Saturday, August 25, 2007

Storm Story








Despite the consumptive storms of the past week, I somehow managed to get my 400 mile riding week in, including The Bike Psychos DoubleMetric. The biggest, badest of the storms hit Thursday during evening rush, doing some if its worst damage to Wilmette.

While my 63 mile ride on Friday didn't commence until 4:15 p.m. I was confident I could make it home by dark; civil sunset being 7:37 p.m. I was eager, too, to see what devastation the storm had wrought. Our narrow escape from the fallen tree that landed only one foot from the structure of our house was but a sampling of what was everywhere. The sounds of sawing were everywhere contributed by crickets and chain saws, the latter getting an early weekend jump reducing the felled trees strewn over roads, lots, houses, and cars to pick-upable size.

Streets seemed to almost squish beneath my bike tires, so water logged they were. I was on track for a civil twilight ETA until my first road closure at Illinois/Happ--a telephone pole obtusely draped across the street, its wires casted like fishing lines.

Turned around, rerouted, getting darker now. Winnetka Road and Hibbard. Closed. Don't know if I, a bike, could have made it through, but I almost didn't see the wire across the street so not taking any chances in the growing dark of night.

How about Locust to Illinois and on to home. Nope. Closed. Now I'm totally enshrouded by the night. My helmet lamp and an 0.5 watt lamp on the front of the bike aren't doing much except letting oncomers know I'm sharing the road.

I'm disoriented. It smells like I am in the middle of a Christmas Tree lot. But, I thought it was August, yes? no? Yes!. All the fallen pine trees were emanating their holiday fragrance. A little nervous though, there are myriad, indiscernible shadows everywhere. Which of them might have form and substance encroaching on my traveling road surface?

Another road closure and now the sounds of silence, but not those of Simon and Garfunkel. Black as pitch--no stars, moon, nor a street light, nor a light in any house. A different motor sound now breaks the silence--generators sucking out basement bilge.

I made it home safely, but long, long, after sunset. I turned on the kitchen light and sighed with frustration that two bulbs were out. Quite the commentary about the selfish, sinful nature of this human being, me. I asked for forgiveness and added many things to my list of gratitudes and light bulbs to my Ace Hardware list.

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