Outrunning a deluge


It’s Thursday, which on my planet means the day after Wednesday. Hump day. It’s the day we generally do a trip to the coast for various reasons, and usually run out of time for bike rides.

So Thursday is a pretty key day to get out for a spin, can’t go cold turkey for longer than 24 hours without getting an itchy sensation under my skin.

For other and equally various reasons I decided to make this outing an almost gravel ride to the top of a long, mellow trail back down. Nice and cruisy, nothing even slightly risky.

Unless you count that big black thunderstorm which only became visible after I popped out of the trees near the top of the hill. It wasn’t on the horizon, it was much closer than that. In fact, it looked about the same distance from my van as I was. And it looked like it was headed in my general direction.

I started down the trail, which bobs and weaves and every so often presents a great view of the country to the west. It is favoured by our photographer mate because sometimes it turns on spectacular sunsets. Not today. The first viewpoint after the summit is only a couple of hundred metres down the hill, but even in the short period it took to get there the storm looked like it had moved closer. I took note of some landmarks and beetled along, as fast as I could.

The next real good look showed that my landmarks had disappeared into the maw of the deluge, which had also spread sideways and took up the entire western quadrant.

I had almost given up trying to avoid getting a soaking by that time, for the rest of the trail I just enjoyed the moment, didn’t give the storm any more attention, and so I dropped into the trees and out of sight of the storm for the last run to the van.

It still wasn’t raining when I got to an optional extra, a twisted singletrack that can be stitched together in a variety of ways but is guaranteed to empty the tank and chop out quarter of an hour.

Bugger it, only live once.

Miraculously, even that extra time blundering around in the semi-darkness of the woods didn’t give the storm enough time to get me.

I got back to the van, had a natter to Murray about this and that, packed stuff away, and then boom! Biblical style rain, thunder, the road awash.

Winner winner, chicken dinner (literally, we went to Natalie and Erin’s for tea and chicken was on the menu).




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