Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tornado Warnings

Yesterday I didn’t ride my bike to work, and it turned out to be a good thing. My first biggest fear while riding is birds. Attacking me. We’ve got these little marsh birds (I’m going to find out just what they are) that protect their young by hovering over you, say 10 feet, chirping and being all vicious. They usually follow me for about 1 km every day when I go past their marsh.

My second biggest fear isn’t actually a fear, just something I’d rather not run into. Bad, Bad stormy weather. Reasonable I think. I’m sure most folks would rather not ride in the nastys. Summer around here can be very good for storms. You can usually tell in the morning that you’re going to have a nature show in the evening. And when they do come, they come fast! In a matter of ½ hour you can have great, calm, warm weather, and then tornado style stuff. I had to return my Dad’s roto-tiller yesterday, so I drove my truck. Always hate driving my truck when I could be biking, but even this morning, I knew it would probably end up being the best decision. I left Strathmore after work and it was a nice 32C outside, very calm winds, great weather. Half way home, I saw the storm coming. Here is a picture half way home.
As I was coming into Rockyford, it was just starting to get bad. Here is a picture of that.
Right after I took this picture, I saw a lady walking her bike down the road, and leaning at what seemed to be 45 degrees. I pulled over and offered her a ride for the 1 km to town. She gratefully accepted, and it wasn’t 30 seconds after we loaded her bike into my truck that the hail started. In my life, I’ve never seen hail like this. You could not see 10 feet in front of you and it was completely white. The roads were covered in about 2 inches of water in about 5 minutes. I unloaded her bike for her, and was completely drenched. I was sure my windshield was going to crack from the way it sounded inside my truck. Incredible. I drove the ½ block to my house and ran into the house as fast I could while being pelted with golf-ball sized hail. After the storm passed (15 minutes) 3 of our friends called and said that the weather service just interrupted television and radio broadcasting to issue a Tornado warning for Rockyford. Thanks weather service.

It rained off and on throughout the night, and when I woke up, it was dry. Until about 5 minutes into the ride to work. It rained on me for about 45 minutes and I was sure appreciating the fenders on my Volae. I was tempted to turn around, as I hate getting a good bike all rainy. My mind just thinks about the crap building up on the chain, the bearings etc, but then I always say to myself, I’d rather wear out a nice drive train, than keep it in perfect condition from being afraid to ride. These bikes were meant to be ridden, and so I ride them.

Here is a picture that I’ve been meaning to take for a while. Sometimes, in the morning light, it looks incredible with fog coming off the canal, and the sun setting it a glow. Love this bike. Love this bike ride. Ride yer bike!



Vik said...

Glad you weren't pummeled to death by the hail! Good call on driving to work that day.

It is great to see pics of the Volae in action all the time. I sold that bike to the right person...=-)

Jerome said...

Thanks Vik. I actually haven't ridden any of my other bikes since I got this one! I'm scared because I don't have a burning desire to either. Love the Volae!

Jeff said...

I bet that lady was thankful! Doesn't look like there is much cover out there!

Jerome said...

Yeah I think she was. Even though she only had a BSO, she's still a cyclist, and we need to look out for each other. She also moved to that little town I live in the same time I did and lives about 5 houses from mine. I wish I could meet all my neighbors while doing something neighborly for them like I met this lady.

Anonymous said...

I remember riding the hiway to Jasper from Edmonton in the summer back in the day. Around 1/2 way we could see funnel clouds in the fields to the south of us. And last year heading to Regina by van, we hit some weather warnings in Minn and North Dakota. We beat out a storm where they were telling people to get off the high way (we did not know what county we were in) it was going to be terrible.
So you get funnel clouds and hail to make up for the temperate winters you get out there eh!

From Ottawa, but not a member of the controlling aspect of it. :-)
PS Nice of you to help fellow cyclist.

Smudgemo said...

Okay, I need to ask. BSO stands for what? I'm guessing some sort of POS department store bike, but what specifically?

Jerome said...

You got it Smudge. It's a BIKE SHAPED OBJECT -BSO-. Department store special, that while is shaped like a bike, acts like a bike, isn't considered to be much of a bike by serious cyclists. Just s snobbish term.

Steeker said...

that sounded like a close call,,,, nice river picture