Laura, Ricky, Jack -
I just cancelled. We'll try again another time, maybe.
I turn off the alarm, set it for 7:00, and go back to sleep, during which I dream that a trainer at the gym is making me ride uphill in sand and I'm in my big ring.
It's dark outside. 25% chance of rain. I don't know why Jim canceled. I set my bar at 60%. Gary hasn't canceled his ride out of Etra. I'm sure to lag behind the Fastboys.
This coffee isn't any good. So much for Crooked Porch; I'll stick with Acadia. I have a 28-minute drive to drink it anyway. I'm going to need it.
The sky is completely cloudy, but they're those high clouds that never do much. Except that one gray one hanging over East Windsor.
The first splash of rain hits the windshield as I reach Hightstown. The drive down Etra Road is in a torrent. The gravel parking lot is empty. I drive into the park; that's empty too.
I check the radar. There's a little blob overhead now, and, after that, nothing for a while. Ralph rides past me and I wave him down. He's smiling, of course, and he's going to continue his ride, of course, because, he says, "I'm already wet," and because he's Ralph.
I head home. If it's dry I'll do my own thing.
Wait. Alan K has that C+ thing out of Mountain Lakes. I pull over to get the address from the ride calendar. That's when I see that Gary canceled. Either I missed it or he canceled minutes after I left the house.
It's 9:16. Google says the trip will take 16 minutes. Might as well try.
Harrison Street at Nassau. The sky to the west is thunderstorm gray. 1.2 miles to go, 6 minutes. Not happening. I turn left towards home.
Princeton Pike looks like it got some rain. The roads in Lawrence are dry.
In the driveway I check AccuWeather. Rain in 62 minutes. I can squeeze a ride in. I unload the car, get my helmet and shoes on, and tell Jack, "I'll be back in 25 miles or rain, whichever comes first." I leave the camera at home.
I don't have a route in mind, other than to stay west of Route 1 and head toward the leading edge of the next storm cell.
I take Princeton Pike to Lewisville, then Denow to Federal City. There are a few drops of rain on my GPS. Ahead of me a guy in an orange jersey blows the Lawrenceville-Pennington light. It's green when I get there. I stay the same distance behind him all the way down Keefe and Cold Soil. Maybe I'll catch up to him, maybe I won't. I haven't even decided if I'm going to turn on Van Kirk or go straight.
He turns, so I turn. I'm trying to catch him, which I know I won't do. And even if I did, I'd have to work too hard to keep up. There's no point. Still, I don't stop for the cows herded near the creek on Van Kirk. They're too far away and there's no snow. The light is all wrong.
Orange jersey turns onto Tall Timbers, so I do too. He has turned around at the far end of the road. We wave to each other as he passes. It's still only drizzling.
When I stop on Carson Road to take pictures is when I hear the thunder.
The rain is coming down a little harder now. I turn onto Province Line, cross 206, and fly down Princeton Pike.
I finish with only 14.68 miles, which would hardly even count as a ride save for my average speed, which I'll never again match until the next time I put myself on the leading edge of a storm.
Kermit only needs a little wiping down, which I do on the back porch, screened in from the rain. The cleaning only takes a few minutes. By the time I wheel him inside there's more thunder and the rain is coming down harder.
I send a quick email to Jim, Jack H, and Ricky:
I’ll have a blog post up after I dry off.
Reports are coming in from the field.
John K posts to Facebook:
It wasn't the planned 43 miles, thanks to heavy rain and thunder in the area. We even took refuge in an enormous barn with a Mexican family (I believe). They probably recognized me as Charlie's human companion and so they offered us shelter.
We were soaked, and to top it off, I got a severe flat in the last 2 km. I couldn't ride it in, and these are new wheels, so I fixed it in the rain. ugh!
I just got my bike cleaned and dry, newspaper stuffed in my shoes, and kit in the laundry!
Thanks everyone who showed up! If anything, it showed our sincerity to turn Type One into TYPE NONE!
There's an email from Jack H:
Laura, RULE # 9!!!!! Jim take note: Laura rode, I rode. I rode from Pennington to Six mile lot (because I did not check my laptop) then to Cranbury to use the portajohn, then home to get more water (then it started to rain(Hard) so what do we do (keep riding). I rode up to Washington's crossing crossed back over to NJ and over to Pennington. 70 miles and home by 12:30 . AND ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY. Plus the final game of the soccer tournament.Plus the tour. Could this day get any better? WOW. Am I in heaven ?
Rule # 9 BUT there needs to be one more rule: ALWAYS CHECK TO SEE IF THE RIDE IS STILL ON.
Wait, what? It's National Ice Cream Day?
I'm outa here. I have shopping to do!