More Rain, More Crashes, More Family

Think we’ll get wet? Heading home from the Sunday Giro Ride The summer rain just keeps coming and it’s just impossible to predict. Last Friday around noon I got an email from Chris Harvey saying that they wanted to try again to trim the oak trees that are growing over my house. This was both good and bad. We’d tried to do this on Wednesday, but by the time I got home a big rainstorm was about to hit and they decided to postpone since of course you don’t want to be up in a tree thirty feet off t Think we’ll get wet? Heading home from the Sunday Giro Ride The summer rain just keeps coming and it’s just impossible to predict. Last Friday around noon I got an email from Chris Harvey saying that they wanted to try again to trim the oak trees that are growing over my house. This was both good and bad. We’d tried to do this on Wednesday, but by the time I got home a big rainstorm was about to hit and they decided to postpone since of course you don’t want to be up in a tree thirty feet off the ground during a thunderstorm. I rushed home and the two guys got to work. The only problem was that family had started arriving the day before for my father’s 90th birthday (which is actually today but was celebrated on Saturday). Most were staying a couple of houses away at a neighbor’s place who does that air b&b thing, which was super convenient. They were away at the Zoo with the kids, so I thought the timing might work out well. Naturally another thunderstorm came along and the tree work got stalled for a while, and in the meantime the brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces and their kids came back from the zoo. The tree guys ended up working until it was almost dark, but fortunately they didn’t drop anything on the family members going back and forth between houses. Yeah, don’t think we can fix that here. Saturday’s Giro Ride was a little thin for some reason, but turned out to be a good workout despite the fact I’d had a bit too much wine the night prior. Sunday’s Giro had a larger turnout and I was expecting it to get pretty fast, which it did. Shortly after we turned off of the service road onto Chef Highway, where there’s always a very brief lull in the action as riders make it across the four lanes of traffic, the paceline started to form up as usual. Up ahead I saw Adrian reach down toward his front hub. I couldn’t tell exactly what he was doing, but I’ve seen riders do this before and it never ends well. Turned out his quick-release was loose and he was trying to tighten it while riding. I instinctively backed off and started heading for the grass because I knew there was a 90% chance there’d be a crash in about half a second. There was. Adrian got a couple of his fingers between the bladed spokes and his fork, broke a spoke or two, and then the whole wheel started to collapse as his bike swerved wildly from side to side before ejecting him neatly over the handlebars. Fortunately for everyone we were going only 24 mph at the time. He popped up right away but there was blood pretty much pouring from his left hand and his front wheel’s rim was connected to the hub by only one thin spoke. Jaden called Samantha who drove out to rescue him and his bike, so after a while the rest of us continued on. He ended up having to get two fingers stitched up. As we were heading back along Hayne Blvd. the sky to the east was looking really bad, which is to say it was black. When we hit Lakeshore Drive, I could see the rain out in the lake and said, “we’re going to get wet,” which was an understatement for sure. A couple of minutes later we getting pelted with rain as my shoes started filling up with water. It only took us five or ten minutes to ride through it, and by the time we got halfway home the streets were completely dry. Typical summertime rainstorms. Later, someone posted video of Rachel crashing on the slick underpass by Southern University. The birthday celebration for my father was nice, although not without its challenges. My job was to go over to the nursing home to ride with him in the wheelchair compatible transportation service van that was to be there at 12:30. Well, someone dropped the ball, either at the home or at the van company, but the upshot was that there was no way there would be a van any time soon. Plan B was to get him into my car, which we had tried once before without success. This time, though, we had some help from the nursing home staff, so that was good. We were, of course, half an hour late by then. Fortunately, one of my brother’s sons is a nurse and knew how best to get him from the car to the wheelchair. I think we had about twenty people at the two tables at the New Orleans Country Club, and with a hoard of small children it was a loud and animated lunch. It made me think of the opening scene of “Home Alone.” Anyway, it all worked out and despite him whispering to me as I was getting him into the car at the beginning, “Let’s never do this again,” by the time we got him back to his room he said that he had really enjoyed it. This morning I went out for a nice spin on the levee, and then just as I stepped out the door to ride to work it started to rain. I thought about my options for a minute (Danielle had already taken the car) and decided to go ahead and ride, so I put my bag down and pulled out the rain jacket and took off. Half a mile later I realized I’d left my bag at home and had to turn around, still in the rain. When I got home I thought I’d just ride over to Tulane, lock the bike there, and take the shuttle in order to minimize how wet I’d be. Well after getting to the shuttle stop I realized that because of the summer schedule it would be a good 45 minutes before I’d get to work, which is only about four miles away, so I put my rain jacket back on and got good and wet from the waist down. Looking out the window right now at 5:20 pm, I’m only giving myself a 50% chance of getting home dry.

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