Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Still Hating the Rain
Spent most of the day staring out the window at work. "When's this shit gonna end?" Des Moines received .82" of rain on the 23rd of December. Sure, that would be a lot of snow. But I can handle the snow. Snow does not penetrate and seep through my clothing. Snow does not flood trails for over a week. I've got a bike for snow. Several.
Light rain on the way to work. Second time this week. The carbon Rod is completely covered with sand and mud from the previous rain. I really need to give that bike a proper and thorough cleaning. Today I took the Soho for its ability to haul stuff dry and its fenders. The rain was not bad. Merely persistent. Lots of earth worms out. Warm December. That was fine with me because for the past two days dozens of robins have been hanging outside at work. Guess they will get a chance to eat.
But every time I looked outside the rain was worse and worse and the sky darker and darker. This is suicide weather. Almost. The sky will clear up. It's not like it will rain every day for a season. Or will it? It either needs to freeze or dry up.
Most people were like "Thank God it is not snow." Muggle. They lack the magic and the understanding. They will grab an umbrella and go to their cars then drive home, eat and watch TV. They lack the magic. Sure, people are traveling for the Christmas holiday. Sure snow would make roads slick. But snowy roads and better than flooded roads. Iowa is supersaturated with rain. Streets are still closed from last week's rain. Rivers are high. Rain is the last thing Iowa needs now.
Talked to head of IT. He expressed my sentiments. Rain sucks. This time of year snow is better. "I've a garage full of devices for winter. Skis, snowshoes, toboggans. There are no outdoor activities for rain. No sports. Nothing." Truer words have never been spoken. He understood.
I screwed around long enough at work to leave when the rain turned to snow. Prayers answered. Harsh reward but better than rain. A 23 mph NW wind would have to be fought for almost 2 miles before I turned my back to the wind and headed east on Clive's Greenbelt Trail. The snow hurt but it was better than rain.
The trail was spotted with many large puddles from the earlier rain. Nothing unexpected. The tributaries into Walnut Creek were running full speed and the creek itself looked high. Maybe the mud I collected from exploring last week's flood will wash off. Maybe not. I wanted to stop and take photos but decided that it would be better to make forward progress and get home. By now everyone knows what flooded traisl look like. The creek is turning into a river again. Everyone will see sooner than you think.
By the time I got to Ingersoll the flakes were huge. Some survived on my gloves and on the bike. It was beautiful but I lacked the luxury of enjoying the splendor of this experience. Ingersoll is a narrow climb from 59th to Polk Blvd. Pay attention to the road, hug the curb. Despite the signs indication that this was a "bike route" and that people were to "share the road" it is dangerous. Had the trail not been flooded I would not be here. Pull off and turn all the lights and flashers on. Despite adequate daylight I will take no chances.
From Polk Blvd to 42nd the grade is reduced and I can rest. Then I must run the gauntlet. Sure there is a bike lake but parked cars and cars pulling onto the road from my right and heavy traffic on my left puts me on high alert. One car door, one drunk pulling out of Zimm's or Wellmans or some business could be the death of me or worse. I did not get to enjoy the downhill.
I do not feel comfortable or smile until I reach 17th where I hang a right and then a left on Locust or Walnut, I forget which but another right at 16th takes me to MLK and the trail/sidepath where I can relax a bit. 2 miles to go. Still snowing but not as hard. New danger, look to left for turning cars, look ahead for people walking with umbrellas obscuring their view. The closest I come to a crash is when a homeless guy on a woman's Raleigh fails to stop at the light on 11th. Had his QT cup with him. Needs caffeine I guess.
Just a day's commute. Another day choosing not to drive.