Over the weekend, I had dokusan scheduled with Fu at Green Gulch. I jumped at the chance to see her, and then having looked ahead at the forecast, I planned for a rainy ride; on the morning of, I heard gale warnings, so was anxious about riding in that.
When I left the city, the weather was fine, and trees were barely stirring. There was a steady wind as I got onto the bridge, which caused a certain trepidation, but since it was coming from behind me, and did not feel buffeting, I felt able to continue, though I was surprised not to have other riders to keep me company, something I find reassuring in those conditions.
What I had not anticipated were the tidal floods on the bike path in Sausalito. I saw a couple of riders trying out the only alternative, which is riding along the shoulder of the freeway for a few hundred yards. I decided that since I could see the course of the old railway line which now comprises the bike path, I trusted it to be the highest part of the flooded area, and rode steadily through it, water over my rims for a few minutes. I had to put a foot down at the junction where the freeway exit had been closed off, but otherwise got through to Miller Avenue unscathed. Even parts of that had been cordoned off by the high school playing fields, but I was able to bypass that.
It was nice to see familiar faces at lunch at Green Gulch, and to spend time talking with Fu (if you want to know some of what we talked about, you will have to go to my Patreon page!). I rode back over the hill afterwards, and felt lucky, on the rest of my journey further north to stay with a friend, that I was only subject to a few short squally showers, and that there was a fireplace to warm up by afterwards.
The following day was also very wet, and still windy. I was taken by car to Sausalito, where I could see the floods were happening again, and set off from the other side of them for the bridge on my bike. The wind there felt too much for me, and I turned around as soon as I left the lee of the headlands. I had a twenty-minute wait for a bus into the city, but was at least dressed enough to feel comfortable in the sheets of rain that were falling. A couple of riders stopped on their way by to check I was okay, and I confessed my anxiety around crossing the bridge, without much shame (this mutual support of cyclists on the road is always so encouraging to me). I was joined at the stop by a young Korean couple, and then a young German man, all visiting and trying to figure out how to get back to the city. We all made sure that everyone had the right money for the fares and got home safely, and, watching the few riders on the bridge with their clothes tugged and pulled by the wind, I felt glad to have chosen the easy option.
Last winter we only needed to reschedule our Monday sittings once to the indoor venue we had found, on a very wet day. So far in 2019, we have decided to move inside twice; both times the morning rain has subsided, and the forecast was belied by clearing skies and even glimpses of sunshine. This week, at least, the rain came back heavily soon afterwards, and it still feels better to be dry and listening to lunchtime chatter and the regular mandolin player in the atrium at 101 Second St, than potentially getting caught in a downpour on the Embarcadero. Later on Monday this week, I set off for the jail during a break in the rain. When I left, there was a sharp strong shower, but by the time I had donned all my rain gear, it had moved on, and I rode home with bright blue patches of sky, piled yellow clouds, and a nippy wind.
It is hardly the polar vortex round these parts, nor the snow that seems to have gripped a lot of Europe, but it has been quite a week of weather.
Hardly the forecast heavy rain and gales at Green Gulch on Saturday (an iPhone photo).