Monday, June 18, 2012

Making Lemonade

The excitement of having time to ride may have overshadowed the chores I was supposed to complete this weekend. This has been a hard year to make a consistent ride schedule. It's bothered me considerably. Work keeps me late at times as do my "pre-wifely duties" of dinner making and life organizing. Wedding planning takes up most Saturday mornings. All of this to say, ride time is generally cut short or moved off the to do list because of other life necessities.

However, this weekend, I was determined to ride and not ride alone. Thankfully, a teammate offered his services of accompanying me on a ride. He has flourished this year preparing for his first race season. This means he's stronger and I can chase after him in a greyhound fashion. He lets me catch his wheel sometimes.

The plan for the Saturday and Sunday rides was to get some light hill work in and general miles under our belts. A third rider joined us post race on Saturday. She found herself earlier that morning caught in a deluge of Biblical proportions. Somewhat discouraged, she decided to join us on a recovery ride. We all agreed that although the skies were turning gray, we would press on hopefully staying ahead of the rain. The weather channel said a "chance" of pop-up showers. We took our own chance.

A chance and certainty are two different things. We took a chance. We lost. As we pedaled no more than 100 yards from our parked, dry cars, all three of us were trapped in a torrential downpour. It was the stinging rain that soaks and abuses you. The thought of turning back crossed our minds but we could see clearer skies ahead and the rain felt somewhat refreshing. Yes, I worried about my new bike being in the rain. However, it happens. We pressed on several miles and quickly found our soaked selves drying out with the tiring headwind. No one complained, so we moved along. We did not pass many other riders and as we picked up pace on a small stretch of two-lane road, it would seem the ride would progress in a normal fashion. The only problem was a small sign that caught my drenched eyes reading: Pina Coladas $2. My feet heavy from the sloshing water swirling back and forth in my shoes began to set in but the two dollar pina colada sounded refreshing.

Scott and Melinda after the first rain storm.

Scott and Jordan still dry after the first soaking.

Still smiling with water in our shoes.

We turned back. We did not reach the harder hills. We sat along the Ohio River sipping on a delicious Pina Colada in our soaking wet chamois. We looked haggard. The pop up rain storm had turned us into soggy messes. The Pina Colada's made up for the misery we avoided had we pressed on. Our internal organs soaked in a frozen coconut, rum delight, we decided to head home up a slow but steady hill. We were mostly dry at this point which was a welcome comfort. Within a few pedal strokes, the skies opened up once again soaking us from head to toe, flooding our shoes and adding the last bit of humor to our day.

The $2 Pina Colada. Refreshing.

You might think we learned our lesson Saturday. However, on Sunday, the same three riders (plus one on the back of tandem) decided to ride again with the goal to finish the route we started on Saturday. The radar looked crystal clear and we were able to get more dry mileage this time BUT the skies opened up again, soaking us. Although the storm was more brief than Saturday and less intense, we decided this time to finish. We wrapped up the ride at a moderate pace, still wet, and slightly defeated. With our kits soaked, some of us enjoyed ice cream while another headed home to dry out (I did not blame her but I really wanted some ice cream).

Although, it was not the rides we had planned, we turned two somewhat painful outings into something of a laughable memory. It will be that weekend that we joke about to each other, "Hey! Remember when we headed out for a ride in that horrible rain storm, twice?"  It's proof you can make lemonade from lemons or in this case, Pina Coladas.

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