Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dodging T-Storms

Ooops, either was wrong or I just didn't look at the radar closely enough.  It was obvious my plan to leave the office at 4 pm and go chase some big miles this afternoon was flawed when I saw the dark clouds roll in about 3 pm.  But when the rain stopped and the sun poked through around 5:45 I checked the radar and it looked to me like I had a window to get home.  NOT!  But I'm getting ahead of myself....

I've been traveling for work from Monday through Wednesday this week and did not get a ride in.  I was due for a one day break but three days off the bike was two too many.  The work trip was productive for my customers and I, but every minute of each day was pre-programmed with business or social events.  I barely got a short walk around the block in.  So finally Wednesday afternoon, our business concluded, I bid my customers farewell and departed the fine city of Toronto for home.  The flight was uneventful and I was back home with my family before 9 pm last night.  Exhausted and glad to be back where I belong.  I was ready to ride this morning when I got up.

The ride to work was uneventful.  I slept until after 6 and knew I had to confront the jammed in-box typical of the first day back at the office. So I took the shortest route in and made the most of the day clearing the backlog.   I had one call set at 3:30 and was looking forward to heading out as soon as it was over.  Which brings us back to my introduction.

At 3 I noticed the clouds go dark outside my window and checked the radar for the first time.  It looked like a 4 pm departure would put me right in the middle of the tempest.  Complete with National Weather Service warnings to stay indoors.  Okay, back to the in-box and knock a few of Friday's chores out while I'm still here. I'll just wait it out.  Then the call got moved.  More in box items cleared, almost to the bottom....  BOOM!  Big lightning strike right outside my window.

My boss called from his home and offered to come back to the office and give me a lift home.  "No thanks the radar says it will clear soon."  My wife sent a text and offered to come pick me up.  "Thx, but it's clearing up and the radar says I have a good window".  Earl warned me in a tweet to watch out for tough weather.  I trade notes on FB with Isaias when he got off of his bike to take shelter at a post office in Joppatown.  But I KNOW I'm going to be okay, that's much further north and east of me.

So finally about 5:45 I get on the bike confident of calm weather sufficient for me to get at least 24 more miles in, if not the 40+ I'd planned had I made my original 4 pm escape.

I made it a mile before I got a clear view to the South.  This didn't look good.  By mile 5 I was seeing a lot of lightning and hearing the thunder claps almost immediately, it was close.  The skys opened up.  I pulled over and put on my reflective sash and switched the lights from blinking to solid.  Finally just past half way home I stopped at the Wawa on Veterans Hwy and checked the radar on my phone again.  The email was full of more warnings from the National Weather Service and the map now showed several angry red blots headed towards me.  But I was now just over half way home.  I had bravely (foolishly?) spurned all cautions and offers of transportation.  NO WAY could I accept the ride of shame now.  I'd wait at that darned Wawa 'til midnight if necessary to avoid asking for help.

So I stood under the awning of the Wawa and watched the storm go by.  Finally about 7:30 it looked like the last one was now well north and heading away from me.  I made it home without further incident. Wet, and a little grouchy that my plans for a nice long afternoon ride were wrecked by the bad weather and a poor effort reading a forecast.  I made it home safely at 8:15.  Harrumph.


  1. Why not just admit it? Your're a Squid and get off on being wet! :-)

  2. Come on Clive, not in public. What happens in the Navy stays in the Navy. You wouldn't want me discussing where the Army goes on those long marches, and what you do when you get there.