On my way into work yesterday, I drove past a guy riding his bike in the rain. When I left the house at 8 AM, it was raining pretty hard, and the sun was no where to be seen. I admired this guys fortitude, almost as much as I admired my own admonishment to not be so stupid (HTFU).
Later that day, I'm sitting at my desk thinking about the last time I rode my bike in the rain. The memory of this training ride surreptitiously rose to the top. I crashed all by my lonesome on the Silver Comet Trail at mile 37. I knew I had gotten scummed up pretty bad, just not how bad. I rode out to the 50 mile marker, turned around, and rode back in the pouring rain.
I looked like the Wreck of the Hesperus when I pulled back into the trail head. I can still see the wide eyes, almost look of fear, on the face of the young lady as I weaved my way down the final 25 yards of trail to the car. I honestly think she was afraid I was going to run her over. I didn't realize it at the time, but I had a piece of my helmet sticking out the top, and I had rode with it that way for hours.
As I was putting my bike on the back of the SUV, the guy with the expensive car caught my attention. I must have been quite a site for him too. I was soaked to the skin, with a huge bleeding road rash down my right arm. Part of my helmet was sticking up in the air. I was soaked to the skin. He seemed fairly impressed. I was nonchallantly (word?) unaware, neither bragging nor whining. It was just something I had to get done, and I enjoyed doing it, road rash not withstanding.
I enjoy these kinds of memories. These are the experiences to be cherished. I just hope I never smell or taste something nasty that brings back a crap memory ;-)