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  1. #1
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    Well, that was a surprise...

    I've been on a serious biking binge lately, mostly because I'm trying to drop this college beer gut. I've been biking a minimum of 2 hrs a day on my hard tail, just around town, finding out where roads lead I've never been on, etc. Today I took off to the country side and went about 20 miles from home. I found a subway, stopped, and had lunch. I left subway with the skies clear.

    About 15 minutes later, I'm coming up this hill to a bridge. Once I made it to the top of the hill, I decided to take a 5 minute break there along the road to catch my breath since this 90 degree weather is quite an ass kicker. I look behind me and find that there's been a big fricken storm creeping up behind me, and I wasn't picking up on the low distant rumbles of thunder since I had my mp3 player. Well, what do you do? I kept riding.

    The rain started dropping, and in no time it went from a brutally hot sunny day to what felt like a scene out of Twister. I found a place to hang out due to the intense lightning, which was basically a closed business with a barn with a huge canopy, so I just sat under there for about 30 minutes. Once the lightning passed, I noticed the rain wasn't letting up. Well I was already soaked, let's get the hell home.

    I began pedaling, the rain was pretty intense still, and it was actually quite painful when it was hitting my arms. It felt like constant bee stings everywhere. With each car that passed I could just feel people saying, "what a moron" as they drove by.

    Later I came up to a hill, so I down shifted and eased my way up the hill. After I got to the top, I looked down to find the road was flooded. There were about 8 cars there, all of them sitting around not sure what to do except 2 cars. The 2 cars in the water were backing out because they had tried to cross but realized they couldn't make it.

    LOL...

    I rolled forward, gaining solid momentum from gravity alone. I shifted up and just mashed my way down the hill. I was completely, completely soaked. I tucked low, leaned back, and just before hitting the water line I down shifted quite a few gears, and dove right into the water. Holy ****! The water was deep enough it submerged my entire crank. Luckily I tucked low and leaned back, cause that water slows you down REAL quick... I began to creep through the water, with a huge grin on my face knowing all of these poor cars would have to turn around and find a detour, while me, I was already soaked and having the time of my life, I just pushed right through.

    A half hour later, I got home, dried off the bike, took a shower, warmed up some spaghetti, and cracked open a beer. Today was a damn good day.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Now that's an awesome way to spend the day. Me and my brother used to do that kind of stuff... but intentionally. Storm outside? Let's ride anyway! had a blast.
    Cool story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Sir Hurt Locker
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    Awesome story, truly epic riding, lol. That is why I love mountain biking, it is nearly impossible to have a bad day on the bike. Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers,

    Seb

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  4. #4
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    Great story

    And yes, that kinda deep water slows the bike and rider in a hurry!

    First time I did it I was surprised but luckily did not crash. Good to have a lower gear already selected, though, like you did.

    Very cool,
    Terry

  5. #5
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    Great story. I went riding today too. I have work in about another 30 min. It was hot and humid today but not as bad as it has been earlier this week because today we had some clouds for relief.

  6. #6
    Less talk, more ride...
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    I wish I could ride. It was 101 today with a heat index of 111. Good way to get heat stroke.
    2018 YT Jeffsy CF Pro 29
    2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29er
    2012 Specialized Roubaix Apex Compact

  7. #7
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    Awesome story - it reminds me of many summer afternoons here in South Florida, minus the hills anyway. I usually enjoy surprises like that, and the rain typically feels great, especially during the summer. The only problem comes when you don't make it home before the sun comes back out, as all of the humidity from the soaked ground makes it feel like you are riding through a steam room.

  8. #8
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Spring, '03; new bike, just a month old. Riding home from work, ran into the predicted thunderstorm -- wore my raingear, cuz I've had work clothes ruined in the rain before....

    The rain came down so hard, you couldn't see 80 feet in front of you. Cars were slowly and timidly creeping along, while I cruised the MUP.

    Mile and a half from home, I hit a flooded section of street, it was about a foot deep, as I soon discovered. Front disc howled for two days, derailleur quit the next day, and my Pearl Izumi socks -- gift from the wife -- bled black dye onto my feet.

    I grinned for three days.

    I still grin at the memory of that ride.

  9. #9
    gravity fighter
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    Awesome! Surprise stormy rides are some of the best. There is something very primal and fun about riding when your soaked to the bone and covered with mud. It stokes the inner caveman

  10. #10
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    After that ride today, I basically crashed when I came home. I've been biking so much lately that I think it finally caught up with me. I was sore before I left, an indication that I should probably not go, but I'm going to a concert Monday so I wanted to ride today to make it count. I slept for about 3 hrs, and then went back out to the garage to take a look at everything.

    I put my bike on the rack and began spinning the crank. Ahh, squealing drivetrain. I can only imagine the water washed away a good chunk of the chain lube. I lubed up the chain and spun it accordingly. As an extra measure, I did not wipe off the extra lube. I decided to let the bike sit for about an hour, then went back out to remove the extra lube. Afterwards, silent drivetrain. Ahhh, nice.

