Posted tagged ‘rain’

Patience, Grasshopper…..

July 23, 2013

after the rain

 

Monday morning was one of those days where we were awakened by the sound of thunder somewhere around 4:30, so when the alarm went off at 5:00 and it was still booming outside our run just wasn’t happening.  We reset the alarm, rolled over and dozed until it was time to get up for real and found that it was still thundering.  I checked the radar and saw that the real line of storms was still approaching, so I shifted into “slow and relaxed” gear and waited.  By the time I had done the morning routine, that line was still out there so I ate breakfast and lingered over a cup of coffee while I waited for the last possible minute to go out the door.

And what did I get for my patience?  Why, an absolutely gorgeous morning commute, of course!  There were a few sprinkles hanging around as I left, but not not enough to worry with and my fenders did their job on the wet roads.

 

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I even saw Jim on the way in.

God bless…

TW

 

 

Dodging the Flood

June 18, 2013

Saturday dawned a beautiful morning that would fail to foretell how quickly and badly the weather around here can change for the worse.  Depending on which reports you listen to, Springfield experienced 9-10 inches of rain in just a couple of hours, but more about that later.

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We were planning to ride a pretty long route, so I had e-mailed Mike the map of our route and told him that if he missed a turn this week (he has a history of that, you know) he would be on his own.  His response to that was to bring his own old-school GPS!  I guess it worked, because he managed to stay with us the entire time!

We departed Battlefield promptly at 6:30 AM, and picked up two additional riders just outside Republic for part of the trip.

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David, wearing the blue jersey in the picture above, is a friend of Mike’s from church.  He rode with us through Billings and part way to Halltown before he peeled off to his house near the intersection of Highways PP and TT northwest of Republic.

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Alan is a colleague of mine at work.  He just recently scored a really good deal on his first road bike, and is training for a sprint triathlon.  He rode with us through Billings and out toward Halltown before heading for home when we hit Highway 174.

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Both rode well given the number of miles under their wheels, and I hope they enjoyed themselves.  We enjoyed having them and are hoping they can join us again.

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The turkeys were out in abundance in the early hours.  We had three separate sightings, with the best one being a big-ole bearded tom that ambled across the road right in front of us.  He was a huge sucker – probably the biggest we’ve seen this summer.

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We made our first stop at 20ish miles (for us) in Billings, where we instructed the new riders on the finer points of cycling nutrition, the art of devouring Snickers bars,  and our golden rule of “Eat Early, Eat Often”.

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We then turned our sights on  Halltown, enjoying the tiny bit of push from the wind at our backs.   As we headed that direction, we could see clouds building to the northeast.  They were bothersome enough that Pam asked me to look at the radar while we were stopped.  It showed a storm north of Springfield, but nothing near us.  I was a little concerned that it was tracking south and we were going to be headed east and it looked like our paths might cross before we got turned back.

Halltown was the sight of our only “OOPS” moment of the day.  I took our water bottle in to fill it, then left it on the counter after buying a Gatorade.   We didn’t miss it until we stopped again, so at that point I was just glad it was an older one that was ready to be retired and we were carrying a second one.

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After meandering east to the intersection of NN and I-44, we encountered the rain I was concerned about, but we only brushed the outer edge of it and were actually stopped at the c-store there for the entire duration of the brief d0wnpour!  Talk about good timing!

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At that point, we were about 46 miles into the day, but we also had to ride directly toward the storm for a couple of miles before turning back to the south.  Pam was eyeing the sky constantly and started hearing thunder to our east.  As we turned back to the south, we could tell the that it was raining seriously to our southeast, and knowing that we would be turning west in just a few miles made me hopeful that it would clear out before we made our final loop around Republic and headed for the truck.

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We stayed dry through Republic, but as we kept glancing back over our shoulders, the skies kept looking more and more ominous.  I wasn’t particularly concerned about getting wet, and Pam wasn’t either, but the thunder had Pam worried.  From our location, we felt like the worst of the weather was going to be to our east, but that’s where the truck was, and we had planned our day pretty tightly, so  simply sitting somewhere to wait it out was not an option.  We had to keep riding!

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In spite of all the concerns over the sky, both Pam and I were feeling pretty good on the bike and were enjoying the day.  We’re signed up for a century next weekend and the ease with we covered these 73 miles gives us a lot of confidence that we shouldn’t have any issues with the 100 miles over a lot flatter terrain next week.

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Of course our day wouldn’t be complete without having to stop for at least one train, and this one west of Republic seemed to take forever to clear out of our path.  Once we cleared it, we were on our final leg back to the truck, and that’s when Pam really started getting concerned!

