Only 2 miles from home, the sky growled and the angry bolt strikes surrounded us. They test us and motivate us to go harder. The conditions were unsettling but there was little choice. Then the downpour. Generally, I like a refreshingly random rain ride but there was a feisty anger in this morning’s drenching that marked an ominous cap to an oddly eventful 6 a.m. ride. When I got home and sat down my chamois pad squished beneath me and released what seemed like a quart of gritty water onto the floor below me. I looked over at my shoes and a quarter-inch of water had pooled in the bottom of each one. I could swear there were a couple of minnows swimming and calling my Specialized road shoes their new home. I just hoped my iPhone managed to stay dry enough to keep from shorting out. Sometimes, you just take what is given to you.
We rolled out into a foggy soup and from the start, the ride never really flowed right. Starting with a newly placed detour that threw off the warm up phase and immediately put me into discomfort that I never seemed to recover from. The thick humid air was like breathing in a double chai latte. A flat tire less than 5 miles into the ride on a less than safe and ideal stretch of road added to the sequence of events. A few miles later, pools of flooding from recent rains washed across and covered the roadways forcing our pace to come to a crawl. Finally, just before the storm as we cranked our tempo north of 27 mph we had a near miss. A student with a death wish had decided it was a good idea to cross the road while his snout was firmly buried into his smart phone. It was a lot of stop and go and a ride rhythm that eluded us. It was unsatisfying and very unnerving to say the least.
I did not like the way the day started. A crummy ride is no way to kick-start a long day spent banging on the keyboard . That is why I decided to cap the day with second ride. A muddy path fat bike ride. No puddles, mud or coyotes crossing my path would upset the purity of this evening’s ride. Agreeable conditions, some good company and a good pace made this a great bookend to the day. This morning gave me a less than ideal start. Tonight, the evening gave me ride redemption.