The weatherman said that the morning commute would be wet. Fortunately for me, the rain left the area around 6 a.m. I felt a sprinkle now and then but I didn’t mind them one bit. It was a pretty nice ride. The post rain sunlight, no longer a sunrise due to the lengthening days, looked pretty on the Potomac at Dyke Marsh. Little Nellie posed for a picture,
The ride home was an entirely different matter. At four storms started showing up on radar. My office mates in Rosslyn sent my boss home because he picks up his kids by bike. I waited a while longer because the radar looked much worse than what I could see out the window which was light rain. By this time Allison, one of my co-workers, was in full freak out mode.
I hit the road at a bit after 4:30. There was only a sprinkle now and then. The cold raindrops were noticable in warm spring air on my body. The wind wasn’t too bad and I could see blue sky peaking through the clouds. The cars approaching on the GW Parkway did not have their headlights on. So I was pretty sure I was safe riding.
At the southern end of Old Town Alexandria things changed pretty quickly. I rode under the Wilson Bridge and could feel a blast of cold air. Not good. Heading south from the beltway on the Mount Vernon Trail I could see that the cars all had their headlights on. Looking down river a line of rain presented itself. And it was approaching fast. I stopped to take a picture and put on my rain jacket. These two things took maybe 30 seconds to do. By the time I had zipped up, I was in a downpour. I jumped on Little Nellie and headed into the maelstrom. The rain was so hard it hurt my skin. My shorts were soaked through and through within 15 seconds. Then the waves of wind gusts came, announced by the sheets of rain they sent directly into me. There was a distant rumble of thunder but otherwise I was unconcerned. I’ve ridden in much worse. Since I could see the gusts coming, I could brace for impact. As I made it to Belle Haven Park my concerned shifted from rain to falling tree limbs. Twice in prior years I have narrowly escaped getting clobbered by a huge falling limb.
By the time I cleared the park, the rain and gusts had stopped. Two minutes from start to finish. The rest of the ride home was actually nice.
Three hours later, all hell broke loose. Timing is everything. My aim is true.