What’s This?

Posted: 13th August 2011 by LadyBikerTravel in Uncategorized

So yesterday I opined…or maybe whined is a better word…about the heat and how I’d just have to live with it a little longer before riding would finally be pleasurable again. Clearly it’s been so long, I completely forgot there is another way to cool off on the bike: rain! This morning I saw the real wet stuff – something I haven’t seen in a while (except for a brief spell in Corpus Christi brought on by me camping and not carrying any rain gear).

I woke up around 5 this morning (thanks to Number One son fixing his double espresso before going into work early – that espresso machine always wakes me up with a smile on my face). However, I wasn’t distracted by coffee for long before a bright flash came…from somewhere. It’s been so very long that I went through every other possibility I could think of before I finally figured out what it really was. Did a light burn out…several times (in a room where no one but me was awake)? Was the last trumpet sounding and I was being left behind? No, it’s not a bird; it’s not a plane. It’s lightning!

What a beautiful thing lightning is after a long drought! What music is the sound of rain falling on the deck! That is, until you remember that you have to be at work in 45 minutes and the roads will be a torrid mix of used oil, dirt, and assorted other debris that has been accumulating for months, just waiting for a downpour to jostle it free and allow it to flow away…right beneath your tires. Add to that the fact that just about everyone else on the road with me will also be ogling the drops as they come down as opposed to observing the roads and any bikers on them and, well, my enthusiasm waned a bit.

And then, of course, there’s the final component to deal with: finding rain gear. Wow! Where did I put that the last time I wore it, back in ’07? Obviously, I haven’t carried it on my bike for a while because I figured that’s the reason it hadn’t been raining: I was too well-prepared! I found my slicks fairly quickly but the boots were another matter. Finally located them in a dark corner of the garage and slid them on my feet (my sockless feet because I was headed to work where I would be wearing a dress and sandals). No time to go back upstairs to get socks; it was raining so the ride was going to be long anyway.

I’m finally ready (even wearing the disgusting helmet that, no matter how much I deplore it is still better than being shot repeatedly with a thousand needles of rain) and I’m off. The roads were remarkably good – no issues with slickness I’d been expecting and everyone was driving a good speed: fast enough to keep me happy but not so fast that they would lose control. Suddenly I went over a bump and felt something move in my boot. Immediately, everything I’ve ever seen on a Discovery Channel special about brown recluse spiders (not that I actually watched it but I might have been in the room when someone else was watching) flashed through my mind. Didn’t I hear once that their favorite place to hide was unused rain boots? Doesn’t your hair fall out when you get bitten by them…and never grow back? Don’t they have to cut off the limb that’s been bitten? Yikes!

I didn’t feel anything move again and managed to talk myself off the spider ledge: “Chances are it’s not that kind of spider.” “It’s probably actually dead.” Or one of my mom’s favorites: “It’s more afraid of you than you are of it.” I don’t know why she said things like that because clearly roaches are NOT afraid of me (certainly not as afraid of me as I am of them) but I still use her pointless adages from time to time (especially with the kids).

When I reached my destination, I stripped those boots off first thing to tackle whatever rodent had nested inside, flipped them over and found a huge…dead leaf! Glad I didn’t tell anyone about the incident. Lesson learned. Tip them over first!

What a joy to ride in temperatures that are perfectly pleasant. Just a few drops when I headed home after my WW meetings. To top it all off, the only other rider I saw was another Lady Biker on a ninja…with her work clothes and chunky sandals on. We were the only bikers on the road and we were a couple of rockin’ chicks.

Now I’m off for more riding while it lasts. 103 tomorrow, but who cares? What a great vacation from the heat! Until next time, wheels down and eyes ahead!