The move was done, stopped at the venerable Princeton for a pitcher to replace the lost fluids and then back to Jim's place to saddle up and head home. The clouds were that gunmetal grey that presage some sort of hellacious downpour but there was no waiting, I had to go now, guests were coming for dinner and that wasn't far away. The earbuds were fitted, and immediately after the cleats clicked home I pressed play. Manic Street Preachers filled my head- volume down a tad- and I rolled west. The Vancouver crosstown is a rolling affair, you climb up and go down like a pump track for the gods and as the tires rolled down to Clark Drive the skies opened. By the time I'd crossed I was soaked but it was weirdly warm and the wind was gusting from the east- no, wait it's from the south- bugger, it's all over the map. The music took my mind off the conditions and as I made circles up towards Fraser I rode through a teeming rain, it was hitting the ground so hard and in such volume it was like bacon fat sizzling on a griddle.
A blizzard of something- cherry tree petals?- swirled around me for a few brief moments, dancing on the winds and then gone. Nothing stuck to me, the rain was so hard it sluiced stuff right off and the newly added fenders might as well have been sitting at home. But it was magical, the road was empty save for me and the bike and the lines of parked cars, and I fantasized about being the only person left on the planet. The Clash got me over the Fraser street hump and over to Main, Overpowered By Funk driving me through the downpour until, soaked through I rode out from under the rain.
A scant few moments later I was home, shoes filled with water, gloves dead weight at the end of my arms and already thinking while a coffe would be warm, a cold bevvie might be more to my liking. And I could appreciate it while I warmed up in the shower, thinking on what Stevie Ray Vaughn had said:
"We played outside in the pouring rain, on our way up the road we started over again"
Life by the drop, straight up.