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« West Coast Tour 2015 | Main | Here we go again »

After the Storm

Most of you will know that Hurricane Matthew traveled up the east coast effecting Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. I live 25 miles inland from Charleston, SC. so the storm had less impact here.

We did have some flooding locally but not where I live. That was to be expected, the storm dumped 15 inches of rain in a few short hours. All that water can’t drain away quick enough. There were power outages as trees and tree limbs fell and brought down powerlines.

But it was not as bad as the media made it out to be. I wish they wouldn’t do that. If one believed what the TV News and the Weather Channel told us, we would all be engulfed in a huge tidal wave that would wash us from our beds, and send us to a watery grave.

Instead I looked out on my window around noon on Saturday, at the height of the storm, and thought, “I’ve ridden bike races in England in worse weather than this.” It was raining heavily and winds were at 50 mph.

Don’t get me wrong, this storm was a Category 3 Hurricane when it hit Florida, so damage there was much worse, and I am not trying to make light of that. But I know, as do all people who live on the east coast, that once these storms hit land they slow down.

As Matthew traveled up the coast line it was gradually downgraded to a Cat. 2 then Category 1. However, the media kept up its barrage of doom and destruction. As Matthew passed by Charleston, it was almost a Tropical Storm which is not even a Hurricane.

I am a positive, “Glass half full” type of person. I hate negativity. When these natural disasters happen, the media, especially TV whips up everyone into a frenzy of fear and negativity. People are already afraid, they need calming words and reassurance that they will be okay.

Of course it is the almighty dollar at work again. Fear ensures viewers will stay glued to the TV, and the advertising revenue will stream in. But I get annoyed because I can’t get accurate information. I look at the actual weather forecast which says 50 to 60 mph winds, but the TV is telling me I am about to get blown off the face of the earth.

So what was this bike race I mentioned earlier? It was in 1970. I rode a 25 mile Time-Trial on the East Coast of England. I had driven over 200 miles and stayed overnight to compete in this event. I didn’t sleep much the night before as there was a storm raging outside. On the morning of the event, it was raining heavily, with 60 mph winds, gusting to 80 mph.

There was no way I was not going to ride after all the preparation, and expense of getting there. British bike races rarely get rained out. The course was a straight out 12 and a half miles, and back. Out into the headwind it took me 45 minutes to get to the turn. Wind gusts almost brought me to a standstill. I turned at the halfway point, and came back in 20 minutes with the wind behind me, for a finishing time of 1 hr. 5 mins.

My biggest gear was 53 x 13. Had I had 53 x 11 like today I may have gone faster. I finished extremely cold and wet. I have ridden other races and many training rides in similar conditions, but remember this particular event well. It is the reason I still use it to measure storm intensity.


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Reader Comments (8)

I think the biggest problem when I was out training with the Midland C&C, my club in the late 40s early 50s was having to CAPE UP in gale force winds and rain. Good job capes had thumb hooks inside to help keep the bloody thing in control. I as Dave raced many many times in gale force winds and rain with WOOL kit. Those days no plastic based garments. But we always rode on in typical Brit fashion and did the job we set out to do. Looking back on those times I have to laugh at just what we did do. Young lads with not a clue but we all had fun. great times with great mates many of them now long gone.

October 10, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump

No doubt the SE coastal areas got hit much less severely than forecasted, very fortunate. And we all know there is no reward for understating the risks, just the way the media works. One network showed how a cheap plastic commercial sign was blown down, big deal. Relative to the damaging wind power of tornadoes, forecasts of hurricane damage always seem exaggerated. It's the storm surge that seems so unpredictable and damaging.

We're all glad you remained safe... I like probably many other readers here thought about you as we heard the forecasts of doom and gloom predicted for the SC area.

October 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJack

With TV, in the absence of a clickbait facility all that remains to attract viewers is scaremongering. The reporters have to justify their job,having been sent there and never let truth get in the way of a good story.

October 12, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpeter

You are fortunate the storm did not effect you. In North Carolina their are 100K plus people without power, cities, towns and farms flooded and people dead who did not get out of the storms way. I do not think the weather forecaster's understated the effects of this storm and it is unfortunate that they cannot forecast more accurately what areas may be damaged by such storms.

October 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan

:) Dave, great! ;)

October 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMircea

12.5 miles into the wind in 45 minutes? 20 minutes return? That's pretty damned impressive!

October 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Moore

Patrick Moore, Maybe Dave rode UP then DOWN Mt Everest

October 15, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump

Hello Dave... I just discovered our blog and the fact that you are living in Charleston area. you may not remember me, but I bought a Dave Moulton frame dark blue from you in the early 80's. I then became a partner with Ted Kirkbride and Gary Doyle in Masi Bicycles. We sold Masi in 2003 to Haro. I only remember how much I loved my Moulton frame. Now 72... I am still riding my Masi that was one of 21 frames built in '88 for the Russians before going to Seoul Olympics. It's now considered Classic.. like you say... and I hope that I am too.
Maybe some time on a trip to your area (I live in Charlotte now) It would be nice to connect with you. It's very nice that you are still around and very active as well.
Bill Kniegge

October 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBill Kniegge

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