Playing dodge squall

23 04 2016

The Unemployed Journalists and Booze Merchants Cycling Union is now The Unemployed Journalists, Booze Merchants and Underemployed Scholars Cycling Union (UJBMUSCU).

But even as we’re growing, we’re about to shrink.

One of our founding Unemployed Journalists is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, joining his brother and his nephew on a cross-country cycling expedition. He figures seeing as he has the time, and his health is good, might as well make use of them.

They’ve no itinerary, no schedule set in stone, other than a few pitstops at relatives along the way. They’re packing all their necessary gear in panniers and pointing their front wheels east. Only their fitness and resolve will determine how far they get each day, and when they’ll reach their destination.

That was sort of the intention of our ride on Friday; point our wheels down the road and see how far our legs could take us. Unfortunately, the weather had other designs, and our outing turned into a game of dodge squall.

The first sign of trouble came as we traversed an undulating suburban street that skirted the side of Mt. Fromme; the air cooled and was heavy with humidity. It smelled like rain.

The road turns up as it skirts Mt. Fromme.

The road turns up as it skirts Mt. Fromme.

But the occasional crack in the low cloud cover gave us hope, propelled us onward.

We descended to sea level, where it only got cooler, more humid. We kept pedalling, but our hearts knew we’d have to turn around or else we’d get soaked.

We decided to cut bait and head away from the mountains’ shadow, to try to outrun the approaching squall.

A squall rolling in off the ocean, and steered by the mountains, seems determined to catch us.

A squall rolling in off the ocean, and steered by the mountains, seems determined to catch us.

But it was too fast.

The ping of occasional drops grew to the thrum of a persistent shower. We sought shelter at a cycling café along our improvised route; even as we noshed on our pains au chocolat under cover of an awning, the rain became a diaphanous curtain.

A respite from the rain as a cycling café along our improvised route.

A respite from the rain at a cycling café along our improvised route.

It was going to be cold, soggy slog home.

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