It rained Saturday! Actual water fell from the sky while ominous thunder rumbled and the roof made a soothing pattering sound. To the rest of the world, rain is probably rather unremarkable. But here in the land of natural disaster scale drought, dryness, and heat, that evening and night's thunderstorm was enough to blow my hair back.
As biking days go Saturday was cool and different, not the least because of the weather. Here in my neighborhood I often hang out/mentor a little girl with her bike. I've shown her how to change a tire, how her brakes work, how to adjust her handlebars, and so on. This week was her 11th birthday and in celebration, I promised we'd go for a bike ride. Early in the morning my sister, Bike-Padawan, and I stuffed all three of our bikes onto/into my car and drove off to what I had settled on as the beginning of our 5.5 mile ride. We parked, de-stuffed our bikes, and set off for a Birthday Bike Ride!
Our route took us 2.7 miles down the super-smooth part of Shoal Creek Blvd from where we parked to the always-awesome Amy's Ice Cream. An indication of what was to come later in the day, we merrily rode through mist, exhulting in its dampness the way only people from drought country truly can. My Bike-Padawan made me proud- she shifted, braked, signaled, and crossed roads just like I showed her. My sister and I both got huge smiles every time we'd pass something cool and she'd yell "Look at that!"
Ice cream and a quick stop at the grocery store later and we re-stuffed the bikes onto/into my car and got Bike-Padawan home for her birthday party with her friends.
Now as most Austinites can probably tell you, yesterday was the Red River Shootout up in Dallas (that's the Texas-OU game for non-natives). A friend of mine came over to drink massive quantities of alcohol and eat various meats. Several hours of drinking into our day, it is revealed that someone needed to make a beer/snack run and since I was pretty much most of the way comatose, my friend was nominated for the job. He borrowed my lock, hopped on his bike, and off he pedaled to the beer and snack store while I did my best impersonation of a corpse on the couch. About 15 minutes into my nap, the phone rings.
It is my friend. Somehow, in the 10 minutes between locking the bike and checking out, the spare key to my bike lock I had loaned him fell out of his pocket, and his bike was now chained to a rack, un-unlockable with my brand new U-lock. In the time since he'd left, it had started seriously pouring out. By this point I'd been drinking for several hours and was in the middle of a nap. I dragged myself, my rain jacket, my bike, and a spare rain jacket out of the house and pedaled off into the rain for first time in months.
I haven't ridden in rain in months (mostly because it hasn't rained in...well, months). If I'd been thinking, I'd have taken pictures of my jacket, bike, or the conditions. Sadly I was mostly drunk and half asleep. Also, frolicking in the water. But I can definitely say that by Austin standards, Saturday was a cool day.