Bike Log, day 54: The Storm

Today's plan is to drop everything at work and cycle 25+ miles to dinner, then cycle 20+ miles home, without a shirt. *Reminder to self: hydrate or die.

20:32, 6.5mi
64ºF, Odo 1123mi
avg 19.0mph, max 32.1mph

First, 20:32 is awesome!
Second, 32.1mph max speed into the office is pretty good too!
Last, my total mileage is the Fibonacci sequence!

[Ride home]
1:15:22, 24.6mi
72ºF, Odo 1147mi
avg 19.6mph, max 33.5mph
*thunder storm!

I beat my previous record, 1h20m13s by 5 minutes! Wow!
As I noted above, there was a bit of bad weather. Now, I've always loved the rain, ever since I was a baby. Today's rain was no different, I loved it! I began to worry about my iPod, but then I tucked it up as far into my armpit as I could and figured it would survive. Really, rain never hurt anybody (floods are different); Lightning, on the other hand, does.
I was about 7 miles from my destination when the storm began throwing lightning down, but I could barely hear it at first. The lightning was far ahead and to the left. Unfortunately the road also kept edging left. Eventually the lightning was coming down on both sides, but still far ahead. Then the rain started, slowly, with sparse, heavy droplets, and actually stayed that way for quite some time. I could smell the ozone, it was cool and refreshing. The rain gradually grew more intense until about 5 miles from home.
Then I entered the heart of the storm and all hell broke loose.

There was a good bit of rain coming down, the droplets were still huge but there were significantly more of them. Lightning was all around me now, I even saw a bolt in my tiny rear-view mirror(!), but then I saw it: a wall of water.
The rain I was in fell from one side, the left. The rain ahead of me fell in all different directions. I don't mind being wet, as I stated above, and it's a good thing because this was a completely different kind of wet. Uphill became 'upstream' and downhill became a game of trying to remember where the giant potholes are. As I pedaled downhill, my wheel cut a deep path in the water and splashed my feet. I am flying. It should not be possible to be doing 24mph in a flood-warning downpour, but I did. At the bottom, the puddle (read: lake) was so deep my feet were submerged as I pedaled. Slosh Slosh Slosh.
Uphill on the sidewalk around a blind corner, two kids surprised to see me but still young enough to think I'm cool.
I can't see. The rain has long since rendered my sunglasses useless. 2 miles to go--JUST GO.
Up the steepest hill on my route, one block of sheer terror. I didn't even use the smallest gear, I just powered up it. I am propelled by a primal fear, driven to give it my all. The storm makes me crazy and I love it. Me verses nature at top speed, full tilt, in a knock down-drag out thunderstorm. We're having record amounts of rainfall, it's 20 minutes of catastrophe. 1 mile KEEP GOING. I'm cutting across S curve streams in a straight road. I can't turn sharply or the bike will slide out and dump me in a giant puddle, unceremoniously shedding skin from my exposed arms, legs, and ribs. I take it slow at 22mph and round the final block to shelter. I'm up the stairs and in the entry way, fitting my bike on a diagonal so the door will close. I've stripped off the ipod and removed it from the soaking armband. My headlight and cyclometer are unaffected, my rear light is going crazy. The doorbell only makes a dog inside bark more.

I wait and make a bit of a puddle. Maybe nobody is home, maybe I should ride the 5 miles to moms while the storm lightens up? It doesn't seem so bad now. I knocked and my Aunt let me in. Slosh slosh slosh. I don't have much to shed but what I do is WET.

My phone is done, my iPod is fine, my cyclometer is fine. After leaving my rear light out (and pulling the batteries, since it would not turn off) it is fine. I sat wrapped in a beach towel for 20 minutes before I realized I was getting cold. I got a t-shirt and an awesome dinner and a ride home. What a day! =)

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