|Before, During, and After.|
The weather radar indicated I had about 30 minutes before we were going to get the soaking of (semi)biblical proportions. I have a 35 minute ride to work at a comfortable pace. The question lay before me: I could sleep in and get my wife to drop me off at work. I could sleep in and ride in the rain. Or I could leave now, ride as hard as I could, and try to beat the rain.
I chose to ride.
A good 90 minutes before my normal ride time, I hop on the bike, and start zipping thru the roads of my town. I can see the rain falling on the hills next valley over. My heart is racing. Adrenaline pumping. The Rule #5 mantra (harden the F'k up) swimming thru my head, in a desperate attempt to avoid invoking Rule #9 (riding in foul weather makes you a badass, period). Not that there is anything wrong with wet weather riding - I've done it before. I have rain gear in my panniers. It is not a bad fate to receive. Some days I actually enjoy the challenge. But today was not one of those days.
It was the principle of the thing. I am now in a race against Mother Nature, and I'd be damned to let her win.
So on I pedal. On I ride. The large hills where normally I hit my lowest gears, I keep in a higher gear. Intersections where I have a good view, and no traffic, stop signs become yields (not a confession, officer).
Every strong gust of wind is a warning; taunting me. Mother Nature was gaining on me.
She was quick. She was fast. I was betting I was faster.
On the flat I figured I could outpace her. However my route is anything but flat, and some challenging hills were still in my way.
The equalizer would be the huge hill just before the office. Most days it requires my lowest gears, and sucks the wind from my lungs. Today was not most days however. As the hill approaches I kick into high gear and rush towards the impending incline, and race up it quicker than perhaps I ever had before.
The wind picks up. She is close. Too close.
Now the only thing standing between me and victory is the security gate. I pedal up, winded and sucking oxygen like a jet engine. I badge in. The 15 seconds it takes to open the gate seems like a lifetime. Come on, stupid gate - hurry up - don't you know she's coming?
The gate opens just enough to let me pass, so I hit the pedals hard. 500ft stand between me and victory. At 300ft I feel a strong gust of wind - and a rain drop.
At 100ft I feel a few more drops. But then I ride up the ramp and under the parking deck roof.
That moment the rain started to fall. It didn't matter. The last 200ft from the ramp to the bike rack was my victory lap.
I was dry. I was at work.
Suck it nature. Suck it hard.
All that was left was to head to the cafe and get an omelet.
Let me tell ya, It tasted extra good this morning.