day.
Riding in foul weather can be some of the most fun riding that there is…if you’re properly dressed. It looks like the pros could take a few lessons from casual riders herein Northern Illinois, about checking the forecast and dressing appropriately before riding.