Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Epic Commute and Basketball

Riding home from work last night was almost an epic. Flat out pouring rain for the dark, hour plus slosh home. Buzzing down Eastlake Ave was like kayaking down a small river. By the time I hit the Burke-Gilman Trail, was already totally soaked - like I jumped in a pool. Full on sloshing wet feet, soaked through jacket and gloves - total joy. Not.

Cruising through the U District, rode by the aftermath of a bike/car combo - parked car with flashers going, bike with taco'd front wheel, people milling about in the pouring rain. Ouch. Already a small crowd in attendance, no sense in me stopping. I plow on.

Once I got moving on the Burke-Gillman Trail, started to feel pretty good and actually enjoyed the crazy conditions a bit. Well, a little anyway, in-between muttering F&@# when punched with a sideways wallop of rain and wind - more in amazement then anger. I was also digging my new lights. They really pierce a hole through the wet darkness, making the ride a bit more bearable.

I was in a rush, hoping to catch my son Ian's basketball game. It was just a practice game, but his first ever, so I wanted to see it. This made me put the hammer down slightly, so I gassed it for home. Along the way, I caught up to coworker, bike pal Jay - who also was fording his way home. I slowed down a bit to chat with him, then resumed the pace into the driving rain. Crazy fun. I give Jay credit - anyone commuting that day gets bonus points towards their official Bike Commuter merit badge.

I made my son's game and stood there soaking wet in the gym - in full bike geek uniform. I was so soaked, didn't dare take anything off - even my helmet. Some kid informed me the blinky light on my messenger bag was still on. Gee, thanks. Another kid told me I looked cool, like I was in shape. Wow. Then a mom starts telling me her son is interested in BMX. Maybe I should wear bike clothes everywhere - like some sort of roving beacon of all things bike.

After my son's game, I climbed back on the saddle for the short ride to the house - and completely froze my ass off. Once I hit the garage, peeled everything off fast as humanly possible - like it was radioactive - then toweled off and into dry clothes. I didn't fully warm up for quite awhile - though wolfing down my dinner helped. Sounds goofy, but bike commuting makes you appreciate warmth, light and food. A little bit of daily adventure does that.

My son's team didn't win their practice game, but Ian looked good out there and I know he really enjoyed it. Later that night, I could see the gleam in his eye and slight smile when I told him he looked good playing - and that his new team jersey looked pretty cool.

That alone made the soaking wet, crazy rush home worth the trip.

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