Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Coming of the Storm

Greetings Readers

Bad Ass

Or so I do from time to time think of myself upon Mother Earth.

Yet, I know from a different point of view I was stupid. Your view depending on how you see the world from your eyes, as well as read.

As living as a true American I have that freedom to view myself how I want to others as well as have a voice (an opinion).

Yet, let me be truthful to myself I seriously fucked myself on my ride home.

I did not leave to go home until about 8:15 last night. As I waited for the parking garage door to open fully I saw the gleaming wet pavement from the sodium arc streetlights and knew that either rain or snow awaited me.

Neither really. It was that pellet like sized hail that was falling in the late evening night. I soon quickly found out that the wind was blowing from the West and North and steadily.

When I did turn to bike North I immediately felt the pellet like snow hit my face and it hurt. Also, on my exposed legs I felt the stinging of the pellet like snow hit my thighs. It did not hurt, but I would soon feel the pain of the pellet like snow hitting my thighs.

I rode about 100 yards when the intensity of the falling snow picked up dramatically. I knew at that moment I had to alter my course and head for the Light Rail Station.

From earlier this morning when listening to Fox News 31 I heard that the storm that was forecasted to come to Denver was going to start in the evening. No, definite time was given, but I thought that that storm would be well after 8 PM. Alas, I was wrong.

I made it to the Light Rail Station and waited in areas that were dry (in a manner of speaking) from the current snow falling. I was not cold, but I could feel the cold. Meaning, I was not miserable – yet.

Matter of fact, I was in good spirits. I was taking Light Rail and I was relatively dry, for the moment. I was so feeling the moment I decided to take a picture at the Light Rail Station and was hoping to use the light sources at the Light Rail station to show how heavy the pellet like snow was falling. I think I was able to capture that moment.

Soon, the Light Rail Train came and I boarded and warmed up a bit. Again, I was not cold, but knew that I needed to get warmed up from being outside for about 15 minutes.

While sitting I decided that I needed another picture of me out in this weather. Although where was I going to take that picture at. Then, it occurred to me – that new water Fountain that is located right off the Arapahoe Light Rail Station. I knew that the fountain would be on as well as the lights that are located in the fountain.

I reached the fountain around 8:30, I estimate, and the place was empty. Good. I tried to find a nice picture-taking place and soon located a spot where I could place the camera on auto timer and then pose.

I took several pictures; most without the flash since I knew from previous experiences that the flash at the distance I was going to pose at was not going to help. I was worried about blur, which I did have on more than half of the pictures I took, but I was able to actually get a few pictures I liked. They probably could have been better, but I am more than okay with the results I got. All in all, at least all the pictures did not come out blurry.

I really liked when I was able to get the orange and red lights captured in the picture. The purple, green and blue did not have the “effect” that caught my eye. By the way Readers, the falling pellet like snow was falling harder, but also changing over to snowflakes, which meant that the air was getting colder. Good, but not good.

So, I spent several minutes at the fountain taking timer pictures and soon the time came to ride home. There was no thought of heading to the nearest enclosed RTD bus stop. Actually, I was not sure that the bus on that route was even running anymore. So, instead of taking the chance with the thumb up my ass I knew I had to suck it up and ride home (all downhill.) Well, the snow and pellet like snow was falling in a mix. I was wet from all the picture posing and my exposed legs were wet and cold.

So, me riding west into the night was tough. I had to hold up my right had to block the snow from hitting my eyeballs. I had my Red Iridium lens on my Oakley’s, which meant I could not wear them at night since that lens blocks out light. I had not gone about 50 yards when I felt each of those pellet like snow hit every part of my expose thigh. It really hurt, but I think that was to the cold actually making my expose part of the thigh cold. Reflecting on the moment, I think my thighs were actually tingling from being so cold.

Here is where I had a choice. Ride fast and feel the stinging of the pellet like snow hit my thighs. As well as feel the wind cooling my body down. What did (or did not) help was that my ride was basically all downhill. I could get home without really pedaling, but that is not what I wanted. As long as I felt that I was moving my legs I felt I was able to keep a bit warmer longer while pedaling.

The other choice was to ride slowly. The softer the pellet like snow would hit my exposed thighs and the less I would feel the cold air when riding. The negative part about this choice is that I would be longer out in the night as well getting colder and wetter.

What did not help Readers – as I was riding through Greenwood Village I stuck to the streets, as opposed to the sidewalk. Hardly any traffic and I did not know the lay of the sidewalks in the dark. I would rather ride in the streets and street gutters where I know the terrain as opposed to the sidewalk since I hardly ever ride on sidewalks.

Well, Readers that was a mistake. Big fucking mistake. Apparently, it was a bit warmer in the DTC area, which meant that there was snowflakes, pellet like snow and rain falling all at the same time. Needless to say when I rode into the street gutter I rode into a gutter full of water – cold water. That cold water soaked my shoes instantly as well as get splashed on my legs and the back of my back from the rear tire. Not to mention the front tire that splashed up water into my face and chest. In a manner of feet I was soaking wet. Fuck me. I knew better, but I just did not think of expecting that until it was too late.

The last mile was tough Readers. The closer you know that you are home the further it seems away when you are miserable or in my case, cold, soaking wet, thighs tingling and wondering if I am going to damage some skin from the cold weather and cold elements.

And that Readers, was my ride home from a picture perfect Dawn morning. I have also included a few pictures from this morning, which I took the time to snap a few shots of me in all my glory.

On a serious note, I have decided to take off my Pink Bracelet (supporting the Komen Foundation.) Wearing that Pink Rubber bracelet was to support the Komen foundation, but more importantly to show the world the few women in my life who were diagnosed with breast cancer and survived affected me indirectly. As well as the ones that did not and for that reason also is why I especially wore that pink rubber bracelet.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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