LCBR-thunderstormsAt dawn we woke up to flashes of lightning and quiet thunder.  Then the rain started.

At 6:30 or so we arrived at the Arboretum, the Anderson Rental tent would be needed this morning, not for shade,  but to keep dry.

The local radar showed the storms to the south of us but new ones were popping up just west of us and there was a discussion that with the lack of rain as of late the streets would be slick with oil that would be pushed up from the water.

Planned for since last year, event organizer and chair Steve Lane didn’t want to do it, but there was no choice.  Flashes of lighting just in the distance, the potential for slick roads and while the regular riders probably would be fine, it was the novices we worry about.

So he pulled the plug. There was no choice. In his email this morning he said, “Folks – the unexpected monsoon this AM was a disappointment. A lot of great energy stayed home today (all those kids on bikes). ”

On the upside: Bill Anderson committed today (after we returned the Anderson Rental gear) that Anderson would commit to sponsor the 2014 ride. This is our largest cost for the ride – and with that already set, it provides Lawrence Central and Ride Lawrence with the confidence to put it on the 2014 calendar and to talk it up. So let’s just say it now – Mark your calendars – July 19, 2014 for the community bike ride.

 New for 2014? A rain-day plan. Yup, we need one.  We can plan now to do two things to reduce the chances of this occurring again:

1. Sunday, July 20, backup rain-out day.

2. Rather than setting tight ride times (this year 8AM for the 10-mile, and 8:30AM for the 3 mile….both incidentally moved up 30 min. from 2012 due to the high heat) we will have an 8AM 10-mile and and 8:30 3-mile each with a one-hour start window. Huh? Point – in great weather, both will start on time. On a day like today – folks will know that the 10-mile is between 8AM and 9AM. Same for the 3-mile. For instance, this year, if we could have delayed everything by an hour and we would have been fine (hindsight).

But, this not only helps with a flash storm…. it also makes this more accessible for families. For those who like the thrill of all starting together with a countdown may arrive and start at 8AM (or 8:30 for the 3-mile ride). But, those that just want a fun ride – can work to arrive between 8AM and 9AM (or 8:30 and 9:30 for the 3-mile) and still do the rides – with full crew support at the SAG and at street crossings. I believe both of these adjustments will boost our ability to make this event better in the future.

Let’s do it again in 2014!  We’re planning already.