Fritz woke me up at 3:28 AM. That is 17 minutes before the alarm was to go off and I turn on the light and radio and lay back down until the weather is announced at 4:05. But the dog wanted to go out and after circling the dining room table three times he walked to the door and we went outside. I felt a drop and looked at the sky. Yep, they were right, rain. Once the constitutional ended and we were back inside I fired up the radar. Red glob west of town. "Yeah, I could probably beat that."
Probably the fastest I have ever left the house. Took the single speed because it has panniers and likes abuse. No rain yet and my speed was much better than usual. Amazing how impending doom can motivate me to ride faster.
No rain yet as I rolled underneath the SW 9th viaduct. But there was a homeless couple stirring about. One was dragging an open sleeping bag and the other carrying a bag or two. Finding a dry place to resume sleep I thought. Keep moving.
Fleur Viaduct would be the next refuge. But it was just a light sprinkle by then. Roll the dice and move on. The next "rain shelter" would be underneath Grand Ave 4 miles away. Sure, the shelter in Water Works Park after the bridge would be closer but it would require a ride or walk through a literal minefield of locust thorns. Better wet than flat tire I always say.
The sky lit up and the sprinkle turned into full blown rain as I approached the bridge at Water Works Park. Why not, I thought to myself as I spotted the kybo. I had to jettison a load anyway and this would provide an opportunity to view the radar again and make a decision if necessary. Put it down as training for The Ragbrai and voting for a POTUS!! Really did not need the magic of a smart phone and internet to tell me that the red glob was overhead. Thunder and lightning and the intensity of the rain told me so. So I wasted a few minutes playing on the internet before I was declared it safe enough to resume the commute. I did think that this would be a horrible place to die. Killed by a falling tree while surfing the net in a porta potty trying to escape the rain. Then again I think about the possibility of horrible death in almost everything I do. At least my bowels and bladder were empty.
It was now 430 AM and if I had decided to wait it out at home I'd still be messing around and not ready to leave. And there was always the possibility that the storm would be worse. Here in the plastic shittar I was 3.5 miles ahead of schedule. Wet trail, puddles but no limbs or trees to avoid. No other bicyclists either.
My next encounter with a human was underneath the road leading to Burger King and Walmart. At first I thought he was speaking on Blue Tooth but after about the 3rd mention of "coal miner" I realized that he was complementing my head lamp. He may have asked me to wait the rain out here but the radar suggested that the main storm was over and only the green and blue globs would annoy me. I was actually a minute faster to this location than my standard and 7 miles away from coffee. Sorry, m8, fook the rain there's records to set and coffee to drink.
The sun was peaking through the clouds to to north east. Brilliant reds calling me to take the long way around the buildings that I work in. From the far east parking lot I took photos of the sky with I-35/80 in the foreground. That was my reward for leaving early and getting caught in the rain and kybo. A few minutes later coffee and dry clothes.
I plan to leave this early again hopefully on a dry day. perhaps get an extra few miles in. truly peaceful on the trail at this hour.