Biking at Night in the Spring Rain

Fast forward four hours from my “First Long Ride of Spring…” 

I attended a workshop this evening. As I listened to S. Bear Bergman educate us about trans* health issues, I watched a storm quickly roll in behind him through the windows of the Smitten Kitten storefront.

The sky swirled purple and grey as the wind that had kicked me around on my ride earlier shook the window awnings and caused the trees to strain. The sun set, but I could still see in the street lights and passing windshield wipers that it was really coming down. I watched the rain come first in streaks, then sheets, then buckets, then dump trucks. And then the lightning. And more lightning. And a little thunder too. A tiny seed of dread started to sprout as I watched umbrellas turning inside out and heard emergency vehicle sirens amplifying the noise of the storm.

But there is no time for dread or doubt when all you really want is to go home and get to bed.

The workshop ended and I ceremoniously suited up. Whipped out the Emergency Rain Jacket, checked my straps and buckles and clips and zippers, and finished with pulling on my gloves. I stood staring out the window for five minutes waiting for the rain to magically and suddenly stop, and then resigned to just get really wet on my way home. I’m not made out of sugar. I won’t melt.

Once I was on my bike, my dread was replaced with excitement for the smell of rain, the sound of everything splashing, and the pure joy of riding a bike.

Lightning flashed in the dark sky as the cool rain refreshed me. I felt the energy of the storm in my body as I pedaled down the dark Greenway, avoiding puddles in low spots and coasting under the overpasses for a tiny little respite from the downpour. I could feel the dirt and dust and sweat and sunscreen melt off of my bare legs. Cool drops on my warm face and neck made me smile… this is spring! I found myself spinning faster and harder down the trail as I absorbed the lightning and the rain and the way every surface of the city shines during a storm.

I’m at home now, with all my wet clothes hung up, and a fan drying out my soggy shoes. I can hear the waning storm out the window as I sit in front of a glowing screen, my big ol’ smile glowing right back at it.