|I could've lingered around the office had I'd known what awaited me a few minutes later, but history is hindsight. |
Photo credit: Geode Hunter
In mid-May I left work, with topped-off water bottle, dressed in tank top and skort, prepared to survive 90F degree heatwave for my 5 mile ride home. The humidity was sky-high and stormy clouds loomed over my shoulder, ready to let loose, but I was undeterred, welcoming a little rain to cool the sultry weather. No sooner had I'd turned from my workplace into the neighborhoods, spinning uphill, when thunder boomed and fat droplets fell. Then, to my complete surprise, gradually small hail pellets fell, bouncing off my arms. I laughed. The air grew cooler, rain, interspersed with hail, soaked through my clothing., making me feel more comfortable. Yet, I was still unconcerned and continued through a park following my normal route home.
|Photo credit: NWS Twitter|
But quickly the light hail changed to dime-sized bullets, painfully pelting my bare arms, backs of my hands, pinged off my helmet, and created music on my bike rack. I still kept moving, however I glanced longingly at the dry ground beneath the leafy canopy when the storm increased, and with the potential for lightening, I knew the last place I should seek shelter was under a natural lightening rod. As I entered another park bike path, I was thankful for fatter tires crunching over hail-crusted asphalt as I negotiated hills and a wooden bridge. It was totally bizarre - and I was a little nervous - because the hail was bruising my arms. Welts were forming and veins darkened on my hands, but within 2.5 miles the ominous storm passed by. I was completely soaked. My hands were sore for a few more minutes, but in the end weren't too bad. On the rest of the ride, I mulled over the ludicrous situation and realized I had survived a May hailstorm. I'd like to think I'm a hardy soul - I have pedaled through 7" of rain in New Zealand, plus endured a monsoon rain in Thailand, but I've never felt as exposed or as humbled so close to home. At least the weather had cooled off!
Have you ever been in a similar situation that at the outset seem a little fun, if unusual, but eventually turned into a potentially dangerous situation?