Monday, July 23, 2012

Riders on the Storm

So why was this Doors tune going through my head over and over again this morning?   Because for the first time ever I got caught in a really heavy thunderstorm here in Nags Head, NC while out on a bike ride. 

The story really starts yesterday.  I was scheduled for a 2.5 hour ride and got up early with the intention of driving my bike over the Oregon Inlet Bridge and then riding to Hatteras and back.   After chugging my first coffee I went to get ready to ride, only to discover that I had left my bike shorts in Raleigh - damn!   No worries though, I need a new pair anyway, so I decided to go to OBX Cycles; buy some new shorts and ride later in the day.   Unfortuately those plans were scuppered.  I bought a nice new pair of Cannondale shorts after the store opened at noon, but thunderstorms messed up my ride plans.   OK, on to "plan C"....    move the ride to today and do the movement prep. and strength work originally scheduled for today yesterday afternoon (I also went for a nice long walk along the beach).

Before I headed out this morning I checked the radar on   Some rain down on Hatteras Island persuaded me that I should ride north, where the radar was completely clear.  I was about ten miles up the road in Kill Devil Hills, however, when it became apparent that a few "pop-up" storms were forming and within minutes I was riding in heavy rain with a steady off-shore breeze.  Now I don't mind riding in "heavy rain" (in a masochistic kind of way) so I just kept pushing on, but a few minutes later the rain became absolutely torrential - one might almost say "Biblical"!   I could barely see and it was clearly not safe to stay on the road, so (along with a guy from Pennsylvania on a nice Cervelo P3) I sought shelter under the car port of a local motel.

I guess the lens on the phone was a bit wet!

After a while the deluge abated and I continued north to the Wright Memorial Bridge before turning for home.  The sun was out at the turn, but it was pretty clear from the view as I headed south that my adventure wan't over yet.....

Around milepost four
Milespost eight - getting closer!

I basically follwed a spectacular lightning show south for about fourteen miles.   Luckily the rain stayed ahead of me, but I had to deal with extremely gusty winds and flooded roads.   It's hard to maintain your speed when you're riding through 2" of water on the road!   :-)   I will say that, for once, drivers were extremely courteous this morning - not always the case here in the summer when there are so many vacationers!

Another one in the books and at least I wasn't this guy......  :-)

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