This morning I kind of missed my old truck. Did not feel like going to work, let alone ride a bicycle in. I stopped thinking about it long enough to lather up a good amount of Butt'r (yes it might seem like I use a lot, but I don't want to get MonkeyButt . If I did I would have to use Anti Monkey Butt. ) on my bibs pad, fill two bottles (one Accelerade, one water), said "good bye" to the wifey, connected my light, double checked the old rig and headed out the door. After about 10 minutes I was better, but riding more like a zombie than anything else. No big chain ring for me the morning. I coasted down every hill and spun everywhere else.
I got a little dose of rain this morning. Not much, but it appeared it rained really hard last night. A lot of the roads coming in were wet and some had large sections of standing water. Good thing we missed the heavy stuff.
Yesterday I stopped at the Briarcliff Farmers market on the way home. If you live up in the Northland (and why wouldn't you?) check it out. It is open every Thursday 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. I wanted one of those tamales in the worst way, but decided they would most likely not stay down with the remaining hills I had.
Speaking of hills, I cut through Water Works Park on the way to Riverside. Very safe route that cuts out Hwy 9 and it's high speed traffic. It is a safe route, but be prepared for some climbing if you do take that route and the roads around Briarcliff. Especially that climb off 283....
One more ride home and this years challenge is over. I was planning on taking the weekend off, but Carolynn said we need to put in two long rides to make up for the two weeks that she took off. I am thinking that maybe next time she should not go on vacation during a critical training period :-)
Things are looking kind of dangerous for the ride home. Already getting that "I don't want you to ride home in a tornado" call from my better half. But honey, it is the commuter challenge and you have to ride..... I somehow don't have much sense when it comes to things like this. Once down in Florida I went for a nice ride before a hurricane was supposed to hit Naples. The storm was heading East from Naples to Ft. Lauderdale. I figured by the time it got to Parkland that the winds would be 50 mph tops. Well, I was wrong. The only good part was the awesome tail wind heading home. The rain and debris kind of hurt some. Maybe that is what damaged my head?
I made it home. The commute home this afternoon was very challenging. Carolynn called it "very stupid", but I call it challenging :-)
Things were going well until it started to hail and lightning just as I was flying down Hospital Hill over by Crown Center. I usually start working my way over to Cliff Drive at this point, but I could hear Carolynn in my head, so I decided to stop for cover. I went over to the Acme bike shop and stayed there for about 20 minutes until I just could not take it anymore. If you are ever by their shop, stop in and check it out. They have some very unique bikes.
I headed North into the rain. I thought the lightning was over with, but as I was passing the Sprint Center it started up again. I decided to take my chances and continue to ride. I figured that the odds of me getting hit was so remote and there was no way it could happen to me. My numbers never come up for the lottery, so why would they come up now. I proceeded to the Heart of America bridge across the river. At times I could not see as the driving rain and some hail hit my eyes. I left my sunglasses at work because I figured it would be too dark to use them. I just kept focusing on the road beneath my rig and watched for the cars with my peripheral vision. The traffic in NKC was going slow due to some very wet roads and some flooding. I took a route that worked by Macken Park. That was a mistake. 32nd Avenue was flooded and the police/fire trucks had Cherry Street closed. I had to turn around and find an open road back to 9 Hwy. I decided to jump on 9 because the traffic was only going 10 mph due to flooding by the 169 overpass. Unlike the cars that had to worry about getting stuck in high water, I was able to ride through it all. At times my bottom bracket and cranks were completely submerged in the water. I guess it is time to rebuild that thing now. Luckily my BB is an old Dura-Ace model that I can rebuild (if I remember how :-))
Once I got to Riverside it was smooth sailing. Sections of Gateway Avenue were flooded and had a thin layer of mud on the road. This was very slick, but I had my cross bike with some Ritchey tires on. I did slid a few times, but I kept pedaling through it. By the time I got home all the mud was all washed off my Colnago. I was surprised to find the Line Creek (which runs behind my house) was just about to crest its banks. I can not believe how high it was. My normal route home was totally flooded.
Like I said, it was an interesting and challenging ride home. I guess I am very fortunate that I made it home safe and sound.