    I then found my shoes. Soaked to the bone, despite being in front of a fan for the last few hours. Good thing I have other shoes, otherwise I'd have a slight problem for work tomorrow. I checked out my camelbak too, also entirely soaked.

    It's amazing both my mp3 player and cell phone managed to survive this. Granted, when it began to rain hard I powered both of them off, so I assume that helped.

    I took the bike and rode to a small gas station. It responded great, brakes worked nicely, shifting was smooth and precise. I came back home, put the bike up on the rack, and couldn't help but to reflect on the ass kicking day I just had.

    It's extremely rare that I actually look forward to Monday, but today I do. It's almost as if I am that satisfied with this weekend that I'm ready for the work week. Very strange...

    4 hours of awesome trail Saturday morning with 2 friends, a 2 hour road ride that evening around town, then a 3 hour road ride today as I described above.

    The legs hurt, and the rider is tired. I think I've had my last beverage for the night.

    UNTIL NEXT TIME...

  11. #11
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    Awesome man !

    It is the out of the ordinary rides that keep it so much fun and fresh.

    Your story reminds me of the time just me and one other dude showed up for a club road ride in Hawaii because of a storm. We rode anyway to my friends house-some good 25 miles in a thunderstorm. it was great. We caught a ride back though as we didnt really want to deal with the Pali on the way back to Waikiki.

    And just this weekend i had a very nice crash on a descent at a 6 hour race in Warda. I and bike got up unscathed and all the electronic doodads survived as well.

    Anyway liked ur story.

  12. #12
    Des(s)ert Rat
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    Nicely done! I had a hike similar to that last week, except I couldn't see the storm coming due to the canyon walls hiding it from me. Got back to the car soaked to the skin; considering where I live, it's a rare treat to get rain like that on a hike in July.

    Make sure that bike is dry from the inside out!

  13. #13
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    I bounced the bike a couple times to get most of the dripping water off, then I towel dried it, but 1 towel only does so much good until it too soaks up. At that point I just put the bike on the rack and in front of a fan. I came out later that night and it looked great, except for the squeaky chain I spoke about above, but I just re-lubed it and it's great now.

    I won't lie, that lightning and thunder was pretty intense. My brother works only a few miles from home and his job lost power and their main overhang sign that you pass under to enter the place had fallen over. They had hail and all kinds of stuff. Fortunately I didn't see hail, but I didn't realize just how bad the storm was until I got closer to home. They definitely got hit harder than what I did a few miles south.

    Even still, pedaling through several flooded areas of roads as cars, and in one case, even a lifted pickup truck were struggling in... that's a damn good feeling.

    Move over, you silly Chevy w/ 20" rims. My 26's are here to show you who's boss.

  14. #14
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    Awesome story...

    I love riding in the rain. Makes you feel like a kid again.

  15. #15
    Come see me after class
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    my lifted SUV can make it through any puddle that's not deep enough to float the bike/rider. the OP didn't see any big trucks waiting at the puddle because they had already driven through it.

  16. #16
    nocturnal oblivion
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    Shoulda hit it with more cowbell, hydroplaning across.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexrex20
    my lifted SUV can make it through any puddle that's not deep enough to float the bike/rider. the OP didn't see any big trucks waiting at the puddle because they had already driven through it.
    Yeah - there was one lifted truck that was backing out that couldn't make it. There were about 3 different areas that I ran into that were flooded - I only talked about the first one in the original post. Granted it wasn't the largest truck I've ever seen in the world, but it certainly wasn't factory suspension/tires he was running.

    The point wasn't so much "I'm better than cars", but it was a good feeling because all of the cars stuck there were ones that previously passed me. I don't know - I just felt the "what a moron" comments sitting on my head each time they drove past when I was pushing through the heavy rain. It was just an awesome feeling to come up to the pack of them and without a care in the world get through the very place they were unable to push through.

  18. #18
    Come see me after class
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    ya, we've all been caught out in the rain. they call us morons, but they just don't understand.

    anyway, here in Houston with the heat index >100F from May to October, a little (or big) rain shower isn't exactly a bad thing, if only because it means the following days will be slightly cooler.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexrex20
    ya, we've all been caught out in the rain. they call us morons, but they just don't understand.

    anyway, here in Houston with the heat index >100F from May to October, a little (or big) rain shower isn't exactly a bad thing, if only because it means the following days will be slightly cooler.
    My gosh - you're not kidding. I was soaked in sweat prior to the rain coming. Literally... my shirt was just drenched in sweat. So having the rain come really didn't change anything except get my shoes wet. But it felt so damn good. In fact, it was so windy I was almost cold. That was at least when I was hanging out under the canopy. Once I got moving it was juuuuuuust perfect!

    The only thing that could have made it better would be if I were on an actual trail. There's something about mud, tires, gears, and heavy rain that just paints the perfect picture.

  20. #20
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    Thats awesome! Way to bring out your inner child!
    LIVE TO RIDE - RIDE TO LIVE

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