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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Biking in the Rain... Storm.

I really don't mind biking in the rain. You never know what you will face on race day, might as well get used to it. It's a chance to test your clothing and build a thick skin. I like the feeling of fighting the elements and coming out on top.

To a point...

I checked the forecast today. Sunny, then scattered showers. I was planning on a 3 hour ride, about half would be in scattered showers.

No biggie, right?


About half an hour in, the sky started looking ominous... the wind was strong... it felt much less like a little rain and much more like a storm brewing.

I decided it would be best to cut the ride a bit short, from 90k to 75k.

Well at about the 45k point the skies opened up. The wind absolutely pelted me with huge drops, and was so strong it nearly knocked me off the bike more than once! A bit miserable, but I knew it would pass soon enough...

... and then the lightening started. Kaboom!!! The first one was a little ways away, but the second was very close - I heard the thunder almost instantly after the flash.

At this point my mind was racing - what do you do? I was nowhere near anything, just empty fields and the odd farmhouse. Is riding a bike in lightening just a little stupid, or really stupid? I wasn't sure if it was like golf where you become a lightening rod, or if the rubber tires protected me? I still don't know, but it sure felt dangerous.

I kept going, trying to just get through the storm front. At this point my glasses were useless, I couldn't see much, and I was fighting the wind to stay upright. It lasted for about 5-10 minutes, but felt like an eternity.

Finally the lightening was over and it was just steady rain for pretty much the rest of the ride. Oh and without about 20k to go, the road was completely blocked by a fallen tree, a testament to the strength of the storm that had just blown through!

I fought the elements and won! But riding in storms is one biking experience I could live without!


Anonymous said...

My guess is that the water on skinny tires probably makes a lovely path for excellent energy conductance. Human lightning rod all the way.

Jon P said...

I think you're right... read a few things, sounds like it's just a bad idea to be out there in lightening period! Only safe place is in a car or a building with grounded electrical/plumbing.

Shazam said...

Thankfully on the "wet" coast while I might have my girl guide rain badge for wind, sleet, and rain no ligthening - I think I would draw the line at lightening = actually I would that is when I would call BCAA - or in your case I guess OCAA. (automobile assosciation) and demand they come and get me. :)

Jon P said...

Agreed! Left coast rain is actually quite lovely and refreshing! Like having someone spritz you with mist. :)

RFalkenrath said...

I;ll be testing that rain riding tomorrow as it's suppose to rain for the first tri of the season...