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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 06-28-07, 07:32 PM   #1
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Severe thunderstorms predicted . . .

. . . but, it seemed safe enough to me, so, I decided to go ahead and ride.

Two miles into the ride, it started to sprinkle.
Three miles in, and it was raining hard, but straight down, and there was no thunder or lightning.

So, I kept riding.

. . . in loops so I didn't get too far afield in the event that severe storms might develop.

. . . but they never materialized.

. . . and, so I kept riding.

It was amazingly serene. The weather here has been hot - 92 F today.

The rain was refreshingly cool, and watching my water slick front tire go round and round proved very soothing.

On one busy two-laner that has 12-foot shoulders, I watched in my "third eye" as a car's headlights approached from the rear. As it passed, I was amazed to see that it wasn't a car at all, but, two semi trucks (Walmart trucks, actually). BrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrKswhooomsh BrrrrrrrrrrrrrKswhooomsh as they plowed by. I was, at once, surprised, humbled, thankful, relieved, awestruck.

At one point during my ride, I was confronted with a choice to take the gravel MUP along the river (flat, longer route) or proceed uphill (a long, steep climb, but a much shorter route). I took the short climb, reached the top, and decided to take yet another loop outbound - the evening was just so nice I didn't want it to end.

Had a policeman pass me on the climb in his official SUV.

As I rounded the bend towards the top of the hill, I saw him sitting parked in a private drive.

He spotted me as soon as I spotted him, and then, he pulled out and sped away.

Had he been waiting to see if I was successful in my climb??

Anyhow, a short, but enjoyable 35 miles later, I'm back home, savoring a wonderful riding experience. I've rinsed my cycling duds and they are spinning in the washer now.

I'll spin the shoes and shoe liners next.

For me, this evening's ride was most memorable. If you ever have the chance to take a ride in a gentle rain, don't pass it up.

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Old 06-28-07, 07:35 PM   #2
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Great ride!!

I love riding in the summer rain

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
-- Antonio Smith
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Old 06-28-07, 08:23 PM   #3
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Great post, written with a poet's eye. I like the way you made time stand still for me.

Some of my most memorable rides include the type of rain you describe.
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Old 06-28-07, 08:29 PM   #4
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Today was supposed to be somewhat better than yesterday
and it was. Yesterday we had funnel clouds in town and a
touchdown one county to the west. Very very very very
weird having tornadoes in the mountains.
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Old 06-28-07, 09:18 PM   #5
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You do write nicely.
I read your story and compare it to my experience. I bike also in F90++ and darkness is coming from NW.
Rolling thunder and soon lightening. Sounds like one of the movies with a war front. But it is F90. Lets keep going. Not a good idea. It really is coming down hard and will not let up. Temperatures go down to the F60's.
This is a good way to test if you are a real biker. (I hear lightening does kill, does it on a bike?)
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Old 06-28-07, 10:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by will dehne
Rolling thunder and soon lightening. Sounds like one of the movies with a war front. But it is F90. Lets keep going. Not a good idea. It really is coming down hard and will not let up. Temperatures go down to the F60's.
This is a good way to test if you are a real biker. (I hear lightening does kill, does it on a bike?)
Yes, lightning can easily kill someone on a bike. It is crazy, unpredictable stuff. Within the last two weeks a groundskeeper was struck and killed by lightning in Florida under a cloudless, sunny sky.
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Old 06-29-07, 08:33 AM   #7
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Very nice. I like riding in the rain too. If it's threatening I'll frequently strap a jacket on the seat and head on out. Don't forget to lube the chain, If I fail to do that after a wet ride, chain is rusting in no more than a day or two.
It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.
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Old 06-29-07, 09:48 AM   #8
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We get people killed by lightening almost every other week down here. As twobikes said last week a guy was working under clear sky and was hit and killed, not much you can do about that.

I don't mind riding in the rain but lightening I'm afraid of. Nice thing around here with this being lightening capital most parks, schools and golf course have lightening detection systems. So on my ride I hear the horns go off way before the storms move in and that is when I head for home.
The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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Old 06-29-07, 10:05 AM   #9
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My mother taught me to "get in out of the rain".....
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Old 06-29-07, 11:15 AM   #10
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There was a case several years ago where an older gentleman was walking along the top of a levee (a kind of dike alongside the Ohio River). He was wearing a Sony Walkman. There was a thunderstorm off in the distance, but it wasn't raining or anything where he was walking. Anyway, lightening struck the headphone wire on his Walkman, travelled down the wire, blue the walkman off of his belt, then went down his leg and exited his foot - apparently travelled down the outside of his pants leg! Knocked him off of his feet, and burned his hip and his foot superficially, but that was all of the injury he sustained. Lucky man!

I also responded with my fire department to a building that was struck by lightening. Upon arrival, we determined that a bolt of lightening had struck a tree next to the building, travelled down the tree trunk and jumped on to the rain gutters. It then went along the gutter to the downspout, went down the downspout until it reached a downspout bracket where the nail that fastened it happened to penetrate the siding very close to an electrical circuit that fed a bunch of wall outlets. The lightening bolt jumped from the nail onto the conductors feeding the outlet, and blew every outlet in the building right out of their boxes! When we got there, all of the outlets were hanging outside of the outlet boxes on their wires! Also, the nail that it travelled along to penetrate the wall was fired right across the room, and most of the nail was embedded in the drywall wall across the room (the nail head was vaporized). If somebody had been in the way it would have been like catching a bullet! No fire, though.

Just last week there was a local guy, a landscaper, who was out on a job. Similar to the first case I mentioned there was a thunderstorm cell 5 or 6 miles away, but the sun was shining where the guy was working. A bolt of lightening jumped from that thunderstorm and nailed this guy right in the head! Killed him instantly, right where he stood. They called it "a bolt from the blue". I've heard that expression before, but never knew what it meant.
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