Friday, July 29, 2011

Bike + thunderstorm

I experienced something new tonight – and it’s not often that I get to have a truly first-time experience these days – I biked home in the pouring rain.

I was out for dinner with a friend tonight. Before deciding to bike to meet her, I’d asked my husband if rain was forecasted. I didn’t check the forecast myself, but trusted him since he consults the radar and satellites with religious devotion. He told me the forecast was clear. So off I went with neither umbrella nor jacket.
Toward the end of our dinner I noticed a few drops on the ground. But I figured it to be a cloud burst that would blow over – and besides, it was only about a 7-minute bike ride to get back home.

Well, just as I hopped on my bike, the clouds burst. Lightning flashed and thunder rolled. The rain came in sheets that I could see crossing the street (I was almost tempted to swerve). In the short time it took me to get home, I was soaked through.
It was teeth-chattering cold, but oddly fascinating as well. I don’t have a light on my bike, so the bike path was a ribbon of blackness, with puddles faintly gleaming in the light of street lamps. Trees bent heavy with the rain leaned over me, weighed down so low that several times I had to duck to pass beneath them.

The rain was driving so hard it was almost blinding –and yet given how dark it was, that almost didn’t matter. And the feeling of getting soaked by cold, pounding rain was invigorating. But the worst was when I had to wait at the lights to cross the street only a block and a half from home. That was when I felt the coldest – standing still and being pelted by sheets of rain.

I nearly fell on the driveway as I rushed the dismount and spilled out onto the wet pavement. I didn’t bother negotiating my way to the garage, just pushed my bike into the sun porch, kicked off my soaking shoes and went for a towel.
I’m mostly dry now and headed to bed. Somehow not sleepy though.


  1. V: repent for your terrible forecast by buying Anita a set of bike lights!

  2. I have a wonderful memory of biking in the torrential summer rain in Toronto and feeling so elated and alive that I started singing. When I arrived home I was soaked all the way through to my undies but I didn't care.

  3. Laurene10:44 PM

    I have a huge old bike light with battery that I don't need since Doug gave me his old one. You can have it if you like.