Experimental music, photography, and adventures

A stormy commute; Water Works + Moore’s Creek

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

I’ve been remiss in my blogging lately — hopefully, I can start keeping up a little better. I’ve been uber busy. I have a bunch of photography stuff I want to write about, too, but that’ll have to wait until I can gather some more of my photos together in some usable form.

My commutes on Monday and yesterday morning were pretty uneventful. However, yesterday afternoon, some major thunderstorms hit. For a while, we had high winds, thunder, lightning, and hail. Several people offered to give me a ride home in their car, but I was hoping that wouldn’t be necessary. Things had calmed down a bit by the time I needed to go home, but it was still raining pretty hard. I decided to go for it anyway. I’m not afraid of a little water! A few people looked at me like I was insane on my way out.

Some people put on raincoats and pants and helmet covers, etc. I might use those things at some point, but yesterday, I realized that I was going to get wet anyway, so I might as well try to make that less miserable, rather than try to stay dry. I converted my zip-off pants into shorts, figuring that they’d just get waterlogged anyway. I think this was the right thing to do.

I had to stop by a camera shop to pick up some photos they’d processed. It’s not far away, but by the time I got there, I was completely drenched. The shop owners couldn’t help but laugh as I walked in, soaking wet, in a helmet and biking gloves. They made some comment about how dedicated I was to my photography, but of course I just wanted to stop there on my way home. They told me to stay dry as I left (too late!), but I assured them my photos would stay dry. However, I wasn’t 100% sure of that, as this was the first true test of whether my Banjo Brothers waterproof pannier would live up to the “waterproof” part (it did). In fact, the things in the pannier were the only things that were dry.

As I rode on 7th Street, I saw a girl on a bike going the other way. She was riding on the sidewalk and carrying an umbrella in one hand, leaving only one hand to steer and brake. She was going pretty slow, and she rode through several-inch-deep water where the sidewalk met the road in an intersection. She got soaked, despite her fairly impressive (but unsafe) umbrella-handling skills. I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw that, although I was pretty impressed someone else was trying to ride in that storm. I went a bit slower than usual, avoided metal surfaces (which become extremely slick when wet) and did pretty well riding. I was glad I upgraded my brake pads to Kool Stop salmon-colored ones, as they worked pretty well. I wished I had had some lights so I would’ve been more visible to cars.

I only saw one flash of lightning on my way home, and it scared me a bit. It wasn’t that close, but that was pretty much the only part of riding home in this storm that made me feel uncomfortable.

One upside to this storm was that it had mostly cleared up by the time the sun set, and Sarah and I saw a double rainbow, followed by one of the most incredible sunsets we had ever seen. We didn’t have cameras handy, unfortunately, but Sarah suggested I keep one of the cheap waterproof Goodwill cameras in the car in the future. I think I’ll do that. I told her that it might not be a good idea, because if it gets hot, it’ll mess with the film, and then I realized that it’s a brilliant idea for that very reason. I wonder if we’ll get any interesting effects that way.

This morning, it was cold and windy (in the 30s, wind chills in the 20s). I thought about driving to work, but ended up riding instead. I dressed appropriately, and it wasn’t a problem. I wished it hadn’t been windy, but it wasn’t too bad. I got more “you’re a madman!” looks once I arrived at the office this morning.

Monday evening, I did another modified version of the Water Works ride, this time including part of Moore’s Creek Road on the way back. I enjoyed adding that section a lot — I would have started riding that sooner, except that section of road has been flooded for a while. It was dry Monday night, though, except for one very small place where the road was a bit wet. There wasn’t even a puddle, it was just a little wet. I imagine it’s probably flooded again now, or almost flooded.

Adding that section to the ride only adds a couple of miles to the trip, but that includes a huge descent, a ride by a recreation area at a part of Lake Monroe, and a pretty killer climb. It’s a lot of fun, and also makes it more of a workout.

7 Responses to “A stormy commute; Water Works + Moore’s Creek”

  1. John Says:

    I’m all caught up in your blog. I clicked a cach’d link which brought me to an older page.

    I have to wait till this evening to check my blog links. I go thru a server at work that prevents me from downloading the program to see the movie.

    In the meantime Here is the link to see the five boroughs slideshow.

    Please let me know if there is a problem, because I have no way of checking.

    Another question if you don’t mind. I know your at univerity. Are you a student or staff? Simply curious.

    See you around

  2. John Says:

    no html allowed huh? Here is the link again.

    http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y130/capejohn/Five%20Boroughs/?action=view&current=b167e115.pbr

  3. John Says:

    I’m all caught up in your blog. I clicked a cach’d link which brought me to an older page.

    I have to wait till this evening to check my blog links. I go thru a server at work that prevents me from downloading the program to see the movie.

    In the meantime Here is the link to see the five boroughs slideshow.

    Please let me know if there is a problem, because I have no way of checking.

    Another question if you don’t mind. I know your at univerity. Are you a student or staff? Simply curious.

    See you around

  4. MRMacrum Says:

    I never found rain gear to be effective after a certain point. The damn rain will find you.

    The girl you saw on the sidewalk remeinded me of a game my daughter and I came up with when she was a wee rider. When we saw anyone practicing unsafe (no helmet, riding against trafic, etc) cycling habits, the first one to yell “Bone Head Alert” got to punch the other one in the arm. And if they were doing more than one stupid thing at a time, it ‘was “Double bone or Triple as the case warranted. And then the appropriate number of arm slugs as compensation. The funny thing was, or was it, the sad thing was, that in Sanford, there wer so many bonehead alerts, we had to designate Sanford “A Bonehead Free Zone”. That way we could survie any trip into town.

    I am linking you to my blog. Thanks for the encoraging words.

  5. furiousball Says:

    Dude, madman looks are the best.

    I think you should wear a foil hat on lightning days, that’s what Chuck Norris would do.

  6. Michelle in Alaska Says:

    You ARE a madman riding in cold weather like that? 😉

  7. corky Says:

    When I lived in Red Bank NJ I used to ride a bike to work at 5:30 in the morning. It sucked big time. So did my job but that’s a story for another day. I probably could use a good bike ride or two though.

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