February 6, 2014
So we had some rain today here in San Diego. YES RAIN!. It’s kind of a big deal. I have been a biker since July when my beloved car Mitzi the Mitsubishi went to car heaven. I can honestly say that it was the FIRST time I have had to commute in “weather” what so ever here. Lets tell the people what i have learned.
As the owner of Rugged Awareness, an outdoor adventure & awareness organization, this journey definitely qualifies as an experience to put on the books for my business!
The first and foremost thing the rain has taught me is that being PRESENT IS REQUIRED!!! No auto pilot from point A to point B. The ground is slippery and the puddles are plentiful. The rain coming from the sky combined with the rain spraying up from the tires makes it a full on virtual obstacle course. The car journeyers all, mean while, attempt to maintain a normal speed (they think it is SNOWING) I normally attempt to travel at the same speed as the cars. I also love to sing while riding too. Good for the lung capacity. I have no idea what I sound like but what others think about me is none of my business. Today I had to abandon my attempts to speed down the road.
The rain has the wonderful ability of holding the smells of the world close to the earth. Being on my bike, Mr. Pro Tandim, I get to enjoy the abundance of smells tonight as i travel through the neighborhoods. Fireplaces are in use and I know I smelled cedar more than once. It also brought to my awareness there are a few growers on my path! =)
By this time it is pouring and puddles are everywhere. The gnarly hill. I am still learning it and they have just recently redone it. Oh did I tell you it is dark? I am all blinkie and flashy as I make my way down the hill at a turtle pace. Imagine it being 2m/hr in a car. It is a lonnnnnnng gradual hill that can give some serious speed. I ride my back brakes, it only takes $30 to replace the front and back pairs. Shred um I say.
I reach what I have just this moment named the PB Spur – Garnet/Balboa/Morena and the 5 all communicate with one another. I love this section! I don’t have a speedometer ( I should get one) but I am pretty sure I hit 30mph on that road. As I am vigilantly aware of what the matrix folks around me are doing, As soggy skunk stripe has formed in my crack.
On a night like tonight when the journey is longer and more challenging, I choose to just go for it. I take the most direct route home. Direct is arduous. As I turn right on Mount Soledad Mountain Road to head up the slow steady incline, the rain is —-Poof—- gone. and obove me are stars peaking out of the clouds. This climb has been blessed with the band Album Leaf. EVERYONE – if you do not know who this is find out. It will surprise you that I enjoy biking to this group. or not. no matter. coming around the curve of the incline it smells like what is probably Jasmine yummy and sweet. How I love to be alive.
I rode past a storm drain and the sound of water cascading down spoke to me telling me I should have barrels catching this stuff.
The cars want so badly to drift over to the puddles that have formed and throw waves over me. Luckily I have the option of using the sidewalk. getting on the side walk I am brought into my urban off roading awareness. I made it home safely and thawed out nicely.
As it has been a few days since that ride and I reflect on the awareness I created on that night. I trust the roads I take more. The long hill I know I can go down I fly down because I know I can trust the surface. Love it. Rugged Awareness. I live it,