Riding home from work last night was almost an epic. Flat out pouring rain for the dark, hour plus slosh home. Buzzing down Eastlake Ave was like kayaking down a small river. By the time I hit the Burke-Gilman Trail, was already totally soaked - like I jumped in a pool. Full on sloshing wet feet, soaked through jacket and gloves - total joy. Not.
Cruising through the U District, rode by the aftermath of a bike/car combo - parked car with flashers going, bike with taco'd front wheel, people milling about in the pouring rain. Ouch. Already a small crowd in attendance, no sense in me stopping. I plow on.
Once I got moving on the Burke-Gillman Trail, started to feel pretty good and actually enjoyed the crazy conditions a bit. Well, a little anyway, in-between muttering F&@# when punched with a sideways wallop of rain and wind - more in amazement then anger. I was also digging my new lights. They really pierce a hole through the wet darkness, making the ride a bit more bearable.
I was in a rush, hoping to catch my son Ian's basketball game. It was just a practice game, but his first ever, so I wanted to see it. This made me put the hammer down slightly, so I gassed it for home. Along the way, I caught up to coworker, bike pal Jay - who also was fording his way home. I slowed down a bit to chat with him, then resumed the pace into the driving rain. Crazy fun. I give Jay credit - anyone commuting that day gets bonus points towards their official Bike Commuter merit badge.
I made my son's game and stood there soaking wet in the gym - in full bike geek uniform. I was so soaked, didn't dare take anything off - even my helmet. Some kid informed me the blinky light on my messenger bag was still on. Gee, thanks. Another kid told me I looked cool, like I was in shape. Wow. Then a mom starts telling me her son is interested in BMX. Maybe I should wear bike clothes everywhere - like some sort of roving beacon of all things bike.
After my son's game, I climbed back on the saddle for the short ride to the house - and completely froze my ass off. Once I hit the garage, peeled everything off fast as humanly possible - like it was radioactive - then toweled off and into dry clothes. I didn't fully warm up for quite awhile - though wolfing down my dinner helped. Sounds goofy, but bike commuting makes you appreciate warmth, light and food. A little bit of daily adventure does that.
My son's team didn't win their practice game, but Ian looked good out there and I know he really enjoyed it. Later that night, I could see the gleam in his eye and slight smile when I told him he looked good playing - and that his new team jersey looked pretty cool.
That alone made the soaking wet, crazy rush home worth the trip.