What's Cool In Road Cycling

Colorado Roadside: 16 Rains in Vail!

Photo Report: Yet another day of heavy rain in Colorado for stage 6. But that didn’t dampen Angelica & Travis Dixon’s (or the fans) enthusiasm for the USA Pro Challenge and today we get a lesson on how to describe the weather conditions 16 different ways.

– Words by Travis Dixon, photos by Angelica Dixon –

So as Angelica and I were huddled under a tree waiting for the riders to come through for the Vail TT, and considering that this race is an international affair, I wondered how many different sayings there were to describe the downpour at present.


Well, mentalfloss.com, has this excellent list – 16 International Idioms To Describe Heavy Rain.

1. Argentina: “It’s raining dung head-first.”
In Spanish: Esta lloviendo caen soretes de punta.

2. China Hong Kong: “Dog poo is falling.”
In Cantonese: ???

3. Denmark: “It’s raining cobbler boys,” or “raining shoemakers’ apprentices.”
In Danish: Det regner skomagerdrenge.

4. France: “It’s raining like a pissing cow.”
In French: Il pleut comme vache qui pisse.

5. Faroe Islands: “It’s raining pilot whales.”
In Faroese: Tað regnar av grind.

6. Finland: The direct translation (apparently) is “It’s raining as from Esteri’s ass,” but a better interpretation is “It’s raining like Esther sucks,” which can be used for both rain and snow. The origin is disputed here, but the phrase comes either from an old brand of water pumps used by firemen, or a goddess Esteri who has mostly disappeared from history except for in this idiom. (Anyone have additional info on this story?)
In Finnish: Sataa kuin Esterin perseestä.

7. Germany: “It’s raining puppies.”
In German: Es regnet junge Hunde.

8. Greece: “It’s raining chair legs.”
In Greek: Rixnei kareklopodara. (?????? ?????????????)

9. Ireland: “It’s throwing cobblers’ knives.”
In Irish: Tá sé ag caitheamh sceana gréasaí.

10. The Netherlands: “It’s raining old women,” and “It’s raining pipestems.”
In Dutch: Het regent oude wijven and Het regent pijpestelen.

11. Norway: “It’s raining troll women,” or “It’s raining witches.”
In Norwegian: Det regner trollkjerringer.

12. Poland, France, Romania: “It’s raining frogs.”
In Polish: Pada ?abami.
In French: Il pleut des grenouilles.
In Romanian: Plou? cu broa?te.

13. Portugal, Brazil, and other Portuguese-speaking countries: “It’s raining pocketknives,” and “It’s raining frogs’ beards.”
In Portuguese: Está chovendo canivetes or Está chovendo barba de sapo.

14. Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia: “The rain kills the mice.”
In Serbian: Pada kiša, ubi miša. (???? ???? ??? ????)

15. Slovakia, Czech Republic: “Tractors are falling.”
In Slovak: Padajú traktory.

16. South Africa and Namibia: “It’s raining old women with clubs.”
In Afrikaans: Ou vrouens met knopkieries reen.


Yeah, pretty much sums it up! The TT course was pretty unique as it’s predominantly on a bike path. However, this wasn’t any ordinary bike path. The path was wide enough for each rider to have a following vehicle and the pavement quality was top notch. And as has been the case throughout this tour, the course included some significant climbing. Past the finish, the path continued getting much steeper and narrower, too narrow for cars, for 4 miles to the top of Vail Pass. Lucky for them them they didn’t have to race this section!


As we tried to find shelter from the rain, we ran into Jacques again. He entertained us with stories of crashing a party in France, faking being a stereo technician so that he could eventually dance with Brigitte Bardot – which he claims he did! Really man?



He continued with this little tale, “I saw Lance one day in Aspen so I jump on my bike and push past him. I turn and say, Now you can sit on my wheel”


A rider dressed as the devil with a flag attached to his bike came up. Jacques asked him, in his thick French accent, “What’s dat flag?”

The rider replied proudly, in an equally thick accent, “Latvian!”

Jacques replied in his 78 year old innocence, “Where?

Annoyed now, “it’s Latvian, have you been to Europe?” Like I said, Jacques entertained!


A crew of Nordic racers from Steamboat Springs played ‘leap frog’ and entertained the early racers!





As the rain eased, Angelica and I gradually migrated up to the final 300 meters, to the party scene, so that we’d be where the action was for the final riders.





Over the past several days we’d been perfecting our technique for getting shots in the midst of the mayhem.


I’d call out where the rider was on the road, grab a handful of her shirt, Angelica would crouch and lean out into the road to get her shot, and I’d yank her back at the last second so that the following car wouldn’t clock her head and/or run over her feet.


It’s a work in progress but I think it worked out pretty well!




The Colorado fans really turned it up for the final riders as they seemed to know how tight the race was. Every rider received the crowds full energy. An amazing scene, especially considering it was a TT!



usapcc14st06-tejayTT620Stage winner and overall leader Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

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