|At this point, it didn't matter where I stood... my feet were THAT wet.|
I had spent all of last week drowning in paperwork and was really looking forward to riding the 2011 Gran Fondo Philadelphia. Last year's event was challenging and fun (if somewhat poorly organized) so I was excited about doing the ride again. Unfortunately, the weather decided that it wasn't interested in cooperating at all... and I exchanged drowning in paperwork with drowning in rain.
What exactly happened? Well, the forecast had seemed somewhat ominous in the days leading up to the ride. But given that meteorologists seem to be about as right as often as I win at blackjack, I was hoping that the weather would clear up for the ride. But when I woke up at 3:30am on Sunday to drive down to Philly, it was raining. And not just a little bit... it was raining record-setting amounts. But playing the role of insane cyclist, I loaded my bike into my friend's car and headed down to Philly....
|A lot of water on the ground when we started.|
Driving down to Philly was an adventure in itself. Driving, torrential rains cut visibility to mere yards and there were stretches where we had to slow down to 30mph on the highway. One would think that in situations like this, most people would think "Hey, this is insane. We should turn around and go home." But I apparently misplaced that thought process (also known as common sense) and kept on going to Philly....
The rain didn't stop at all during the entire 2 hour drive. And when we arrived, the ground was flooding with all the rain that had already fallen. Again, common sense would've dictated that most people would head home without even attempting to ride. And again, common sense failed me. I unloaded the bike and with The Driver, headed out to the starting area.
They made us wait in the starting area in the driving rain while taking care of some formalities. I think someone was trying to say something interesting but none of us could hear through the wind, rain, and thunder. Oh, and that little inflatable arch that they wanted us to go through? It fell over....
|And the arch came tumbling down...|
|A wet Kelly Drive. Braking was nearly impossible.|
After 30 miles, I was done. The Driver and I decided to bail out and head back to the finish. Where, surprisingly, they still gave us our Gran Fondo medals. At least I managed to put on a funny face for the camera on the way back to the finish line. And once I got back to the car, we made a beeline for Pat's to get some cheesesteaks. That was probably the highlight of the trip down to Philly.
|Hamming for the camera.|