Blown away

I've had issues to work out this week. The easiest way to do so is by working out. Saturday I hoped for a break in the weather so I could get out on my bike. Since my accident, I haven't been outdoors on my bike, and among other things, I wanted to overcome a calcifying mental block about riding around Mercer Island.
All day, the rain came down in patches while the wind was strong enough to rattle my windows. Not a good sign. I waited, cleaning my room, watching TV, reading, doing my laundry. I called Rachael to see if she'd be crazy enough to meet me out. A companion would mitigate the pain of being outside in lousy weather. Nope, she was too sane for that.
Finally, at 4:00pm, I glimpsed a brief patch of blue sky way out over the Olympics. Close enough. I quickly donned every warm-weather cycling item I owned, which took a while. Bundled up like a scuba diver in layers of high tech synthetics, I emerged into the darkening grey afternoon.
About 40 feet out of the driveway, I knew it was a bad idea. The wind was howling, and I had to grip the handlebars as tightly as possible to keep my bike from twisting in the wind. On the I-90 bridge, it was worse. The ice-cold wind seemed to be blowing in all directions. It was in my face, and it attacked me from both sides. I've never felt my bike pitching and bucking underneath me with such violence. By the time I summited the hill on the other side my hands and forearms were sore from gripping the bars so tightly.
On Mercer Ave., the mental challenges continued. The rain and wet leaves on the pavement formed a slick surface, and I couldn't shake the image of a wipeout every time I turned. Drivers on Mercer Island have no patience for cyclists and so they buzzed by me to the left, even in sharp turns where they had no way to see if a car was coming in the other direction. If a car did emerge in the other lane and the car in my lane swerved to the right to avoid a collision, my bike and I would be swept off the road off the edge of the hill inter the trees. Meanwhile, the wind continued to gust in rage, and all the trees on Mercer shrieked as the leaves were ripped from their branches.
Halfway around the island, with little light left in the day, I stopped and turned around. The sun was setting earlier than I had anticipated. If I continued on around the island, I'd be finishing in blackness. That would be idiocy. As it was, when I reached I-90 again it was too dark to pick out the terrain of the road anymore. If I haven't exhausted my reservoir of hyperbole, the wind was worse on the return trip across the bridge. It always is.
I finally pulled into the driveway, having seen not a single other cyclist or jogger out on the road. That was definitely the worst weather I've biked in. In retrospect, not the smartest decision.
Still, it's a start on my comeback. It's not quite Maverick in Top Gun, unable to engage in a dogfight after losing Goose in that freak accident, but something like that.
The Two Towers

I finally finished rereading Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Reading that tome is an epic quest in itself, one that parallels that of Frodo himself. Not always the fastest read, especially with all those declarative sentences.
Nevertheless, there's enough there that I can't wait to see the movie hit the big screen. How will they depict the Ents, the massive battle scene, and finally Shelob? The heart of a film geek sings.