Friday, April 23, 2010

Hot 102.1 and Cool 95.3

Sounds like Top 40 radio stations.

Last week, I had a fever from a compromised immune system and airplane travel, likely.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, once I was starting to feel better, I met up with Ben and Jonathan for a, hopefully, leisurely and uneventful road ride Wednesday night. Instead of hills, we were doing flats.

The weather was OK at 6PM, but some scattered showers were threatened. We planned on sticking close to town anyway, and only riding for 90 minutes or so, so no worries, right?

After a bit of a late start, we headed South, and then West, as darker clouds were boxing us in from the South and East. Some light rain started, but it was still warm enough in short sleeves. As we headed West, however, lightning continued to flash in the sky, as the storm spreaded up against the foothills. Nothing cloud-to-ground, though, but the rain picked up a bit.

Once we hit Taft, the thunder got louder, and the other 2 guys took off quickly to find objects taller than themselves. I fell back on the flats, kind of wishing we had an efficient paceline to get into town when we were on the flats, while also enjoying the light show which was still up in the sky. Maybe I set a bad precedent last week by charging up some hills, but a paceline is both difficult to maintain and nearly useless on the hills. In the exposed flats, however, it can be a savior.

Once we hit some rolling hills, though, we all quickly regrouped, and felt comfortable continuing Northward under cover of Things Taller Than Ourselves. After a few miles, however, the rain really started coming down, and it was time to put lights on. By now, we were entirely soaked, and the temperature was dropping as the storm moved in.

We decided to head to Ben's house and see if we could wait it out a bit. On the way, each time it seemed the rain couldn't get any harder -- it did. Skinny tires floated on water as thunder boomed overhead, but we made it.

And we were freezing. We stayed for a good half hour, but never seemed to warm up. With masculine pride and Earth Day and all that, Jonathan and I ignored spousal entreaties to pick us up. With the lightning now being distant and the rain being lighter, we headed off again.

Once we were outside, both of us were shivering nearly uncontrollably. My rain jacket was nearly useless, since the rest of me was soaked. Hoping that riding would warm us up, we continued, but for the first couple miles, it was difficult to hold a straight line (it was for me, and Jonathan said the same thing later), and my teeth were chattering constantly. Red lights bled precious minutes and fractions of degrees from our core temperature.

Eventually we made it to Riverside and started cruising. I spun a lower gear in order to keep warmer. We both stopped shivering here, though we don't know if that was good or bad -- at least we "felt" warmer. Eventually, Jonathan split off and I headed South, muttering the phrase "Hot Pizza" over and over to myself. For some reason (I did not end up eating pizza when I got home, but it sounded good).

I made it home and hit the shower. My feet were strangely numb, as my heels felt detached from the rest of me. I wrapped up in clothes and blankets, sat in front of the fireplace, and took my temperature: 95.7 and 95.3. Technically, hypothermia is below 95 -- so this is 'normal'.

Just not recommended.

1 comment:

  1. Great writing, as usual.

    Always knew you were cooler than most. Now, we just have quantitative evidence :-O

    Thanks for describing an outing that ... I'm NOT sorry to have missed ... even if it's pure BS ;-)