Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pre-Hurricane Century

I've struggled this week to keep to a daily routine on the bike. Earthquakes, hurricanes and especially back to school season, simply disrupted the normal flow of family life at the Binnix family compound.  But things fell in to place nicely this morning to catch up on the missing miles.

With preps for Hurricane Irene largely done last night, including a last minute decision to purchase a 2500W emergency generator, I didn't wake up this A.M. feeling compelled to attack the "to do" list that often comes with weekends. Further the kids' scheduled games this weekend were already cancelled due to the pending storm, but the forecast said that Armageddon likely wouldn't start until mid afternoon or early evening, so it looked like I could steel away for the entire morning and even a little beyond lunch if needed.  I did just that.

I started at the Ranger Station at 6:00 with the usual club ride of zippy speed demons. But both Bill C and I opted to let the racers go early and rode the Solley Rd route at a more moderate pace.  Carl B originally set out with the fast kids but decided he'd prefer our company and hung back until we picked him up about half way round the course.  We got to Java Divas with 15 minutes to grab a cup o' Joe before joining the 7:30 ride at the rusty bridge.

This was well attended with 17 riders heading downtown for a bagel and to see what the city looked like for hurricane preps.  Not much to see except for the sand bags stockpiled near by and ready to block flooded door ways as the water rose.  The group thinned some after bagels and coffee then 12 of us headed around Bay Ridge.  The Bay looked grey and threatening.  But several kite surfers and wind surfers were ejoying the first breezes from Irene.  The anchorage for commercial shipping was also impressive with over 10 ships at anchor, I presume planning to ride out the storm.  Normally one would expect only 2 - 3 vessels at time there, waiting for their loading piers to open up in Baltimore.  Today they stretched in a line well south of Thomas Point.

On return to downtown Annapolis I couldn't sell a ride through Crownsville to anyone and parted with the rest of the club to keep stretching my legs. I made it through Crownsville and to within about 8 miles of the airport before I saw any rain.  At the airport I made for my office and stopped to check that all of our non-essentials were secured and the essentials correctly attached to a UPS.  Then I turned for home.  The fleet of utility maintenance vehicles BGE has mustered on an empty lot off of Elkridge Landing Rd, staged for storm response was impressive.  A state trooper stood sentry to control access.  Good to see the authorities taking the approaching storm seriously.

To round out an even hundred miles and catch up on my weekly goal of 200, I rode past our neighborhood while heading south on the trail and continued all the way to the trail head at Boulters Way then returned and threw in a final lap around our neighborhood before I returned home   100.5 on the day and 202 miles for the week.  I got home at 1:30 a bit wet but before any heavy rain or wind came through.  So I've met my weekly 200 mile goal for 6 straight weeks.  If there's a window after the storm tomorrow afternoon, that will be a bonus.

So now we hunker down and ride out the wrath of Irene.  Prayers for the safety of all in her path, including my home and my neighbors'. 

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