Sewer surfing (now with video!)

Today we were stranded with some friends in a little pagoda on top of a hill in a park during a sudden mid-afternoon rain and hail storm. We were there for a picnic lunch. But after waiting for too long and not staying all that dry anyway because of the wind despite the one picnic blanket we had wrapped around all of us, we decided to just walk through the rain to the opposite corner of the park where we’d chained the bikes. We got soaked, but it wasn’t too terribly cold, and home was just a 5 minute bike ride away. It got interesting when we arrived at the bikes.

We stood under the entrance gate and watched brown waves from buses and cars creep into the park like a swiftly rising tide. It was getting deeper where we were standing. Seeing as how there was no point in waiting, we sloshed a few steps to the bikes and got on. The problem was, the water was so high and so thick that we couldn’t tell the sidewalk from the road, or see any lines, potholes, or manholes. It smelled a bit like sewage. We tried to find a sidewalk to ride on, where we figured the water wouldn’t be as deep, but we couldn’t tell where the curbs were. Figuring this was not the best day to fall off our bikes, we just pedaled on the road, hoping not to land in a manhole-cover-less manhole. Our feet were submerged in what looked like thick tea with floaties in it, except for at the top of the pedal rotation. Oddly, there was still a good deal of traffic, and buses pushed waves higher up our legs. It was actually really funny. There were plenty of other people on bikes in the same predicament we were – parents and kids and stuff – and everyone was smiling and laughing and totally soaked.

Our friend Achim, who took a bus instead of a bike, took this video on the way home. The woman you see is how we were, only we stayed on our bikes!

I wish I’d taken pictures, but all this time it was still raining and the camera was stuffed in the middle of whatever is inside Jessica’s purse, which was inside my shirt – the best we could do at the time, since everything else was soaked. Besides, if you stopped pedaling you’d have to put your foot down.

By the time got home, changed, and left again for a friend’s good-bye party, the rain was done and the water was draining.