Rain. Not good. I had been watching the weather forecast all week for Brevard and it was not looking too good. Forecast was for 70% or greater for rain. I figured that I would go ahead and do the ride in the rain, because if it happens to be raining for AoMM, I will have no choice but to ride since my car will be in Marion and I in Spartanburg.
I head out from my friends place in Cullowhee around 7am and get to Brevard around 8am. Plenty enough time to get stuff ready and ride for a little while. The roads were wet at the start and it was not raining...give it 30min and the light rain began. Light rain at times with heavier stuff in between. I really didn't mind being wet - I felt good on the bike and was looking forward to Ceasar's Head. But...all the wet/rain must have washed the lube off of my chain. There was a clunking noise every time i went lower than the 16 or 17 tooth cog. OMG. I could not deal with that - it was making the ride very un-enjoyable. Finally reached the point where the 100k went left and the 60k went right. I was still very much wanting to do the 100k, so I headed that way. For about 2 miles. Damn clunking. I ended up turning around and finishing the ride on the 60k route.
When I eventually got back to the car, I started getting out of those soaked wet clothes. Boy, was I dirty! Grit & grime all over the back of my bibs/jersey, the bike was a mess, the saddle bag was covered in road grime. I changed and headed on back to Cullowhee. Once back there, a nice, long hot shower had me feeling much better! Had some leftovers for lunch and then back outside to clean the bike. I got it washed up and de-gritted and brought it inside to get it good and dry. The next morning, I got the chain all lubed up and met some friends at the LBS in Sylva for a 40+ mile "flat-ish" ride. No problems with the chain or clunking.
Ended up with only 82 miles for the weekend and maybe 4000' of climbing, but I'm not positive on the climbing. I've been gone 3 out of the 4 weekends in the month of March and have put over 2100 miles on the car since 3/5/09! Time for another oil change! And, as much as I really do love the area of Jackson/Macon/etc counties and I love riding up there...I'm so tired of driving. I'm not "scheduled" for another trip west until the Burnsville Metric on 4/25 and Tour de Cashiers on 5/2 and don't have any plans to head that way until then.