Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Tag - You’re It
Evidently Mother Nature was in the mood for a rousing game of Tag this evening and apparently I'm now "It". I had headed out to Beaverdam to ride right after work today, not even taking the time to remove my mascara (a painful mistake I was to learn later). Even though the skies had appeared threatening off and on throughout the day, for the first 45 minutes or so of the ride the weather was gorgeous and the trail dry and fast. I should have turned around at the first ominous rumble of thunder, but feeling no raindrops, I decided to push on. I managed to get almost halfway around the South Loop when I realized my error in judgment. The thunder clapped even louder and then the heavens opened and a cold heavy downpour of rain stung my shoulders, legs and face. The mascara that I had failed to remove earlier was now burning its way inside my eyes along with rain and sweat. My gloves were soaked, so the more I tried to rub the water from my eyes, the more water went into them, pushing the sweat and mascara deeper and causing more and more burning. I was soon unable to see at all, so was forced to dismount and push my bike. This may have been a saving grace for me though, because shortly after I began walking, a fierce bolt of lightning flashed its way across the lake and right onto my handlebar! I saw the blue spark flash off the bar and heard the crackling, but save for a very faint brief tingle in my fingertips, I experienced no pain or intense shock sensation. Of course, I did throw the bike to the ground, and squealed like a girl. After taking a few moments to regain my composure, I gathered up my bike and began walking along the trail again, still trying futilely to wipe my eyes with my rain-soaked gloves and still unable to see. Fortunately, it was at about that time that I heard Steve's familiar voice. He had decided to bail on his own ride to come find me and make sure I got out of the trail okay in order to, as he put it "be the manly husband and rescue my wife from the thunderstorm". So together we hiked our way out of the trail and back to the parking lot, at which point I reminded myself that I had always heard lightning never strikes the same place twice. I sure hope that's true!