Friday, February 27, 2009

100 to zero

Firstly I want to say that my attempt at the century came to a grinding holt today. As I mentioned yesterday there was some rain predicted but when they predict rain its normally a bit here and there so I reckoned I'd set off on the road. I woke up to chirping birds and the hallowed sound of thunder. This did me no good but I thought to persevere knowing that I would get a bit wet in anyway. Just before I left there was a little shower of rain but then it stopped after about ten minutes. I thought I could handle that for the day.
As you can see my wet weather gear included a PVC jacket I normally use in the garden when it threatens in winter. You may also notice the cobwebs as it does not rain that much and I work int he garden even less when it does. Mirit was a star by thinking about it, I'm sure without that bit of protection things may have ended very different from what they did. My bag full of yummy treats I set of. The plan was to climb Mt. Meron and then descend along the Lebanese border. I had calculated that this would be a 75km loop and would just have to zig zag on the way back to make up the kilo's.
I set off and basically because I stay at sea level started to climb immediately. This climbing was to be by my side for the next three hours as i made my way up. I have never climbed for this amount of time, although there was one respite where it descends a bit although the kicker on the other side made me wish for just a solid climb.Things were going well although my legs were hurting from this constant climbing but then what goes up must come down.
And down it came. As I made the turn towards the north things started to get a bit more chilly and the rain also increased. I had prepared for this but the hail that followed caught me off guard. the PVC jacket was doing its best but within five minutes I was soaked to the bone and freezing. The wind had picked up and the storm had blown in. Only this storm had tiny pellets that it was beating me with. With no covered bus stop to take refuge I had to continue till I could find cover. By this point all extremities had all but gone numb and braking was done by middle finger only, so some vengeance on the gods. The wind battered me around and I was truly afraid, I was cold and lighting was crashing down around me. As cold as I was I knew that one of those through me would make cremation a quick option. Finally a bus stop with some shelter came along and I colapsed into it. Shivering like crazy, hypothermia started to set on. The roads were iced over and I was drenched. I then realized I had left the cellphone at home, no good in this type of situation and I was really getting worried. By now I was shaking uncontrollably and there was no visibility through the downpour. A car passed by and I tried to get its attention but it just carried on going.

This is not a busy road so was not sure how many more idiots would be riding in these conditions in a car let alone bike. My faith in humanity was restored when about two minutes later the car appeared again, it had made a uturn and had come to see what was wrong. The gave me a lift to Mirit's kindergarten where she works. She was not sure whether to be angry or worried but i must say that with someone like me around I would have kicked my arse out long ago. She made me some tea and phoned her parents who came to pick me up. Thank goodness that her dad managed to get up there. So thank you to both of them, I seem to be using all my credits with the family on my crazy adventures. So unfortunately I did not make the century this month although hypothermia is as good an excuse as any. Lets hope next month I don't leave it till the last minute.
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