Saturday, September 12, 2009

Slight Change of plans! Lightning!!!

I know some people think I am crazy, but today I pushed my own limits on that theory. This mornings ride was planned for another summit of Mt. Hamilton. Do to a lightning storm lighting the early morning skies; I thought it wiser to drive to Livermore and leave from my office.

4am the lightning storms are headed west. They seemed far enough out of sight and the skies where clearing. About an hour into my ride I am notice a rebuilding of clouds to the Southeast of me and heading my way. Not panicking at this point, but reviewing my "In Case of Lightning..." story in my head. At this point the lightning was not even registering sound at my distance so all is ok.

5:15 things change quickly. Now they are striking the ground and the thunder is about a 3 second delay. Damn a flat tire. Remember I am out on Mines road and there is no street lights, no houses, no nothing (btw- I do have bike lights). Still not thinking much of the lightning I spot a dim street light ahead so I go to it to change the tire. I get all my stuff out and begin to fix the flat.

Boom. I mean KA-BOOM. Lord know how far the strike was but lets say there was no delay and thunder rocked my head. I was looking down at my tire so all I saw was white light. It didn't hit me and my hair wasn't standing on edge or anything but lets say the street light doesn't work anymore. After waiting a good 15 seconds for my sight to adjust to the complete darkness. I quickly grab my stuff and head to the other side of the street. Note to self, do not stand under light post during electrical storm.

At this point I start the, "Man I think I made a big mistake" speech to myself. I hurried the tire change and yes had my whits about me to find the cause of the flat and remove a small piece of metal from the tire casing before putting on the new tube. So I finish my repairs and look to the northeast and realize there are lightening storms in Livermore as well. Luckily most of the way home is down hill and as I hear thunder behind me and see lightning ahead I am racing to get back to my office.

Half way home I see the fire trucks one by one head up Mines Rd. I can only imagine how many strikes have caused grass fires. I counted about 8 trucks in about 10 minutes.

My day is not over. I see the Livermore storm and at this point and half heartily laugh and think to myself, I can make it just before the storm. Pow, flat number two, I shoot what is left from my CO2 canister and it didn't have much left. At this point I didn't care, I rim road the next 1.5 miles on the flat and I am here to write about it.

Humm, its only 6:30 what else can I do today?

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