Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Pefect Storm!


Thursday, 2-14.....On my training schedule was a 70 mile ride leaving from a point about 8 miles from the house, up to Santa Isabel, which is at about 3500 ft. Weather reports said cool but pretty good day in store. Light drizzle in the AM. When we started it was 44 degrees, typical for this time of year. We have on tights, full gloves and an extra layer on top. As we approached the first climb, I was hot, really hot, thinking I was overdressed. As we continued through Ramona it began to drizzle and the temperature began to drop. Around 2.5 hours into the ride, as we are approaching the final stretch to the turn around point, I feel needles on my face. Only to realize it is hailing. We hassle to the warmth and contemplate what our ride down will be like. After gulping coffee and hot chocolate we step out side and it was freezing, literally, Within minutes of riding the hail was stronger and the wind was picking up. We are creeping along still going on a bit of adrenaline, not understanding a major storm is moving in. We forged on and suddenly the painful needles subsided, only to be replaced with the wonderful sensation of snowflakes. Although not so wonderful at the time. We decided to keep riding and if it began to stick we would have to stop. Minutes later, it was sticking and we were starting to shake and it was clear we could not make it down. We pulled over in front of a big farm house to call Braman to come and rescue us, only to learn there is no cell service. At this point, we are soaking wet, shaking uncontrollably with snow packed on our gloves, in our helmets and filling our shoes. We ring the bell and a couple in their 70's opens the door welcomes us in by the fire and began serving us tea. We nearly dropped to the ground and kissed their feet. We reached Braman and gave our location and he was off to our rescue.

Shortly after our arrival, the woman's phone rings and we hear on her end "they are standing by my fire." Apparently, the women's daughter lives down the road and had called to say "Mom, you will never believe this, but 2 girls just rode by on bicycles in the snow." The wind was blowing with 30-40mph gusts and up to 10 inches of snow fell. The outdoor thermometer read 30 degrees when we arrived at Bill and Betty Ann's house.

Braman arrived 2 hours later with 2 stranded motorists, jackets for us and flowers for Betty Ann.

When I started my Ironman training so many people encouraged me to start a blog, they said, "you will be amazed at the stories and what you go through."