Friday, May 15, 2009

The Wind in Kansas Blows

I rode today, and got my first taste of a good old fashioned Kansas thunderstorm. I checked the radar twenty minutes before I left, and there was absolutely no precipitation in all of western Kansas. A few minutes into my ride I could see some dark clouds off to my left, and what looked like a tiny patch of rain. An hour later, there was a crazy ribbon of thunderstorm so dark it looked as though it came from Mordor itself  stretching across the entire sky. Because it's Kansas, and there's absolutely nothing to impede my view for hundreds of miles in every direction, I simply rode around the thunderstorms, and remained dry for my entire ride. I'm still counting myself as lucky however, as the speed and severity with which that storm simply emerged from a clear sky was worrisome at best -- I'd hate to get caught on the wrong side of one of one. Upon returning, our NOAA weather radio spent almost half an hour alerting us to the nearby tornado warnings, and to the nickel, quarter, and even golf ball sized hail being reported all around the area. Imagine being stuck in the middle of some wheat field in Kansas, wearing nothing but spandex, in the middle of a golf ball sized hail storm. Fuck, right? 

As for my bike -- it rides beautifully, Thud Buster seatpost and all. It is so wonderful to have a new bike -- everything on it works! The headset is silky smooth, the drivetrain is snappy and silent, the shifting and breaking are clean and precise. Nothing creaks. Nothing! Granted, I'd rather be on my own saddle, and be riding a road seatpost, but honestly, I'm just happy I can ride at all. I'm so grateful to Dan, my savior in Pratt, for loaning me something that works! Dan and I have a ride planned for tomorrow -- we'll be going through the towns of Coats, Sun City, and River City. I'll try to bring along a camera....

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

be careful out there...

Richard McClung said...

Many years ago I was in Oklahoma and a couple of teammates and I got caught out in a storm like that...hail and all. We ducked under a dense hedgerow with a small gap between the bottom of the shrubs and the ground. Freezing water soaked our feet and we had to stay there for about 15 minutes.

The lesson is to always bring a rain jacket when you're out in the plains.

Perhaps a Parrot said...

Anon: I will be careful -- lots of scanning the weather before I go.

Rich: thanks for sharing -- glad you learned that one the hard way not me. Only problem is, I didn't BRING a rain jacket TO Kansas! I think I may have dodged a bullet because the weather's supposed to be nice until I go back home (knock on wood), but I'll certainly come better prepared next time. Hell, I might even bring my seatpost too!