It wasn't raining when I left work today.
I had stayed a little late on a phone call with a colleague. I thought I'd missed it - I'd heard and seen some rain from my window about 4:30, and smiled in anticipation of the ride home.
When I walked out to my bike, the sun was shining a little behind the clouds. It was humid and cool and sweet-smelling. I was taking home my gym things, and had a towel in my bag, so I wiped off my seat and bundled my purse in the towel in the basket so it wouldn't get splashed by puddles and passing cars.
It sprinkled a little bit when I was halfway home. I grinned up at the sky, but I didn't expect any more than that.
It wasn't until I was coasting down the overpass towards 48th street that things started to look at little ominous. It started raining pretty steadily, but I was still pretty dry. I'd almost reached 48th when the wind hit me like a wall, and a curtain of rain poured over me. I teetered a little on my bike, but kept going. Within seconds, I was soaked to the skin and could barely see through my rain-spattered glasses. I turned into a parking lot and decided to stay off the road for the rest of the way home. The parking lot was like a shallow lake, and the wind was so strong I actually got off my bike to walk for a little. One of the top branches of the eucalyptus tree near the sidewalk cracked and fell against some lower branches. I gingerly jogged past, lost a sandal, went back for it, and got back on my bike. No branches crashed on top of my head, so I headed back to the sidewalk and laboriously pedaled south, blinking rain out of my eyes as I went.
It started to let up, and had nearly stopped completely by the time I turned onto Roeser for the last leg home. Total storm, about 10 minutes. I laughed at the sky as I arrived safely home, poured myself off the bike, and sloshed into the shed, scaring the daylights out of the black and white stray who was sheltering out the storm. He threw himself out of the shed in a panic (you'd think he'd get used to my entrances by now). I gathered my bags from the baskets, patted my bike, and locked up the shed. My jeans weighed about 10 pounds, my shirt was heavy and dripping. I splashed into the house, much to the surprise of Charlie, who was waiting, yowling, by the door. He immediately started sniffing my sandals.
Time for a shower, dry clothes, and a toast of Tullamore Dew to the storm.