What to do the morning after your neighborhood is socked by a derecho? Go on a long bike ride, of course. Because what better way to express solidarity with your 1.5 million neighbors who are struggling without power than to venture forth into the heat and humidity with a bike and a couple of bottles of fast-warming Gatorade (knowing full well that you’ll be able to come home to a cool apartment and fully functioning fridge)?
The heat and humidity weren’t actually that bad. The night’s tempest had dramatically reduced the temperature and cleared the air. In fact, as far as the air was concerned, riding conditions couldn’t have been better.
The situation on the ground, however, was a totally different story. I had expected some storm debris; what I found looked more like Armageddon. The path was blocked by one fallen tree.
And then by what appeared to be an entire fallen forest.
At which point I realized that going for a “ride” may have been the wrong goal. Instead, I felt more like a hero in a mash-up between a natural disaster movie and a comic book movie — here I was, masked and helmeted in a bright spandex suit, wading undaunted through the wreckage of my world with a bike slung over my shoulder like a superpower.