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.