The following is an excerpt from my book The Divide. Find the ebook here.
"You're going to be riding your bike today?" The hotel clerk couldn't help but ask, her mouth slightly open and head cocked to the side. She was nine minutes late opening the front desk. Maybe she was one of the karaoke singers in the bar last night, the bar directly underneath my room. Lullabies hadn't yet made a comeback in the karaoke world and I regretted that fact as I laid in bed the night before, staring at the ceiling, thinking about how much I needed to sleep.
The next morning, my bike was packed and propped against the wall next to the hotel door. I had already donned my rain gear, backpack, and helmet. I had paced, back and forth. Outside, the sky was a uniform gray. The pacing had continued while I waited for her to show up, glancing at the clock every few seconds. Nine minutes would normally not be an issue for me. Today was different though.
"That's the plan. I'm starting early so I can try to outrun the rain this afternoon," I said.
"This afternoon? I think it's going to start raining any second. That's how the clouds looked on my way in," she said, her head cocking further and further.
"Well, it's the afternoon rain I'm most worried about."
"You mean the advisory?"
Yes, the advisory. When you spend a great deal of time outside, you have an inflated interest in the weather. Watching the news the night before, hoping to catch a forecast, I learned that Environment Canada had issued a Heavy Rainfall Advisory to southern Alberta and all of British Columbia for the afternoon of my third day.
"Yes, I mean the advisory," I said while I signed my name and turned over my room key.
"You plan to ride your bike through that? That's supposed to be a really big storm. You won't stop before then?"
"I don't know. I'm just going to see how things go, but I'd like to get ahead of it. I can't imagine being caught in it would be very fun."
"Well, good luck. I hope you make it through ok."
"Thanks, so do I."
I wheeled my bike through the door, eyelids heavy and my ears still ringing with Bon Jovi, but I felt both poised and determined. The afternoon was a long way off and I aimed to cover as much ground as I could until the rain started to fall.