I am in the gym this morning. I am leaving the gym, and planning to do some banking and run a few errands in Hamiltion. This usually entails leaving my bike parked at the gym and walking around town (saves me parking 3-4 times). But the rain picked up again, so I decide to head home, and do my banking another day. As I put on my helmet and start the bike, the rain begins to get heavier. There is also some lightningand thunder starting up. After about 90 seconds of driving the downpour is worsening. At this point, the bike stalls.... Just when the rain was getting really bad, the bike just won't go at all. It starts fine, but when I try to rev the engine, it just dies, not moving forward an inch. Now, only about 4 minutes have passed since I came out into the rain, and I am drenched. Of course, I have my rain gear on (both jacket and pants), so I am dry underneath -- but my running shoes and socks are so wet that I might as well have jumped in the ocean with them.
After sitting there at the side of road, and after several attempts to get the bike going, I decide that I need to do something. I can't leave the bike here, that is for sure. I could walk it back to the gym, then take a cab home. But I would have to come back later. And what if the bike still didn't go? It seems like the problem is related to all this water, but it could just be a case of really poor timing. Being slightly insane, I decide to push the bike to HWP, the dealership where I bought the bike. I need to get the oil changed soon anyway, and I may need to get the kickstand fixed or replaced. But HWP is about 1.5 kilometers away, not too far, but there are a couple of hills on the way, and with the bike weighing 200 pounds, that is what I like to call "good excercise". Not to mention the fact that the rain is even harder now, more water pressure that the shower at home, that's for sure. And the lightning is getting closer. I start to push the bike the wrong way down a one way street (its the most direct route). When I get to the top of a small hill, I climb on and glide down the other side of hill, stopping once to allow a car (going the right way) to pass. Then get to Woodlands Road and I push the bike up onto the sidewalk and continue to push, until I get to the base on a big hill. Now I stop to tie my shoelace. There is a huge puddle on the edge of the road beside me, muddy in colour. I as stand up again, a truck is passing by, without slowing. A splash, actually more like a wave, of water results, muddy water from helmet to running shoes. Thanks buddy. Now I start to climb the hill, running, pushing the bike up the hill, which seems more like a river or waterfall. I get to the top, glide down the other side. BANG!! Lighting flashes above my head and I hear hear the deafening boom at the same instant. And I let out a loud curse in shock. That would be the topper of course, to get struck by lightning when your bike won't start in the middle of a thunderstoirm and you decide to push the 200 pound hunk of metal up and down hills in the pouring rain to the dealership, when you were supposed be doing some banking in town.
I am resting now at the corner of Woodlands and St. Johns roads, at the edge of the roundabout. The roundabout is currently the apex of four waterfalls, as water from each of the streets is flowing quicking into the circle and the street ahead. Yes, the direction of HWP is through the flooded street before me. I try to start the bike - nothing doing. I begin to push the bike through the circle and realize the water is getting quite deep, my ankles are submerged. So I decide to lift the bike onto the sidewalk. The sidewalk is also under water, but it buys me a couple of inches. After about 20 feet the sidewalk stops, and I have to cross a street. I push the bike down off the sidewalk and now I am in water half way up my shins. The water is more than a foot deep, and pushing the 200 pound bike is more diffcult, as the wheels are completely under water. I push and push, though I could swim if I didn't have to push this bike. Up onto the side walk again, but still under the water. My shoes and socks are soaked -- if there was any doubt before, it is now gone. I see that the water is swirling around the sewer drains, but the water is coming way too fast, and the water level is rising. A garbage float by me. A full garbage bag. Not a small bag, but a large black garbage bag is floating down the river that was a road 30 minutes earlier. I push the bike along the sidewalk to higher ground, and park the bike in a bus stop.
There is a guy in the bus stop, also waiting out the storm and flood. He is yelling at the cars, trucks and bikes that approach the flooded street, telling them to turn around, or advising the people on bike to use the sidewalk. He is Bemudian, so he knows every second person who approaches. The flooded street before is literally a river, and the cars and trucks that are brave enough to pass, make waves and wakes. Cars approach and turn around and go the other way. I wish I had a camera right now, this is something you don't see every day. This is the river that I just pushed the bike through, against the current, and up a slight incline. "Good excercise" indeed. The HWP dealership is not that much further, but I am waiting in the hope that the bike will dry out a bit, and it will work again. Sitting in the dealership with two soakers is something I want to avoid. After 30 minutes pass the rains slows a bit but the river is still raging. I try the bike and it starts and doesn't die. I say goodbye to my new friend and take the bike out the bus stop and onto the street. I drive away from the flood and up Berkley Road. It continues to to rain but there are no more floods on my way. I get and take off my soaking shoes and socks.
I really should have just done my banking.