I'm a certified pilot. I don't fly every day, in fact I haven't flown in awhile, but I went through the training, I passed all my tests, and if I felt like flying tomorrow, I could.
Depending on the weather.
One thing that is ingrained in you during flight training is that everything depends on the weather -- maybe not so much for those who hold an instrument rating, but for those of us who can only fly VFR (visual flight rules), the weather is always the deciding factor. At some point in time you have to make the "Go, No Go" decision.
So, what does this have to do with my Saddle Sore 1,000 ride scheduled for Thursday?
Well, if I was scheduling a flight, I'd be leaning toward the "No Go" side of the decision. The National Weather Service forecast for Thursday is:
Thursday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Cloudy, with a high near 85. South wind between 10 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Thursday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. South wind between 10 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
I'm NOT scheduling a flight. I'm riding wheels on the ground. But still, the purpose of the ride is to do something out-of-the-ordinary, in the safest possible conditions, and come home with a story you can tell your grandkids:
"I remember the time back in 2010 -- now stop me if you've heard this one -- I remember a time when...are you listening to me? I said, when I was a youngster, no older than...hmmmm, how old was I? 35? No, older I think. 48? No, seems too old. Well, it doesn't matter. Yes, I was 48...I think. Anyways, I did something, can't remember what, but I'd sure like a tall glass of iced tea. Do you mind getting your old Grandpappy a glass?"
In other words, if it looks like the weather is going to put me in a dangerous situation of not getting to one day tell my future grandchildren the story of my adventure, then I'll put off my Saddle Sore 1,000 ride for a better day.
I'm a biker -- not an idiot.
I'll be watching the weather all day and making my "Go, No Go" decision at 8 p.m. tonight.