Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Typical Springtime Commute in Denver

It's hard to believe that we're supposed to get 3 to 5 inches of snow, tonight, when it's 53 degrees as I'm leaving the lab. I get outside and, even though the temp is okay, I'm chilled by the the wind and the lack of sun. Before leaving the parking lot, I pull out my long-sleeved jacket and put the wind vest in the bag.

Heading south, I am pushing against a headwind which had informed was "16 mph gusting to 19 mph". I'm thinking that might be a conservative estimate. I am a mile into the ride when it starts raining... lightly at first. Then, it's raining harder. Then, it's hailing on me.

I stop and put on my rain chaps I made from an old pair of rain pants, and continue on. I am wearing my prescription glasses, and the rain is getting in my eyes, but it's not worth it to stop and dig the safety glasses out of the bag.

POW! I catch a hailstone, borne by one of the 19 mph gusts, apparently, in my left eye. I am blinded in that eye, temporarily. The sight comes back, but the eye still hurts. I stop and dig my safety glasses out of the bag, then dig the glasses case for the Rx glasses out, and stow them safely away. Dressed for the weather, I continue on, only to ride out of the shower within a half mile.

"Oh, well," I think. "I'm not gonna stop again, to take this stuff off."

Ten minutes later, I am glad I made that decision, as I am once again riding through hail, accompanied by lightning and thunder (I always love that, on a bike).

I am halfway home.

I continue on, enjoying a brief tailwind as I turn through the park approaching Holly, where I cross Cherry Creek. Once across the creek, I stop for a moment in City of Potenza Park and check to see who just called me on my cell phone. It was the vet, reminding me that Jack has an appointment, tomorrow night.

I continue along my merry way, speaking to a couple of dog walkers, and exit out onto the street. As I go south, the rain abates, and small patches of dry pavement appear on the road. The wind continues to push me backward like the hand of a vengeful god, but I just plug along (uphill for a mile) because, really: What else is there to do?

I pull up to the intersection at Dahlia and Evans, in the through lane, and see a guy on the sidewalk waiting to cross Evans in the crosswalk. He's on a bicycle, and I start to think something snarky, only to realize that, as soon as I cross Evans, I'm hitting the sidewalk on the wrong side of the street so that I can cross the Overpass of Doom and get to the other side of I-25 and into my neighborhood. So, I think good thoughts, and sprint across Evans as the light changes.

The roads are completely dry in my neighborhood.

Three and a half minutes later, I pull into my drive. Fifty minutes have elapsed since I left the lab, 9 miles away. I feel like I was really slow, but I think about it and I don't feel too bad. The 50 minutes include the stops to don rain gear, wait for traffic, etc. So, all in all, I feel like it was a pretty good ride.

Most of them are.



At 11:14 AM , Blogger Brendan said...

Mine was less exciting -- no rain, rain, no rain, lots of rain, wind, home. But I feel your pain.

At 7:12 PM , Blogger katina said...

Ah Spring...look on the bright side--at least you have 4 seasons.


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