Rain pours over the roof of the gas station. I’m under the overhang, furious on my iPhone. The Giant leans against cinder blocks. Waits for my decision.
It’s the owner. He’s known me six minutes. He likes my Adventure, but cannot believe I’m biking in this. He has a small piece of paper.
“It’s the password to our wireless,” he says. “Might be faster for you.” He looks away. “I usually throw travelers out of here, but… you’re not drunk.”
He laughs. I thank him.
Judgement. If I wait here I’ll be unable to make my evening destination. If I push on in the wrong conditions, I die or something. That’s a fair proposition.
Lightning blasts the hill again. Weather websites are shit, you know; they are designed for people in offices.
The radar says there are two concentrations of clouds—two separate storms, if you will. One, the smaller one, has just passed over us. We still have rain, but the thunderhead has gone.
The other, far larger, is bearing down. It extends down along my route, but… I cock my head. Eight miles?
I run inside. Confused clerk girl gets the paper with the password, helpful owner gets a firm handshake.
“You’re going?” He’s worried.
“We’re in between two thunderheads! If I can make Uniontown I’m past ’em!”
“There’s nothing in Uniontown!”
“Yeah, and no lightning!”
He gets it but the door is already closed. I’m in the saddle. Risk evaluation is the most important adventurer’s skill, risk avoidance a close second. (Risk acceptance—the only skill usually associated with adventuring—is actually a bad thing.)
I measured my options and learned how to run.