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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Decisions....good and bad

We've been having the typical Florida summer as of late.  Hot mornings followed by even hotter afternoons, then a late afternoon or early evening thunderstorm.  The science teacher in me understands the the ground starts to cool we switch to warmer air coming in off the gulf.  That creates unstable conditions which results in rain.   Pretty simple really.

In the past my decision to ride was pretty much determined by the weather.   Fifty percent chance or higher of rain was a crap shoot and my cut off point.  Now with a commute that puts me at the end of rush hour and in heavier traffic...that percentage becomes even more important.  Suddenly forty percent of rain seems more reasonable.  More manageable.

I talk to people all day, I help them make decisions that can affect their family, their lives, their financial outcomes.  I train people to do this.  I work with everyone for 18 to 80.   I love my job at times...I hate my job at times.  Making decisions on risk, reward....opportunity.  So when I personally make a decision - for good or bad - it has a reason and it is not made lightly.

Rain....rain can not be taken lightly.  Especially in traffic.  Especially in a city like Tampa, with poor drainage, flooded roads and one of the highest incidents of uninsured motorists in the country.

A last minute decision in the morning to ride in despite a call for rain during the evening hours.  My decision to ride home tonight was a good one.   I had a little issue merging onto the highway; a road I generally don't like to ride home but with thunder booming in the distance and lightening striking the ground, I was looking for the fastest way away from the gathering doom.  I had my rain gear on, and was sweating my ass off in it.

Of course, not a drop of rain.

Yesterday however was a different tale, I left work under clear skies and took my normal way home.  On the way I had no luck and was caught at nearly every red light.   Then it started.  Light at first, actually almost enjoyable as the temperature dropped and the wind picked up.

That should have been my warning.

Before I knew it I was pulling off to the side of the road, hiding under a bank's drive thru window soaked and pissy.  That was within ten minutes after the storm started.  It continued to pour for roughy twenty minutes...and then I decided to move.  On went the rain gear even through I was soaked.

How far did I go since I left the bank...ten miles, fifeteen?  I was under the awning of a church this time thinking about why I made such a bad decision to ride to work.  I am looking out at a downpour so bad that I was unsure where the road was.  I'm cold.  I'm wet.  I'm unhappy.

Finally it lets up again, it's late and it's taking me forever to get home.  My hour commute that turned into a two hour plus ride.   When I finally do get home its a quick shower to warm up, a shot of whisky just to ensure my nerves were calm and off to bed.

Tomorrow's weather?  More of the same.  A forty percent chance which threatens me when I leave work.  A very good chance considering the pattern over the last week or so.  Maybe I'll take the car.


Octoberstudios said...

Glad to hear you made it home. I do my best to avoid the rain. Life in South Jersey is far dryer than Tampa though we get our fair share of hurricanes, Like Super Storm Sandy (though technically not a hurricane), Nor Easters, and summer squalls. I tend to roll the dice at 30% or lower (though our local forecasters are pretty horrible). That hasn't helped me from getting caught in a bad down pour. My commute is about 30 minutes. I've never invested in rain gear, but that's because I can opt to take a train to work, or our car.

I'd rather scoot, which is probably why I get caught in the rain.

Dar said...

Some days you just can't beat taking the cage. Last winter was the first in four years that I didn't commute because of constant rainy weather and early darkness. Stay dry my friend!

Trobairitz said...

Nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution. Listen to your inner voice.

You got wet and doubled your commute time, but you arrived home safe and look at the story you had to tell.

Sure wish it would rain here. No measurable rain since May, sigh.

SonjaM said...

You did the right thing taking it slow. I just had a friend go down in rainy conditions (thankfully just bruised not broken). Better be safe than sorry!

Conchscooter said...

I have a half hour ride on an open road and I like riding in the rain, especially coming home as I don't mind arriving home wet in the summer. (This year it's not raining much at all in the Keys and we are having glorious weather with a cooling breeze and highs near 90 every afternoon). I don't like getting cold and wet as my riding gear isn't designed for temperatures below 60 that can be miserable if I am up North in the Fall...

Deb said...

"Stay dry my friend!"