I got home late Wednesday and went out for a spin, alone, which I really enjoy sometimes. Coming up the hill on Dunn's Chapel, a motorcycle pulled behind me, revved his engine, and then pulled up beside me and just hung there. So I glanced over to see what the deal was, and the guy looked at me and said, "Damn, you're slow."
It was my friend Les, who I hadn't seen in months. Les and a bunch of guys got creamed a few years back by a driver who turned right into them. Les' patella was shattered, with pieced ending up by his ankle and mid quad. I love Les. He's funny, self-depricating, a hard puller, and an all around nice guy. I badgered him mercilessly about him not riding with me, and he promised to come out to Camp Runamuck.
Thursday I got home and checked the weather, and the radar was clear. It was stinking hot, so I decided to go my "shady" route, to try to beat the 100 degree heat. I called Cliff, and he said that he was pretty whipped after working all day hand grading a lot, and he wasnt getting anywhere near the bike.
Fine, like I said, I like riding alone. I can go at Karen Pace, whatever pace that is, and go where I want to go. The ride was going great until I got to about 17 miles, and came out of the trees. At that point I thought I better give Cliff a ring to ask him about that solid, dark grey sky.
Cliff said, that it wasn't bad, he was thinking about going out for a bit on the bike, but towards Gum Springs he could hear it rumbling a bit. I told him that it looked clear towards my house, but towards Beaverdam I could see it starting to flash. That appeared to be just fine, and it looked like the storm was doing the normal thing and moving to dump rain on someone else's house.
Four minutes later, the phone rang and Cliff told me that he thought that I had at best ten minutes before all hell broke loose. I put the bike on time trial cruise, and rode at my max trying to beat the storm in. Now I'm a wee bit bad on math, but even Bush Fuzzy Math wasnt going to get me home. 10 miles, 10 minutes. Hmmm.
As I was about to turn on Spring, all hell broke loose. I kid you not, trees were going sideways, branches were crashing everywhere, and there was about a 60 mph cross wind. I had to get off the bike. So I crawled up under an oak tree, and tried to make myself really small. I've been out in bad storms before, but this was amazing. I called Cliff, and he told me to tough it out. Then I called J, and left her a message that I was out and in a bad way. A endless period of time passed and Cliff called to tell me that he was coming, and where exactly was I, and then the phone went dead.
I don't know what it is about hope, but as soon as he said that he was coming, I stood up so that he could see me. The world was falling all around me, but it was going to be just fine, because Cliff was coming. Yes, I am stupid.
Right after that a red truck, pulling a trailer with a itty bitty back hoe on it went by. Then it backed up, and I tried to get to the road to say thanks, but hey, Cliff is coming. It was Les. My hero. He told me that I HAD TO GET IN THE TRUCK. NOW. So he backed into a small clearing, and I leaned Trixie up against the truck and got in.
So I get to see Les two days in a row after not seeing him for months. We were talking about how amazing the storm was, that a tree was probably going to fall on the truck and kill us both, and other stuff. I kept trying to get Cliff on the phone, and got to him in a broken up call. All I could make out was that he was coming, trees down, new routes, trying to get there, where are you? And the phone went dead.
And then Les said that he was hung up on something, and I realized that he was trying to maneuver the truck so that Cliff could see us from the road.... Hung up on something... Somehow that sounded like...
Yep, poor Trixie sacraficed herself to the storm gods so that we would all get thru the storm safe. Poor Les, doesn't see me for months, stops to help a dumb sap who is hiding under a tree, and runs over her bike. Now, there is tremendous humor in this, and I started laughing. I finally got him to laugh too. He has insisted that he is buying me a new bike, and it is just not going to happen. I think the components are going to be ok, the front wheel should be ok. Hopefully, Giant has a crash replacement policy and I can get a new frame.
Cliff finally got to us, and packed me in the van and got me home. The destruction was amazing. Isabel was not nearly so bad. There were trees down everywhere, roads blocked, and of course the whole area was without power. Wave after wave of bad storms hit all night, and I'm hoping that when I get home tonight I find that I haven't lost too many trees.
So, does anyone know what Giants crash replacement policy is? Or have any really good links to clearance bikes? Maybe its time to get that new Scott after all.