I’ve taken a poll and it’s official that weathermen are useless. (I’ll precede this anecdote by adding that I’m in Santa Rosa, CA for the Bissell team camp. More on that later.)Take today for example: This entire week, Thursday has been forecasted as the nice day sandwiched between a week of rainy days. Most forecasts on the various news and weather channels gave Thursday the “most sunny” or “small chance of showers” call. As a result we booked our photo shoot at the local municipal airport, because of lots of space, no traffic, and neato airplanes in the background. Yet, when I woke up this morning and flipped on the TV, there’s suddenly two inches of rain predicted for the day. TWO INCHES! How do you screw that up? The only way two inches of rain can accumulate is if it downpours rain the entire day. I’m speechless…
Most of January in Asheville has been a similar story. I set out most weeks trying to mash as many hours on the bike as possible. I’m a salt-of-the-earth New Englander and fully appreciate the four seasons, even if it makes me cringe as a bike rider when I see cold and snow in the forecast. Asheville isn’t pure Southern living and therefore definitely has four seasons, but just slightly less dramatic than New England. However, in the words of Lloyd Christmas, what really chaps my ass is when a particular day is given a 0% chance of rain, but not even 90 minutes into a four hour ride, I’m stuck in a blizzard! This picture is at the very start of the storm and I couldn’t get another shot in later since I was worried about not feeling my fingers and dropping my camera.
That and because the temperature dropped about 20 degrees, it was snowing sideways, and I was fearing for my life on account of the dangerous weather and the horrendous drivers. Yikes. Visibility dropped to four feet, my bike was caked in snow (a la TUSB), and it was accumulating fast. Apparently I’m soft because that ride was cut slightly short.
At the end of the day, I suppose what really riles me up is the degree by which the weathermen are wrong. It’s not just being wrong by predicting sleet and having it actually snow; nope, it’s the forecast that’s 180 degrees from reality that bugs me. There’s all sorts of stupidly named weather forecasting machines, like “FutureCast 3000.” I think a more aptly named device – and far less expensive – is the “Flip-A-Coin-Point-Two-Five.” Or perhaps they should just issue a disclaimer at the end to the effect of the weather blurb saying, “…buuuuuuuut truth be told, we really have only a one in ten chance of being correct on this. One. Not a bad idea to take along the umbrella.” Uggh, it bugs the heck outta me.
On a lighter note, the team has descended upon Santa Rosa for the first group meeting of 2008. It’s kind of like Christmas in January with tons of new stuff: bikes, gear, clothes, swag, etc. It’s a blast. Yup, camp is officially underway, and we’re spending today socked inside and taking lots of pictures. It’s a lengthy process that makes me feel like some cross between a professional model and an observer-of-paint-drying. Here’s Aaron with an entire team of photographers hard at work.
But after a tough day of sitting on our butts, professional athletes really need to refuel, so here’s a smorgasbord of tasty lunch meets, tortillas, carrots, cookies, salsa, and more. Yum.
Lots of long and difficult rides on the horizon, so wish us good luck with the weather. Lord knows the forecast is a far cry from what it’ll turn out to be.
Oh, and in other news, today is mybirthday. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or because I’m awesome, but I’m the featured Rider of the Day on Velonew’s beta site today. Yeeaaahhh, chances are good it’s on account of being awesome.