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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rained out - Or not

So it's pouring rain today.
We were supposed to ride to our church's monthly Saturday prayer breakfast this morning. The plans had been formulated over the past month and finalized last night via text message.
We were: Pastor, Tim, Dave, Dale, Rick, and myself.
I woke up at 5:45 to start my day with a cup of very black coffee and the book of Psalms. I looked outside to check the weather - but didn't need to. The rain was pounding on the skylight over the dining room. By 6:00 I was fingering my phone to send a text message retraction. At 6:09 I pulled the trigger.
It promptly stopped raining. I went back to bed.
7:30 - No sound other than my coffee heating up and my flipping pages through the Psalms.
8:00 - I arrive at the breakfast in my truck. No rain since 6:10.
11:00 - return home in my truck and still no rain, call Dave, decide to ride later in the afternoon.
12:00 - the bottom falls out.

So here I sit, periodically looking at the National Weather Service web site and watching the radar indicate the mass of intense color moving away from my city. I'm waiting for Dave to get here so we can dodge raindrops. I've pulled out the lights, since it is getting late. We will return home in the dark, and likely soaked. The worst of the rain has slowly retreated for nearly 45 minutes now, during which time I have anxiously watched the clock and receding daylight hoping he gets here soon. The sky indicates that the bucket is not empty.
There he is now. Here goes...

24 Hours later...

We got soaked.
3 miles out the rain started up again. For several miles the bucket merely leaked a little at the edges and frankly provided a cool distraction for our warming bodies.
Then the bottom fell out again.

By the time we reached the brick yard on the Carquinez Scenic Highway, we were avoiding massive puddles and small rivers. Much of this "highway" has been washing down the cliffs toward the Carquinez Straight for many years. In places, great craters have replaced the outside lane. This middle section (about 2 miles) is permanently closed to vehicular traffic, but is a favorite, beautiful destination for hikers, runners, and cyclists. We were not alone in the rain and the drab gray scenery. Several with dogs, others just walking and one other cyclist met us along the way. We were all soaked, smiling, and pleasant.

It was a wonderful experience. A tug boat was docked far below and a hundred yards out bobbing and pulling gently at its constraints. Besides that lonely vessel, the surface was void. Lights from the distant shore strained to pierce the hanging mist and now driving rain. It's strange - the abstract places and conditions that provide beauty. It was beautiful to me anyway.

Our ride back through town was blinding. The rain was coming down so hard, that it felt as if a waterfall had formed over my head and was washing down my face. It was all but completely dark, and our small lights were no competition.

We were met at the door with towels.

Ah, the hot shower, a movie sitting beside my wife on the couch, bean burritos, and ice cream.
The bleakness sure makes the mundane seem heavenly.

It's like the cliche: Win - Win situation.
I love the ride whether it be cold, fatiguing, wet, exhilarating or all of the above. But maybe more than that, I love remembering the ride. Remembering it while holding a piping hot cup of jet black coffee and a bedtime story, - snuggling on the couch with my two favorite women.

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