Umbrellas of the gods

18 07 2011

Dear Weather Gods:

What have we done to warrant such scorn this summer never-ending spring? Or, more specifically, what have I done?

There is less than a week left in the Tour de France and we have yet to complain about a heat wave/drought/tepid nights. Oh sure, the rest of the continent is sweltering as it usually does in July, but we’ve yet to be graced with an extended run of true summer weather. Instead, we get one or two nice days, interspersed with a run of damp coolness or interminable cloud.

The third week of July, especially, is as close to a guarantee of summer weather. But on Saturday my planned ride got washed away by a rainstorm that was only supposed to last a few hours but instead settled in for the day.

Sunday was grey, humid, and a little cool. Not ideal, but not bad enough to scuttle a ride; I did 105 kilometers.

Monday was supposed to be better. That’s what the TV weather forecaster said on Sunday. The clouds will clear and the sun will shine brightly by 10:30 a.m. said the radio weather forecaster this morning. She even added a guarantee. With that assurance I headed out on my first true holiday ride. I had lofty ambitions, a long jaunt into the country, some climbing, lunch somewhere on the road.

One of my favorite places for lunch on the road, in the old part of Port Moody

Forty minutes in, as I crested Burnaby Mountain under a leaden sky, I felt the first raindrops. In minutes, it was a deluge.

Not much need for this after all

What happened? Perhaps I had reminded Katie of my slothful schedule one too many times as she headed off to work this morning? Perhaps I had taunted the weather gods by cleaning the Lapierre on Sunday? Perhaps I had placed too much faith in the weather forecasters?

I eased my way down the mountain, wary to avoid pulling a full-fledged Jens Voigt on the wet pavement. At the base of the mountain, I had a brief respite. But moments later I rode right back into the rain, this time harder and more drenching than before. I took shelter under a tree for a bit, but the way my luck with the weather gods was going, I was fearful I’d be struck down by a solitary bolt of lightning. Eventually I found refuge at a picnic shelter and waited out the storm until it became a steady drizzle.

The gloom lifted by the time I reached Belcarra

Soaked and cold, I headed for Belcarra, a beautiful rolling ride along the north shore of Burrard Inlet, past big houses and amidst towering trees with a park payoff at the end. And the bonus of a glimpse of sunshine.



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