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We were now riding straight toward the worst looking clouds, and we started seeing some pretty serious cloud to ground lightning on a regular basis.  I mean most of those lightning bolts were straight in front of us, to the point that if you followed the road to the horizon, that’s where they seemed to be making their strikes.  Once we started heading that direction, however, I started getting more and more confident that the worst of it was actually further east than our truck!  I could see the water tower at Battlefield, and as we counted down the remaining miles, I kept trying to reassure Pam that we had it made!  She, however, remained dubious.

We climbed the hill on ZZ faster than we’ve ever ridden it on the tandem, then did the same with the climb out of Wilson’s Creek.   Pam tells me she was getting motivation from the lightning, and not to expect that type of effort every ride!  From that point, it was easy and dry traveling back to the truck.  We found it’s bed about half-full of standing water.  You can’t see it very well in the picture above, but I had to stand in about an inch of water to get the bike secured for the trip home!

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Our daughter had been sending Pam text updates for the last 10 miles indicating how hard it was raining in town so Pam sent her a “we’re safe and dry” message while I loaded the bike in the truck.   We hadn’t driven more than a mile before the skies opened up on us!

Here’s the map of our ride.  You can click it for the full GPS track.

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God bless….

TW

Update:  When we got back to the truck, Mike decided he was close enough to a century for the day that he was going to go for it rather than accept our offer of a ride home.  He thought if he headed north he could avoid the worst of the rain.  It didn’t happen.  It sounded like he nearly got swept off his bike a couple of times before he made it home, but he did manage to get his century.

They won’t melt.

June 6, 2013

 

 

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I just had to grin.  Yesterday on the way home from work, I got caught in a rain shower.  It wasn’t a big deal.  It started raining as I crossed the King Bridge, so I rode a couple of blocks further to be sure it was really going to  keep it up and stopped under an awning to pull out my rain jacket.  With that taken care of, I casually continued toward home.

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It was actually one of those nice little showers that seemed to come up out of nowhere.  I noticed several people walking who seemed to have been caught out in it as well.  Like me, they were making the best of it, although I didn’t see a single umbrella on the way home.

As I pulled up to the stoplight at Sunshine, I noticed a couple of roadies huddled together underneath the bank awning trying to stay dry.  They looked so pathetically miserable under there that I was in the process of pulling out my camera when a car pulled up and blocked my view.  Rats!  It would have been a great picture!

Anyway, as I was waiting there in the rain for the light to turn, I glanced down at my feet and noticed the running water I was standing in.

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I had to grin at the idea that at least those two weren’t standing in running water, but then thought to myself, “Well, I know I won’t melt in the rain”.  And you know what?  I was kinda enjoying myself out there splashing around in the puddles!

God bless…and get out from under the awnings!

TW

Dampened

May 28, 2013

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Well, leave it to me.  We apparently had a single little cloud producing rain over Springfield this morning and I had to ride through it.    It only lasted about 4 city blocks.  But that’s after spending an hour over the weekend cleaning and lubricating a disgustingly dirty bike.

Oh well….I guess it will just have to keep on looking like a daily commuter that gets used a lot.  Wait a minute –  that’s what it is!

God bless…

TW

 

 

Drizzle Ride

May 6, 2013

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Well, it wasn’t the best of days for a ride, but the cold weather and rain/snow is on the way out.  After forcing myself to take a rest day on Friday and chafing through a cold and wet Saturday morning, I finally deemed it warm and dry enough to ride by about 1:30 Saturday.

Not trusting the weather, I grabbed the Surly, thinking that I might appreciate the fenders at some point.  In the end, the roads were still wet enough that my road bike would have been a mess had I taken it out.

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The skies just couldn’t decide what to do but luckily it never really got too bad.   I would ride in drizzle for a while, then it might turn to sleet, then drizzle again, then it would quit.  Then, it would repeat itself on a consistent cycle of about 10 minutes.

I had told Pam I would be about two hours, so that meant I was limited to about 30 miles.  One option for that is to go ride the hills on Farm Road 249 just east of Strafford, so that’s where I headed.

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The dogwoods are in full bloom, and were very evident out on 249.  There is a nice stand of pine trees out there and the white dogwoods interspersed made a nice contrast to the green pines.

For some reason, I never felt like I could get into a good groove on this ride.  The wind was blowing a little, and it seemed one of those days where it was impossible to get it as a tailwind.  In addition, the air just felt thick and heavy.  It was just about 45 degrees, and based on those factors, it was a struggle to finish with a 15.8 mph average speed.

I managed to finish at my driveway in exactly 1 hour and 59 minutes.  I suppose I probably missed my two hour projection in terms of clock time because I made one pit stop in Strafford, but I made sure to point out to Pam that my riding time was within the projection!

You can click the map below for the full GPS track.

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God bless…

TW


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