Sunrise 4: Ault Park (Caught in the storm)
I got out of bed this morning, bruised and aching. This was one of the toughest mornings yet, physically. Yesterday morning I went on a ride with a friend, Andy, through the rolling hills in the Kentucky countryside. It was absolutely beautiful, quiet, and scenic. Along the way I noticed that my left pedal was starting to act up again. Last fall I had put a lubricant on the bearings, thinking it would be helpful, but somehow the lubricant managed to break the seal on the pedal. I had forgot all about this until yesterday morning, because the problem doesn’t typically show up unless I start moving at a fast pace (all my sunrise rides have been typically in first gear only because of the steep incline). About 45 minutes into the ride I noticed that the pedal had seized up and was starting to unscrew itself from the bike. I stopped twice to screw it back in and free the bearing. I kept eye on the pedal as we cranked up and down through the farmland, trying to plant a firm mental reminder to get it fixed.
About an hour and a half into the ride we’re cruising along on a flat stretch of road. Then it happens (at this point I’m really not surprised). I suddenly hear a loud crack as the threads on the pedal that hold it in place strip and send the hunk of metal skittering across the road. My balance is thrown off to the left, I overcompensate and lock the handlebars to the right. I remember a clear and lucid moment right before impact, looking down at the aphault, thinking to myself “well, this was inevitable I suppose”. Let’s just say that if I was trying to throw myself at the ground and miss, well… I didn’t miss. I haven’t had such an intimate encounter with the pavement since I was 10 years old and learning to rollerblade. At any rate, because we weren’t going too fast and my bike turned into a sled, I didn’t end up getting too hurt. My elbow took most of the impact on the 40-foot skid, and my tailbone hurts a bit. Nothing broken, just bruises and cuts. Another lesson learned: Don’t ignore your hardware when it is diligently trying to tell you that it needs fixed.
This lead to an interesting dilemma this morning. My bike is now pedal-less (bike shop was closed on Sunday), so I borrowed the wife’s bike for the trip up to Ault Park. She did just fine, although because it isn’t a road bike, going up the hill was slow. I’d say it was painful, but that might just be because of the bruises! In the end, I am definitely glad I was able to muster up the motivation to see the sunrise. Although I never actually saw sun due to the cloud cover, the view was beautiful. This was the warmest morning yet, it was downright pleasant out.
I also ended up meeting some of the local forest inhabitants just before the sun came up.
“Offical Sunrise Picture for Sunrise #4”.
(More pictures after the jump)
The overlook, from a familiar spot.
(Keep the above picture in mind, looking south west towards Lunken Airfield, you’re about to see the clouds change!) The sunrise this morning was orange with highlights through the upper atmosphere. After the sun would have been up, the wind picked up and became substantially gusty. I looked behind me and saw some dark storm clouds.
The storm clouds created an interesting atmosphere as they rolled in… one that I haven’t seen yet. The sun provided a nice orange backdrop while the clouds covered my immediate area. For about 5 minutes this provided bright reflections on the flooding down in the valley while at the same making everything really dark. Those subsided quickly as the storm rolled in.
I bet this pilot isn’t too happy about the wind.
This is probably one of my favorite pictures from this morning. Those clouds are intimidating, and about 10 minutes after this picture was taken the sky opened up and let me know it wasn’t bluffing. I got stuck in the rain, probably because I was too distracted by the quickly changing atmosphere. I ended up taking refuge in the stone restroom building near the outlook. While waiting for the storm to pass, I drank my last cup of coffee and listened to the thunder. Eventually the storm broke into a light shower, and I left the park to bike through the warm rain. I took a break in the storm as an opportunity to check out the redbud tree and young ferns next to the stone building.
This fern was blowing in the wind, I’m surprised I got any kind of focus on it.
Stats from this morning:
Sunrise: 7:08am EST
Temperature: 75F / 22C, not much wind at all
Sky: Overcast that broke, and then finally gave way to the storm. Check out the barometric pressure from 7am-8am.
Sunrise: Beautiful washed out oranges that turned into a dark fog.
Bird Chatter: They came back with full force after the storm.
People: I met a woman and her dog Mike, although they left after seeing the storm clouds. Probably a good idea. I also saw a single other runner at sunrise.