Monday, April 4, 2011

Ride the Lightning

Yes I unashamedly borrowed the album title from my favorite Metallica album. Yes, Eric, And Justice for All kicks ass too. But 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' is my favorite song of theirs. And my choice of title will make sense shortly.

I have lately been in a funk that I couldn't shake. I had a grand plan whenever I quit my job and whittled my life down to the barest essentials. But the past several weeks of inaction have sapped my motivation and enthusiasm. Which is all too bad really since this should be the grandest time of my life in a short while. But I believe that will sort itself out once I get out on the road.

Today was the first day to break forty degrees in a few weeks. It actually got up to sixty or so today. As I read the forecast aloud I decided to get out for a real ride. My mother was quick to note that afternoon thunderstorms were predicted. Still at it after all these years, Mom... I ended up going for a four hour ride at a random pace and a random course. I didn't bring a map but just rode in the direction I wanted to and eventually reversed my path. After a little while I got into an incredible groove and my spirits lifted. Even after the rain and thunder and lightning started, I was still grinning and waving to strangers and dogs. Upon riding back home, I passed several fire trucks on my parents' road. Apparently lightning had struck a tree only a hundred yards or so from their house.

Things that I learned today:

1). I need to be moving. I really shouldn't be sedentary for long. I am happier riding through a lightning storm with wet socks and a saddle sore than getting a lap dance while seated. Okay, that could be a stretch.

2). Thick wool socks can absorb somewhere between ten and a billion times their weight in water.

3). Outdoor Research makes a great product for the bicycling mountaineer, the Foray jacket. I was incredibly impressed with how much I could vent it while riding in a complete downpour and stay dry and comfortable. Whenever I climb with it on I'm sure it will allow me to climb 5.11 at altitude.

4). My dog is really afraid of thunderstorms.

5). God may be trying to tell me something? First a tornado and then a lightning strike! Or the world is coming to an end and it's not just me that has to worry...


  1. Uhhh...Is that 5.11 Yosemite Decimal System or a Penn variation. Is it 5.11(a) or 5.11(b)? Is it a Grade III or Grade IV? Come on Tom, be specific. Curious minds want to know :)

  2. Do you have a bell for your bike? That is a key accessory.

  3. Let us not forget Rodney James Dio and his instructions to "ride the tiger". That too comes from a fine track.