Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ride the Lightning, Play in the Rain

Glorious, glorious lightning greeted me when I left my office on Monday night. I love lightning storms–absolutely love them. I was riding directly into the storm, and my eyes were much more on the sky than on the road. So much so, that I got ‘lost’ two times on the ride home.

Milwaukee Ave is a diagonal street, so there are several six-way intersections. I often take a left on Grand, the first one, because Chicago Ave is really, really bumpy & rough. I was so engrossed with the sky, that I didn’t realize I was at the Grand intersection early enough to cut into the left-most lane. Instead I planned on wiggling pedestrian/messenger style to make my turn. Somehow I wiggled successfully across several lanes, did a u-turn and made my turn. Except I didn’t–I managed to end back up on Milwaukee. What is worse, is that I didn’t even realize it until I got to the next major intersection–oops.

So now I am at the Chicago, Ogden (a diagonal basically perpendicular to Milwaukee), Milwaukee intersection. Embarrassed and somewhat confused as to how I made this mistake, I just swung a left onto Chicago. Except I didn’t–I actually turned onto Ogden and headed in the wrong direction. Once again, I didn’t realize this until I saw a Grand street sign at an intersection. WTF?! Mistaking Milwaukee for Grand was weird, but acceptable because I ride both routes often. But I think I only rode this stretch of Ogden once or twice–I recognize that I am ridiculously unobservant, but this is just unacceptable even for me.

I turned the correct way onto Grand and successfully rode home without any other inadvertent detours. The lightning was crackling and streaking importantly across the sky the whole way. Part of me thinks that my meandering route was a purposeful way to extend my ride. Those who have experienced my spacial retardedness first-hand know that isn’t the case. I get lost all the time. Thank goodness Chicago has a grid system, or I would probably have died of starvation trying to get home.

Tuesday night was even better. I needed to race home to shower before meeting Paul. I looked outside to check the weather and the sight was delightful: The sky was unnaturally darkened by a storm and I saw the tops of umbrellas crowding the sidewalks below. Oh. Yes.

Outside the weather was cool and my skin goosepimpled. Fantastic! Chicago was over 100 degrees this weekend and I was sick of the heat. The pedestrians on the street scurried past me as they futilely tried to stay dry. There was a driving wind, so the umbrellas weren’t much protection against the slanted rain. Two sheltered Doormen gave me sympathetic looks and warned me to be careful. I responded with a laugh.

The rest of my ride was full of giggling, smiling and joyful bursts of laughter. The rain was so hard and quick that many of the gutters were overflowing with water. Perfect puddle riding. I steered my Bianchi through all of them and water shot up around us as I squealed with delight. Is there anything more enjoyable that feeling the sun-baked pavement warmed water lap up to warm my cool skin? I love summer storms.

I think several people thought I was a lunatic with my dopey smile, squealing and puddle riding. At intersections the crossing pedestrians stared as I sat in the pouring rain at each light with my eyes wide and a huge smile on my face. I paced a cop for almost a mile and a half and he shook his head in bewilderment at my antics. The ride was great–fast, wet and refreshing.

John arrived home at the same time I did and we both began stripping out of our sopping wet clothes once we got inside. He didn’t seem nearly as delighted with the rain as I was. I claimed the first shower and actually took a warm shower for the first time in weeks. All of the road grit that stained my legs and socks was banished down the drain. I put on cozy clothes and wrung out my hair.

Once clean and dry again, I didn’t want to get too wet on the ride to Paul’s house–so I threw on my clear raincoat and folded my skirt up to my hips so it was protected by the coat, too. It worked perfectly, and my clothes were totally dry upon arrival. Besides being too cold, there are few clothing problems that can’t be solved by a little immodesty. The pedestrians I encountered were huddled under their umbrellas and the drivers were in windshield-wiper tunnel vision. So even though I was basically biking around in my underpants, I don’t think anyone actually noticed. Tehehe. Welcome to my dorky world.

2 Comments:

At 1:57 AM, Blogger Frick said...

This is really amazing, even for you. You got lost going home from work. Someone's getting a compass for christmas.

 
At 11:54 PM, Blogger equipoise said...

" ...there are few clothing problems that can’t be solved by a little immodesty..."

Love that quote.

Temps in Mpls finally dropped on Monday, after days and days of 95+ degrees and huge humidity. I agree that being able to take a warm shower in comfort, after so long, is really great!

 

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