Fire, Brimstone

I’ve come to learn that when the weather forecast calls for a 30% chance of scattered thunderstorms, that really means there’s a 100% chance that I will rode home in the rain. As I pulled out of the loading dock at the office, I looked over my shoulder, to the west, and noticed the dark clouds gathering on the horizon. Plenty of time, I thought, and I headed east along the river. Things still looked good as I passed through Panther Hollow, though I noticed the clouds were beginning to creep over the edge of the valley. Climbing up Neville Avenue, the rain began to fall, just sprinkles at first. Then, at the traffic light at 5th, looking west, I saw lightning. The storm was here.

Suddenly, it was pouring. Within a few blocks, along Ellsworth, pouring rain turned to sheets of water, pushed around by a strong westerly wind. Then, a few blocks later, hail. Pea-sized chunks, nothing that hurt, but hail nonetheless. At the corner of Negley and Centre, all hell broke loose. Thanks to the high rise apartment buildings, the wind whipped hear and there, carrying sheets of rain with it. Water cascaded in a sheet from the visor of my helmet. Waiting at the traffic light, the wind threatened to push me over. A heavy stream of water on the road rolled over my foot. Thank heavens I bought the Pelican laptop case, or else I would be writing a rather sizable check to my employer to replace my computer. The only bright spot was I had quite tail wind. Passing through the intersection of Negley and Penn, I crossed a river of rain water, complete with white caps.

Did I mention that during the course of all this, lightning was flashing, quite clearly, all around?

Once home, I stood on the back porch, dripping wet, toweling off my bike. I was still dripping wet. As I walked, water squirted from my shoes. I like to think that I’ve ridden in some pretty terrible conditions over the years, but I’m quite sure this ride takes the prize.