Thursday, July 29, 2010

Racing Against Mother Nature

Today's bike ride home was an adventure, but this time it was all my doing.

Since I still can't run,  I convinced myself to bike to work this morning with the promise that I'd take the bus home if my knee protested or if the weather didn't cooperate. My knee and I were feeling good this afternoon, and the radar showed the rain was nowhere near yet, so I left work on my bike even though the heat index was supposed to be 100+. I was immediately assaulted with a wall of heat, and I felt ill.

I convinced myself that biking home in the heat was a bad idea, and that it surely would start pouring on me any minute, so a mere 2 miles later I turned left on Rouse to catch the bus at Colonial. I waited at the bus stop for about 15-20 min, and the bike racks were full! Ugh! So I trek back to the trail, thankful that it has cooled off a bit. This is probably due to the thunder I hear in the distance and the impending rain.

I tell myself that I can take the bus at Goldenrod, so I take the long way that adds an extra 1/2 mile to my trip when I get to the bridge. I am still too early and would have to wait another 15-20 min to catch this bus IF it even has an open bike rack. I reason I'd better use that time to make some forward movement before the rain arrives, and so I keep trekking along.

As I cross Semoran and turn onto the Cady Way trail, the air feels much cooler and the clouds look much darker. I pray I can make it home before it starts to rain, and I speed up in an attempt to beat mother nature. With about 4 miles to go, I see the biggest and loudest lighting strike ever. It's surely near me and I now fear for my life. I consider calling Amy to rescue me, but with only 3 miles to go and still no rain in sight, I don't want to inconvenience her unnecessary. Plus I figured it would take me about the same time to rush home from the mall as it would to wait for her.

While the clouds still look menacing, and there is the occasional rumble in the sky, the rain has stayed away and I'm almost home free. I urge the light to turn green at Colonial, and I speed off as soon as it does; of course, I catch every red light. After I turn onto Livingston from Primrose, I see what looks like a wall of rain in the distance as I near Bumby. I take off my glasses in hopes that I am seeing things. No such luck. Sure enough, the rain catches up to me at Bumby and I get drenched during the last mile of my ride home.

I arrive home 2 hours after my departure from work, starving, cold, wet, and looking like a drench rat.  Had I ridden home without the detour in the first place, I would have missed the rain, thunder and lighting, and been home at least 30-45 minutes earlier. Oh well, you live and learn.

ETA: And of course, as soon as I finished writing this, I got an email alerting me of a severe thunderstorm warning. I'm so glad to be home where is dry and away from the lightning :)

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