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This Was an Odd and Busy Morning Ride

by on August 4, 2015

Alarm rings.  I crawl out of bed in the pre-dawn darkness for the regular morning ride.  I do my morning ritual.  I check the temperature and note that it is 76°F, warmer than I expected.  I pull on my kit and get a text message.

“I’m in Annapolis dropping off a car, got to stop at home on the way, may be late.  Big thunderstorm on the way!”

I respond:

“Thanks.  I had not looked.  I guess we will get wet.”

I pull up the weather app on my phone and check the radar.  A fast moving storm is headed our way.  Yep, going to get wet.  The weather app warns that our county is in a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.  Oh well, wet it is.

I put on my old cycling shoes, grab a cycling cap, put anti-fog on my glasses, and position a towel near the garage door so I can dry off when I come in.  I mount my fixie (rain bike) and start down the highway.  There is some distant lightning and rolling thunder.  Then, without warning, a lightning bolt strikes the ground ahead of me a few miles.  I do a U-turn, and return home.

I start texting:

“Not safe.  Sky to ground lightning.”

“See you at coffee.”

I haul the bike back into the garage and start pulling off helmet and shutting down lights on the bike.  I move a car while being pelted with acorns dislodged by the high winds.  I notice that the lightning appears to be moving off to the east.  I pull up the weather app again and look at the radar.  The storm has changed from a southeasterly track to one more easterly.  The area of rain has diminished.  I text again.

“Wait.  It may miss us.”

“I’m riding.”

Helmet goes back on.  Lights get turned back on.  Off I go into a blustery wind.  I make it to the bridge and wait.  No one else shows up.  I start riding and meet one rider, then we meet another, and more, until there are 5 of us riding and chatting about the close weather.

Then, just when I got settled into a nice comfortable pace, someone pulls out ahead.  We pick up the pace.  Someone passes the leader and sets a new pace.  We pick up the pace.  Repeat often.

Legs spinning (fixie, remember?) heart thumping, lungs burning and still we go flying down the road.  There is no easing up.  The three of us on fixies set the pace.  The two on geared bikes try to keep up.  Our speed is all over the place, 27, 22, 32, 18.  It has all the feel of a very dynamic race.

We hit the coffee shop loud and obnoxious, still gasping for breath and waiting for our hearts to settle down.  Every single one of us blames the others for the amount of effort this took.  But the coffee settles us down, and soon we are ready to mosey back home.

Not a drop of rain fell on us the entire morning.

From → Cycling

One Comment
  1. Lovely story of what reads like a great ride. Fixed is my choice in the wet too. Nobody likes cleaning chainsets.

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