Thursday, July 10, 2008

The OMV thunder ride

Every Wednesday, a group meets up for a bicycle ride called Oh Melo Velo. I've mentioned this ride before. It's a neat concept -- leave at 6 pm, ride until halfway between 6 o'clock and sunset, turn around and ride back the same way. Last night's turnaround time was scheduled for 7:14.

Before heading to the ride last night, I checked the local weather radar. I could not really tell if storms west of here were going to go north of us or not and I decided to go anyway. I checked my e-mail and I got a note from a friend who often does this ride.
You OMVing tonight?  I am worried about the weather ....
I said that I was getting ready to leave and off I went. I've been riding my bike to the group's meeting place. It's less than 10 minutes away by bike. I got there and the turnout was pretty good.

Six o'clock came and we all left. We rode west for maybe 30 minutes and it got darker and darker as we proceeded. When to a turn, one of the riders pulled up and said, "I heard thunder." A small group of us -- I think there were seven of us -- turned and headed back on Olive Chapel Road.

Going east, the sky was much brighter and I started to doubt our decision. Then we approached downtown Apex and as we crossed NC 55, there was a huge lightning bolt to our left. We continued through a residential section and made it to the train tracks before the first drop fell. A train was crossing there; pulling into the CSX train maintenance facility. I could tell that it might take a few minutes and told the other riders that I was heading home and was going around a different way. I went down 1010 Road. It was more than an hour before sunset yet pitch dark. I was nervous on my bike. I had no lights. When I got to my neighborhood, the sky opened up with icy cold buckets of rain and massive lightning bolts. The reverberations of thunder could be felt as I opened the garage door.

That was almost really good timing but in the end, I was soaked.


  1. My tweet from last night as I was "considering" the OMV ride:

    k1v1n The weather is looking rather dangerous. Thinking I will forgo the outside ride this evening for spin class... yuk!

    I am soooooo glad I passed on that ride. I've been caught out there more than once and it is a scary experience.

    Glad to hear you were smart. (and safe.)

  2. You are very lucky! I only like those storms when I am safe at home.