All good things must come to an end, but they sure started out nice. It was in the 50s this morning when I left the house so that meant only one thing: SHORTS! Few things make a bike commuter’s day like shorts in January, unless, of course, you’re bike commuting in Auckland.
Rain was forecasted for the evening rush so Little Nellie got the call. The strong southerly wind meant that we’d get a nice assist all the way to the office. With such good conditions, I hit the road ten minutes early.
Whenever I ride I first squeeze my tires to make sure they have proper pressure. The rear tire on Little Nellie apparently has a very slow leak. When I started bike commuting I only had one bike. Flats were a total hassle. Now, with three bikes, I can always switch in the event of a problem and fix it later. No worries though; this rear tire seems to hold air for several days.
Loverly ride, all the way in. The scary evening forecast kept the scardy cats off the trail. No bald eagles. No prehistoric garbage trucks. No idiot drivers. Nothing to get hung about. Strawberry fields forever.
Begining about two p.m. my officemates and I started obsessing about the approaching storms. The line of storms ran from central PA to the Gulf of Mexico. It was only a couple hundred miles wide and the doppler radar showed a long line of severe weather. It resembled the derecho that came through last summer except that it wasn’t tracking west to east. Instead it seemed to be drifting to the northwest.
My boss is a bike commuter. He bailed out at 4. He drops off and picks up his daughter during his commute. About 15 minutes later I decided to roll. The skies looked threatening. There was an intermittent drizzle fallling.
I turned onto the Mount Vernon Trail and began the slog into the gusting wind. The drizzle stopped after about 20 minutes. I unzipped my jacket and plodded along. It wasn’t a lot of fun but at least that nasty storm was staying away. It was all very anticlimatic. I’ve ridden in much worse weather than this including a couple of tornado warnings. (In both cases I didn’t know at the time.)
As I turned off the trail and headed due west for home, the nasty storm was laid out before me. Ten minutes later I had stashed Little Nellie in the shed and was inside. I checked the radar; the storm got hung up about 50 miles northwest of DC.
It’s a comin’.
As I type this we are under a tornado watch.
Send lawyers, guns and money. The shit’s about to hit the fan.