"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rain and the Bike

Yesterday I wished to take a brief (14 mi.) bike ride.  About 3 miles down the road it looked like it was starting to rain and the clouds ahead were looking dark and gloomy.  So I pulled off the road and parked under an overpass.  Well the rain came hard and fast with thunder and lightening accompanying.  I kept waiting for it to clear; this is basically a tropical area where summer storms come and go often within a few minutes.
It continued to look gloomy so I called my wife to come get me if she could.  By the time she showed up the rains had actually stopped though it was still cloudy.  I accepted the ride and by the time we got home even the clouds were pretty much gone.
I've often thought; if you live in the Pacific Northwest you must ride in rain a lot.  But I don't live in those places and more often than not have sunny times in which to ride.
Maybe the guys/gals riding in Portland and Seattle have rain gear.  I don't.
Generally, it's enough to find an overpass or an overhang; sooner or later the summer storm will move on.
I'm not sure I could adapt if I moved to the Pacific Northwest and wanted to keep riding;  rain dribbling down the back of the shirts is just a wee frustrating - cold too if you're in the Northwest.

A few years ago, my buddy Ed and I were on a long bike ride in central Florida.  There's a bike trail that goes over the Swanee River, wonders down into Chiefland and heads back to Bell.  We're in the last 15 miles and we see and hear a storm coming up our of the west.  It's nasty; unrelenting thunder and lightning.  We're not near any facilities, kind of out in the country but there's a wooden kiosk ahead that's been built for people on the trail.  We race to get there arriving about the same time the storm does.  It is incredible.  We're holding our ears and sitting up on the backs of the wooden benches being careful to not have our feet down in the water or be touching our metal bikes.  We're terrified we're going to be the recipients of a direct strike and Ed is temporarily uninsured.  We think being under a wooden roof is relatively safe but wonder what will happen if our bikes take a direct hit. It pours and pounds for a good half hour than moves off.  I suggest to Ed we can leave be he's still worried about being uninsured.  We had to wait another 1/2 hour before I could convince uninsured Ed that it was time to head on home.

Tomorrow's possibly another opportunity to ride in good enough weather.  If the rains come, I'll find another shelter in which to ride it out.

A bike ride? "It's all good."

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