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Sometimes You Get Wet
There was never a question about the weather, it was going to rain and rain hard. As we headed for bed, the weather service was warning for tornadoes in the region overnight and calling for unusually hard and voluminous rain in the morning. Throughout the night, sleeping on the floor of a Southern-style porch, each one of us were repeatedly awaken by the sudden, violent commotion of blinding white lighting, booming thunder and a clamorous, deafening deluge of rain. It is and always was as good as ordained, we were going to get wet.
But the morning was surprisingly free of rain. The road was soaked with puddles and trees were steadily dripping, but for the first two hours the sky mercifully held.
It's not that we aren't prepared for rain. Those of us from the Northwest are practiced in it and Rapha was started in London. So, we don't have any unusual aversions to riding in the wet, but whether it was said out loud or not, we all sensed that Oklahoma’s south-eastern hills were thoroughly capable of bringing a severe kind of rain none of us had any experience with.
On Talimena Drive we rode underwater for the first time ever. For 30 miles, rolling along, it rained from above, below, and from the sides. Spray was everywhere and the rain defied gravity and meteorology. The seven of us, a collection of refracted black, blue and orange jackets, dripped, slurried, forged and slogged ahead. We got wet and we cut the ride short and went home early. But the fact that we made it as far we did, that we got out of there with nothing more than third degree pruning is a testament to the Stowaway.
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