Friday, June 18, 2010

trapped in the woods

Before kids I use to mountain bike on a regular basis, I even competed in a race, but since having kids I think I have only been 2-3 times.  A friend was starting a beginner's woman's bike ride and since I was ready to get back into riding I jumped at the opportunity to ride with others.   The ride was suppose to be the first Wednesday of the month and due to the threat of rain, 90% (though it never did rain) last week, it was moved to the second Wednesday, this week.  So at 6pm 5 of us met at a park and headed towards the trails.  Right as we arrived at the trail head we heard a rumble of thunder.  Instead of working skills we decided to head into the woods and ride the trails before it stormed.  We rode for awhile and when we were near another trail head we had to decide whether to leave or to keep riding (riding would be headed in the direction of the car it just would take longer).  Well we decided to keep riding, severe thunderstorms hadn't been forecasted and when I had checked the weather before leaving there was no rain let alone storms anywhere close, keep riding was probably not a good choice, but hindsight is 20/20.  Well at some point it started to rain and the thunder started to get worse, I was starting to get a little scared and was riding as fast as I could.  As we continued to head towards the direction of the car the rain got worse, so much so I could barely see because of all the water in my eyes and I felt like I was in the shower.  The trails at this point were becoming mini creeks and there seemed to be so much water everywhere and the storm was getting really bad.  We finally made it to a trail head, but at this point the lightening was intense and it was too dangerous to head towards the cars since it would require us to ride in a large open space.  So we left our bikes on the trail, walked up a little hill and squatted down underneath a sapling and waited for the storm to pass.  It was quite scary, we were stuck out in the woods, soaking wet, freezing cold, there was no cell phone service, we couldn't get back to the car, couldn't do anything but listen to the thunder that seemed to be getting louder and closer and pray that we would stay safe and make it out unharmed.  When it seemed like an eternity had passed it became brighter and the thunder seemed to be going away from us we started making it back to the car.  The field right before the parking lot was flooded and looked like a river, I know understand how a flash flood can suddenly appear and sweep everyone and everything away.  I finally made it back to the car and called Jeff and my mom to tell them I was okay.  As I was driving home and seeing all the trees that had fallen and discovering we were out of power I realized how bad of a storm it was, so bad that a tree fell in my mom's neighborhood and she had no electricity for 24 hours, we didn't have power ourselves for almost 12 hours, which is a long time, I don't think we have ever been out of power for that long.  There were tons of trees down on our side of town and some areas look like a war zone and just thinking about how I was outside during this makes me so thankful I am safe.  Lesson learned: at the first sign of a storm, seek shelter the quickest way possible!  So my first mountain bike ride in 3 years was very memorable, one I will probably never forget, it was nice being out in the woods on a bike again and I hope to do it again soon, just with better weather.

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