This post originally was to run Monday afternoon but because of my inability to keep track of my 1,527 passwords and user names when confronted with a backup computer, it appears now.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Black Mountain. I’m supposed to be on a bike about five miles from here, climbing the Blue Ridge Parkway up to Mount Mitchell. I’m not because of the weather.
Yesterday morning, my stepson came looking for me with a horrific look on his face. “It’s supposed to be 94 this afternoon,” he announced. The horrific look was because we were doing a 5k that afternoon, right about the time the heat would be peaking. 94 degrees for some pursuits – body surfing, even a road on the bike ride isn’t bad; 94 for a road race on blacktop through a brick-and-steel downtown area, that’s bad. I actually like the heat, and I was concerned. Rightfully so. The first mile went OK (7 minutes, 20 seconds, a pace that would let me hit my target time). No idea what my mile 2 split was because by then my ears were ringing and my eyes too blurred by sweat to check my watch. I finished in 24:05, about a minute and a half off my goal, but a time I could live with. I’d finished, I hadn’t yaked on my shoes, I wasn’t in a tent being covered with cold towels. Considering the weather, my race was a success. I’d taken this ultimate of variables – the weather – into consideration, I’d adapted my plan, I’d survived. 72 degrees with 10 percent humidity would have been dandy, but now I at least had kvetching rights.
Which is partially why I’m OK sitting on the sidelines in a coffee shop, waiting for the sun to chase away those thunderheads. Climbing into an electrical storm above 6,000 feet? Did I mention how nice — and dry and free of hypercharged electrons — this coffee shop is? The forecast suggests the weather will clear soon, the radar seems to concur. Until it does, I’m content. So I don’t make it to up to Mitchell (ambitious considering the shape I’m in); even an hour on the parkway will be worth it. Besides, this gives me something even better than kvetching rights.
Postscript: I managed to get in a 31-mile ride north from the Folk Art Center on the parkway, the last 10 miles of which were in brilliant sunshine.