Sunday Aug 31, 2008

Laughing in the face of weather forecasters....

There were six in Molesey this morning braving the fog and laughing in the face of the weather forecast. Those six made it to Epsom before the fog cleared to be replaced by the thunder and heavy rain that had been forecast. The idea of climbing and riding over Epsom downs in a Thunder storm did not fill anyone with joy. So after briefly taking shelter in Epsom and failing to find a café open we rode back as fast as our legs would allow. If the people at the Met Office could have seen us they would have been in stitches.

Got home very very wet having ridden 23 miles.

Next weekend we are supposed to be cycling to Yeovil which is about 120 miles, I hope the weather is better.

Friday Jul 20, 2007

Triplet rescue

South east England is in the grip of a “Severe Weather Warning”. which is Met office speak for it could rain really really hard and there may be floods and if there are don't come running to us as we learnt our lesson back in '87 about not warning of high winds so if there is even a hint that things might be bad we going to tell you.

Anyway today's Severe Weather Warning was due to exceptionally heavy rain which could cause localized flooding. Odd I recall localized flooding this time last year. So I decided that if I could do my 10 O'clock on the phone I would work from home and not risk another drowning.

This all went well, my 10 O'clock got moved to 2 O'clock by one of the others and so I set about todays tasks from my nice dry office.

The rain came, it was very hard, the road flooded but I was dry.

Then at 12:30 the phone rang. It was my daughter asking if I could pick her up from school as “they have closed Kingston due to flooding and all the busses are cancelled”. I pointed out that the only way I would therefore be collecting her was by bike and she said she knew that, that was why she was calling me. I would have to be an idiot to drive, did I not know Kingston was closed?

So now I had been put in my place I hopped on the triplet for a ride through the flooded streets to Kingston. It was the usual kind of thing. The roads were grid locked, more drivers pulled over to let me past then pulled over to try and stop me passing (I just can't believe people do that, however I felt a deep sense of satisfaction as we rode home and past the same car that had tried to block me going into Kingston still in the same queue of traffic).

Kingston was indeed closed but on a bike as usual there was a way through so I collected my daughter went back through Kingston again and headed home past the queues of traffic and by now a steady stream of people walking.

Then as we crossed Hampton Court bridge, in the outside lane to turn right, the steering went very heavy and we had a puncture. That is the third on the triplet and means I need to get new tires. Thanks to this I only just got home for my 2 O'clock.

Tuesday Jul 03, 2007

Rain, Hail and a VW driver

I thought the rain and hail was bad....


And then the nice lady in the VW came so close I could tap on the window to get her to move out.... she did not.

Wednesday Feb 28, 2007

Why do I bother.

I got a real soaking this morning so have sat with my top drying on my monitor all day which has worked. I don't want an LCD monitor.

As I am about to leave I now wonder why I bothered. It is chucking it down so I will get all of a few yards before I am soaked again.

Update: It stopped raining in the time it took me to get changed and get to my bike. There was not a drop on the way home!. Clearly I out smarted the weather man this time;-)

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Thursday Jul 27, 2006

Wet does not do it justice

Just got a proper soaking, the wettest I have ever been on a bike. I suspect that the flooding will get on the local news as “Flash Floods” with some reference to the lightening. Even having waited for the rain to stop before I left the rain started again and never really stopped all the way home but that was not the problem. The standing water and floods. Being hit by the splash from on coming and overtaking cars that could not think beyond their rush to be where they had to be to think of others.

However for every one of the unthinking there were many who stopped and let me through. Once you are in 8 inches of water you don't want to stop. If the water covers you side of the road you ride on the other side to avoid being in the water. Mostly the motorists let me do what I had to do.

I had to “close shaves”. One was a man hole cover covered with standing water that was more slippery than a slippery thing that had been made more slippery with the addition of slippery juice. I was doing a left and accelerating and the rear wheel spun and stepped out. No real risk of being off but was interesting. The other was earlier on in Farnborough going through a flood. This was a deep flood, 10 to 12 inches, which was deeper than I expected but it was the bow wave from the car coming in the other direction that almost had me off. Not really their fault although very inconsiderate I was 80% of the way through the flood at the time. Unknown to all all this was the deepest part.

What I really did not like was the lightening. Like a previous occasion in France there was lightening all around me. I suspect the odds of being struck by lightening would make being knocked off by a motorist a certainty, but for some reason it made for a nervous ride.

All of this was my fault. I had breakfast with Chris and I mentioned how rarely I get rained on. Then when the rain was coming down I said that my only time that I was rarely scared on a bike was in a lightening storm in France.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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