In the Saddle: The gospel of Paul |

In the Saddle: The gospel of Paul

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

The last week or so has reinforced the idea that if you want to play in the mountains, sometimes you’ve got to risk the rain.

I survived with just a sprinkle during a short road ride in the valley floor on Friday evening. I escaped Saturday’s showers when a friend dragged me out for a ride in the early morning chill, before it warmed enough for the pregnant clouds to pop. And I danced through the drizzle during a short hike way up the Fryingpan Valley on Sunday.

By Monday, I was ready for a longer ride. assured me that I had a window of opportunity between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. before the precipitation chances ramped up. So I stepped outside at 9:30 a.m. ready to ride, ignoring the water-logged clouds hanging over the valley. I wasn’t alone. Cyclists were crawling all over Missouri Heights, damn the weather. Forty minutes into the ride, a shower struck. It was light enough to be irritating but not unpleasant.

Every time that happens I get a Paul McCartney lyric from one of his Wings’ songs, “Mamunia,” stuck in my head: “You’ve never felt the rain my friend, ’til you’ve felt it running down your back.” (Not to be confused with the Beatles’ song, “Rain,” which features John Lennon singing, “When the rain comes, you run and hide your head. You might as well be dead.”)

Anyway, the McCartney tune always makes me feel good about the rain ” as long as lightning isn’t part of the package.

I descended the hill on Catherine Road and balked when I looked at the rain-soaked Highway 82, the cars sending up spray as they whizzed by. I nearly abandoned my plan to ride the short way down to Crystal Springs Road and climb back onto Missouri Heights, but concluded I couldn’t get much wetter. Good choice. Crystal Springs Road was bone dry. I completed the loop, then sprinted home as the next wave of showers flowed in.

The rest of this soggy spring, I am taking Sir Paul’s advice when I see rain clouds: “Don’t complain. It rains for you and me.”