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Thundering Thursday

by on August 12, 2010

This Ride: 20.1 miles
Kona Distance: 2,633.4 miles
Month to date: 294.5 miles
2010 Total: 3,099.8 miles
Pace to 5,254.8 mile goal in 2010: (63.2 miles ahead of goal pace)

This morning, I got up, checked the radar on my iPhone, and headed out the door on a very warm (80 degrees) and humid (80%) morning. My plan was to ride fairly easy. I have two days of longer group rides coming up, and didn’t want to wear myself out before those rides.

It seemed darker than usual this morning and I passed that off as having to do with the humidity.  The humidity was thick enough that my headlight made a “beam”.  It wasn’t fog, it was just humid.  I was surprised that the trail had noticeably fewer people on it this morning.  I figured that was because of how warm it was.  I kept a nice pace, and soon I was at the Naval Academy Bridge.

The sun was not yet up, but with the haze and lights, it was still lovely.  I expected some color in the sky, but grey is all we had.

I headed back north, and mid-way heard a rumble.  I couldn’t believe it was thunder.  Skies were grey but I recalled an empty radar when I checked it about an hour earlier.  I figured it must be some cyclists going over one of the bridges on the trail.  Two of those bridges could really rumble and with the humidity, noise would be expected to travel pretty well.

It wasn’t 30 seconds later when I felt the first drop of rain.  It was darker to the northwest, and the darkness was moving fast … in my direction.  The few drops turned into a light sprinkle.  I picked up the pace.  I didn’t realize that a light sprinkle hurts at 30 mph!  Soon I was in a light rain, and I figured I’d end the ride in this light rain.  I’ve done that before.  But every few hundred yards, the rain got heavier and heavier.  By the time I was 4 miles from home, it was a steady rain that could be heard on the pavement.  By the time I was 3 miles from home, water was running off the road surface.  Two miles from home it was raining so hard that it was hard to see.  Cars had their windshield wipers on high.  I was getting drenched. I couldn’t have been more wet.  At least it was a warm rain.  (I have to admit that it felt really good.  I actually enjoyed being in it.)

As soon as I could, I decided to check the radar to see what happened.  This is what I saw when I ran it back to about the time the rain started for me.

No wonder I got wet!

Tires held the road well.  Brakes seemed to work fine with all the water.  Eye wear fogged a bit, but a quick swipe with a finger cleared it all.  I did cut the ride about 3 miles shorter than planned.  All in all, a good ride.

Why the empty radar this morning on the iPhone?  I think I didn’t give it enough time to fully download the radar image.  Actually, I think that was a good thing.  Had I seen what was coming, I would not have ridden.

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From → Cycling

2 Comments
  1. Wow! Most of the rain missed me in my Fairfax County commute, but it was as dark as midnight when I arrived at work at 7:00 AM. I’m glad you got through it unscathed!

  2. I took my folks to the airport this morning, they’re off to Alaska for cruise. Knowing I couldn’t commute in by bike, I almost wrote to you to last night to inquire about meeting up for a not so “Threatening Thursday” or whatever Dave calls it. But decided a second day off would be good.

    When I heard the thunder about 5:45 this AM I felt justified in my decision. When I saw the skies go black at 6:45 I was REALLY glad I didn’t ride. Sounds like it wasn’t too bad after all, just wet.

    I’m riding to b’fast tomorrow but not to the office. I’ll return home after breakfast. Hope to see you there.

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