Wednesday morning I put the bike in the truck and Rose and I drove to her work where I took the bike out and continued on my way to my job. There was a high probability of thunderstorms that afternoon so we planned for me to ride back if I could or wait for her to pick me up if the weather was very bad.
The weather tends to be unpredictable in the summer because the rain comes in small patches that seem to come out of nowhere. The weather forecasters here even call them “pop-up” showers. It rained for quite a while that afternoon and I was hoping it would be over by quitting time because I get off work an hour before Rose does and since she is the boss, she is rarely able to leave on time. I did not want to be stuck there for almost two hours.
My boss decided to get an early start on the holiday and we closed at 4:15. It was still raining at that time and the skies were very dark so I decided to stay and wait for a break in the weather. I waited about 25 minutes before I noticed the rain slow down, so I checked the radar on the internet. There is a nice feature that lets you zoom in on any area and then click the future button to see where the rain will be during the next four hours.
The radar showed my entire trip home free from rain for the full four hours except for a small amount of rain at the end of my route. Even that was not supposed to happen for ninety minutes.
I decided to leave while I had the chance. There was still a very light drizzle that actually felt good. When I got to the trail a mile away, I took my phone out of my pocket and dialed Rose to let her know I was riding home. As soon as I finished dialing the rain started coming down harder so I hung up, put my phone back in my pocket, and got my rain jacket out. By the time I put it on it was a torrential downpour.
I got on the bike and quickly peddled down the trail, hoping I could catch the end of the rain cloud. I know that sounds silly but here in Florida it could be raining on your front yard but not on your back yard.
While I was riding it occurred to me that my phone was in my pocket and my pants were soaked. I have a zippered pouch for my phone but I did not know if it was water-resistant. I didn’t want to stop because I was still hoping to find the edge soon so I pushed my jacket over my front pocket to protect it somewhat.
When I reached the next street, I was about to continue across, which is what I usually do, but I noticed the covered walkways crossing a small bridge to my left. I headed for the bridge and as soon as I was out of the rain I took out my phone to see if it had survived: It did.
As I got to the bridge the downpour had suddenly slowed to a light shower but I stayed there for a few minutes so I could call Rose and let her know what I was doing. I then continued on in a rain that never stopped. I am just glad I learned my lesson the last time this happened and started washing my helmet on a regular basis.
Another lesson I learned a long time ago but had forgotten was never trust a meteorologist.