Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rude Awakening

I biked to work today in the early morning rain. It was a light rain and the air temp was about 67. I consciously worked at enjoying the experience and had prepared for it by wearing light, quick drying clothes and closed toe sandals.

An aside, I've recently realized a nice transition of driving/riding awareness: I sometimes forget I'm in a car and want to go park where I'd normally park my bike. I sometimes forget I'm on my bike and forget I'm exposed to the elements. This last experience leads me to what happened today.

My ride was going very well this morning. I was enjoying the rain, staying safe, and making good time. As I got close to work, I crossed into the left lane on the state route that passes the grounds of my workplace, Oaklawn Hospital. I'd checked behind me and there were no cars coming. I looked ahead and waited for traffic to pass before turning left into the drive. As I waited, a semi-tractor trailer appeared in the oncoming traffic. Remember the rain? I was completely caught off-guard as I caught the full spray from the truck as it passed me by. The spray felt like a blanket of fine water drops drenching the entire front of my body. Luckily, I had my old Oakley Factory Pilots protecting my eyes. I stayed upright and could make the turn safely.

What a rude awakening! I was suddenly shocked by the reminder of just how vulnerable I am to the weather and to cars/trucks. While I can laugh at it now, I will remember this experience for a long time and be better prepared the next time.

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