07 June 2012

Getting Caught Without My Raingear

Last week, I wrote a post in which I asked you, dear readers, how you decide whether or not to ride in the rain--or when the weather looks chancy.  I also asked whether you bring rain gear if there's a chance of rain.

Well, on my way home last night I felt like an utter fool.  You see, I had to Kingsborough Community College for a workshop and because I agreed to proctor an exam.

Both appointments were in the morning.  So, I anticipated leaving some time in the afternoon.  The day started off bright, sunny and a little bit cool.  The air warmed up, but the skies didn't become any less clear, during the ride--parts of which are quite pleasant.  My destination is in a part of Brooklyn called Manhattan Beach, which looks more like a town on coastal Long Island or Connecticut.  

Well, for various reasons, I ended up staying later than I'd planned.  And, by the time I was ready to leave--around 7:30--rain had begun to fall.  No, forget that.  It was as if the sea, which abuts the campus, was pouring itself over the buildings, paths and gardens.

Of course, I didn't have any rain gear with me.

I thought I could wait it out. After about half an hour, the rain let up.  Not even two minutes after I pedaled off the campus, I rode by the eponymous beach.  You can guess what happened next:  Another deluge, even harder than the one I waited out, came raining down.  The only problem was that there was no shelter.  There were no houses on that stretch, no lean-tos or even trees.  Worse, lightning started to flash all around me.

Within seconds, it seemed, my skirt, blouse and sweater were soaked.  My sandals were like completely full sponges under my feet.

I rode another couple of minutes, to a mini-plaza with a pizzeria, a coffee house and a couple of small stores.  I was about to stop there--the thought of a slice of hot pizza (at a place where I'd had good pizza on other rides)appealed to me.  But the idea of sitting someplace, soaked to my skin, did not.  Then I thought about taking the train, about half a mile away. When I got to the station, though, I realized that the train's air-conditioning might be running.  Sitting in it, in my besoaked condition, definitely would not have been a good idea.

From The Guardian (UK) Bike Blog

So, even though I knew it would take me about an hour and fifteen minutes to get home, I continued to ride.  Somewhere around Brooklyn College, in the middle of Brooklyn, the rain started to let up.  It had all but stopped by the time I crossed the Pulaski Bridge from Greenpoint into Queens.  From there, it's only a few minutes to my apartment.  I stopped at a greengrocer:  the boxes of strawberries and the piles of cherries (both red Bings and yellowish Queen Annes, which taste like a cross between a sweet cherry and a nectarine) in their bins were even more appealing than the pizza had been an hour earlier.  So, after filling my Carradice Nelson Longflap with the luscious fruits, I pedaled home.

The most interesting thing--to me, anyway--was that, except for my sandals, I was dry.  And so was everything in that bag.

That fruit sure was good.  So was the concoction I threw together:  chicken, corn kernels, scallions, chili peppers, Italian green peppers, red bell peppers and mushrooms, all stir fried with a little bit of curry powder and soy sauce, and tossed over some Japanese buckwheat noodles.  Max and Marley were all over me:  They liked the chicken, too. (All right, I cooked some without the vegetables and sauce and noodles for them.)

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