Lightning Fast.

I pulled up to the group ride start just as the first bolt shot across the sky. As the other riders arrived, I tracked the progress of the storm across the sky. Off in the distance, it seemed like it was moving inland and to the west. We were heading along the coast and to the east, so we should have dodged the bullet.

Should have.

After a 300 mile week, my legs were pretty much attached by not much more than thin strips of ache. Of course, instead of the C+ riders present at last week's ride, who would have ridden me into the ground in my current condition, I faced a collection of significantly stronger riders from the Destroyer and Pain Train rides. "Fuck my life" doesn't begin to describe it.

A young rider from the Pain Train got a new Cervelo aero super bike and was anxious to beat the rest of us about the head and shoulders with it. I'd say he suceeded. After he opened hostilities, one rider after another conspired to make me seriously consider taking up golf. When we got to the Pain Train route, half the group took a long look at the lightning all around us and exhibited excellent sense by turning around and calling it a day. The rest of us took a lap at race pace.

That was probably a mistake.

As we rode back, the lightning was all around us. While my last remaining companion had a car back at the shop, I was riding home. That ride home took me over a bridge that is probably the highest point in 100 miles. The storm that swirled around me looked like something out of Ghostbusters. I sat on the porch of the dark bike shop and watched the show. We don't see these kind of storms much in Alaska, and I kinda miss them. I also wasn't in a hurry to ride over the bridge on my custom titanium lightning rod.

Eventually a gap in the storm appeared over the bridge, and I went for it. I ducked low over the bars (as if it would matter) and prayed that there was something taller and more metal than I was on the bridge to attract the errant bolt. I hammered the span, and relaxed somewhat as I rode past the casinos and businesses, the first and probably last time I would experience that feeling in Biloxi. I made it home without getting zapped like Daffy Duck, and doubled my night's beer ration.

You would have done the same thing.  


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