Monday, May 12, 2014

common sense, gut, instinct, desire

the forecast was rain.
it rained, then it slowed, then it stopped.  the roads began drying.
the hourly forecast said that at 11am there was a 0 % chance of precipitation, and at noon there was a 30% chance of precipitation.
I hopped on my bike.

I rode up the canyon, mostly under blue skies with sun on my head and a tailwind at my back.
at the top, I turned to look behind me and saw, mmm, clouds.
common sense:  says turn around and go home now.
gut: pulls me back home
instinct: gonna disregard it
desire:  tells me keep going, go to the gate, what's another 15 or 20 minutes?

I rode to the gate.
turning around, the wind slapped me and the clouds had piled heavily and darkly above the summit, the place I was headed.
at the summit, I pulled on my rain jacket, watching the rolling, misty clouds hang over the road I was about to descend. then thunder clapped its gleeful hands, and I wondered just what a cyclist is supposed to do during thunderstorms.  lightening, rubber tires, hmmm.
ten yards down, the rain drops started splatting on my helmet, my shoulders, my hands and knees.
I started singing My Girl, the part that goes, I've got sunshi-ine, on a cloudy day....
I kept singing and smiling and laughing as rain drops kept falling.
the first two miles were fine.
and then all hell broke loose.

wind screamed and whipped, sleet-y hail-y rain came down in a torrent, the road quickly began flooding in spots and edges. I slowed, gripped the handlebars tightly with one hand so I could hold the other hand above my eyes, trying to protect my face from the onslaught.
I stopped singing.
gusts caught me, and I slowed further. I thought about finding cover, but more than anything just wanted to be home . . . so I kept going.  hail pinged my helmet and dashed my face.
six miles to go, then five.
my feet squished with each pedal crank, and I was so thoroughly soaked I could feel the weight of water in all my clothing, pulling me down, maybe stabilizing me as cross winds shoved.
four miles, three, out of the canyon, two.
I took a shortcut, one.

I unpeeled in the laundry room, wrapping myself in a spare towel, wet footprints following me directly into the hot shower.

sometimes I need to honor common sense, and tell my desire to keep quiet.  feel my gut, listen to instinct. if only I could teach myself to do that while I'm on a mountaintop, in fresh air, surrounded by nature, flushed with joy and accomplishment . . .
perhaps next time.

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