Flash Flood Ride

The weather report on Wednesday called for locally heavy showers beginning midday Thursday, so heavy in fact that a flash flood watch was in effect. With a reasonable expectation of bad weather, I packed my ride kit and brought it in on Thursday. Throughout the day, the cloudy skies grew progressively darker. Webcams showed the H3 corridor and the windward side socked in and shiny with rainwater. As quitting time approached, I went outside to check visually on the top of Tantalus, and lo, even though the thick ceiling of clouds was an ominous dark grey, it was high up and not in the act of relieving itself of its precipitable moisture. The air outside did however feel thick and heavy: It felt like it was going to rain any minute. Ckucke and I had eaten heavy lunches from Young’s in ‘Aiea, so we were feeling lethargic. We kept waffling on whether we should call it or go. In the end, inspiration won out over apathy and the call went out that it was mission “go”.

A drizzle fell on my windscreen almost immediately after I pulled out of the work parking lot. Krapp! I had mixed up all my sports drinks, so I really didn’t want to waste them if the ride got cancelled. All the way up through Makiki, I watched the rate of drizzle steadily increase with my own level of irritation. When we all converged at the meeting spot, the rain abated, so everything looked good. There were a lot of riders out, but it wasn’t the “infestation” group, since almost everyone was nice and polite. Soon after we started up the hill, JT took the lead and disappeared off the front. Ckucke and Root stuck to him, but Kevyn and I took it easy, talking about retro stuff like Bridgestones and Grant. When we passed the Contemporary Museum, I could smell the burnt odor of the fatal house fire on the street below, but I couldn’t really see the remains of the house.

At the 40-minute mark, we had just passed the one-lane-bridge: There was no way to come in with a better time than last week at this point. I just pushed an easy pace to the top. Surprisingly, my sore leg from the Monday downhill didn’t really bother me on the climb. I guess it is a whole different set of muscles being used. We descended the Tantalus Drive way, being mindful of the wet road surface. By the yump turn it was already starting to dry out, and past the chicane it was fine. Ckucke and I led the downhill assault, but eventually, my fat bastard inertia allowed me to roll past him on the long straight below the lookout. The bottom section was nasty bumpy as usual, but even though we were riding at the same time as last week, the heavy overcast skies let through so little light that it was difficult to navigate the potholes and patches. In the end, the skies never did open up and unleash all kinds of heck on us. Around 22:00, I saw lightning from over the Ko’olau range from Kaimuki, so that meant Maunawili and Waimanalo were getting it. This actually ended up being a really good ride.

D = 16.44 km (10.22-miles), Vavr = 16.6 km/h (10.3-mph), Vmax = 57.8 km/h (35.9-mph), T = 59-minutes (climb = 44-minutes, descent = 15-minutes)

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