Commuting to work has been prosperous the last week and a half. For every day of walking or riding, employees of the Flagstaff Medical Center get a $5 food voucher. I've been living large in the cafeteria with my Odwalla bars and stir frys.
Energized to get home and ride, I began to question the clouds as I pedaled in my floppy dress shoes. Monsoon season is upon us here in Arizona, bringing short periods of rain with intermittent to long bouts of sunshine. That's the glass half-full attitude I took while getting dressed for my ride.
Drafting cars in the stop and start traffic on my way through downtown, I headed towards highway 180 which leads to Snowbowl road, and eventually, the Grand Canyon. To give you a little context, Snowbowl road wraps around the west side of Humphrey's peak in switchbacks that rise precisely a few thousand feet in a few miles. Hitting the smooth shoulder pavement of 180, large raindrops began to smack me. These drops fell at a slow rate barely getting me wet. The sky was at first tentative about the whole rain thing. But the rays of sun began to quickly disappear as lightening struck all around the forest. I had a gut feeling to keep going. The bad weather was moving over me, away from the mountains.
Jamming to Thievery Corporation's "Sweet Tides" song, I felt un-worldly as I ascended the gradual hills of highway 180 towards the base of Snowbowl Road. The rain began to soak through my kit and the sky transitioned to a dark gray, adding to that "yea, I'm a hardcore athlete" feeling that we often get before realizing we are just not thinking like a normal person. Putting my rear flashing light onto my jersey pocket, I simultaneously felt something hit my back and ooze. I quickly examined my hand to find egg shell and some yoke dripping from my palm. Looking to the road, I saw a tan Ford Ranger tailgating a mini-van as the driver appeared to be escaping the scene of a crime. This person had to have the intellect of a second grader. Why throw an egg at a cyclist in a misty thunderstorm, speed away before seeing his reaction, and make it look like your running away from him. This person and his egg launcher resembled middle school kids throwing snowballs at cars and then running away, except these clowns were in the car and I was the vulnerable, pedaling one. Were my shaven legs and spandex getup that intimidating?
I hope these people seek help and learn to take out their frustrations in a more productive way. At least ding-dong-ditch someone's house and see their reaction. I did of course throw up my arms like I won a race but with only one finger showing from each hand, I couldn't help myself. But if I could go back I would have simply waved; kill 'em with kindness, right? I wasn't even mad, I actually felt more epic. Is that crazy or what? That's the kind of normalcy I question in myself and other like-minded athletes. Riding through a thunderstorm and getting egged shouldn't make a person happy. I guess nothing can ruin your day when your doing what you love.