As predicted, it rained today. Though not before I got in the car to drive to an organized bicycle ride.
I got bamboozled by the various offramps from the West Seattle bridge — again — and arrive late. Nobody is around. Actually, I probably was at the wrong starting point. But the ride was probably canceled anyway as now it's steadily raining. It's 10:05AM and the sky is concrete gray. Alki Beach is fairly empty, though there are some joggers and a few bicyclists. I might as well join in the insanity.
Along the way, I ride up to three bicyclists, perhaps who were part of the organized ride. I stick with them, at least it makes me feel a little more comfortable on a ride. I imagine the other rides form some sort of human shield or bubble I can travel in. One of the riders has no mud flaps, so I stay out of his rooster tail. Another rider has some sort of rubber, possibly rubber stair tread cut into strips like I heard described online. Fenders on my bicycle keep me clean, but without mud flaps on mine, the occasional deep puddle shoots water into my shoes.
I ask the male rider if they are going to Burien. He seems to have some sort of cue sheet. "No. It's raining out and we won't go that far." The cue sheet was for a different ride. The group pulls over at some cafe and I, not interested in a meal at this time, carry up some serious hill in the direction to Burien. The rain falls heavier. Water is pouring over the roads, the steeper roads connecting to Marine View Drive wash into the road like streams connecting to a river. I'm wearing clear plastic glasses, to keep rain out of my eyes, but they fog up from my breath and are covered in drops. I can't see very well. Do I need to carry on to Burien?
I contemplate now that the trees have been removed, the enormous amount of land turned to pavement, and with the little vegetation still remaining, how the houses clinging to the cliffs will soon be riding some sort of mud wave into Puget Sound. I notice my shoes are full of water, and my feet feel leaden. I will too be washed into the sea.
I check my brakes, which I notice aren't working too well. Luckily, I don't really need to stop at all until back to the car. I wave to a couple of joggers on the run. I check the time, only an hour has gone past since I left. I pass by the car on the way back, not for lack of brakes though. I have hardly gone anywhere and I must go further! But I'm thoroughly soaked, and possibly delusional, so I give up and u-turn. A few minutes later, at the trunk of my I'm attempting to remove wet, sticky clothing from my boney, stiff body and tie down my bicycle in this continuing downpour.