Here's the view as I wait out the rain on my recumbent trike. I'm under a Harmony-Preston Valley Trail shelter's roof overhang. You can see, across the bottom from left, my big blob of a left knee, the front chain ring and my right foot.  LISA BRAINARD/BLUFF COUNTRY READER
Here's the view as I wait out the rain on my recumbent trike. I'm under a Harmony-Preston Valley Trail shelter's roof overhang. You can see, across the bottom from left, my big blob of a left knee, the front chain ring and my right foot. LISA BRAINARD/BLUFF COUNTRY READER
I bet you've noticed.

The weather simply is not performing its job as expected. Where are the employee resource personnel when they are really needed to get the weather to shape up?

OK, there was a brief improvement in job performance a couple weeks ago. That was nice. I finally was able to get out on my recumbent trike to go bicycling a few times. Sweet!

My first trek was to head northeast on the Harmony-Preston Valley Trail. I didn't go very far at all, just to the three-mile marker. That's roughly four miles, plus another mile to and from home to the Preston trailhead.

Another day I headed south on the trail amid scattered showers. I checked weather radar on the computer and it looked to me to be clear for an hour or so. Plus, I knew the trail had a shelter.

But soon clouds were moving in. It was getting darker and a few sprinkles of rain were coming down. I turned around to head back and seriously look for the three-sided, roofed, wooden trail shelter. It wasn't very long before I reached it.

I pulled onto the dirt in front of it, parallel to it and under the overhang of the roof. Not wanting to undo the straps that hold my stroke-affected left foot to the left pedal, I just stayed on the trike. The shelter's overhang protected me.

If anyone had seen me, he or she surely would have wondered. I was smiling, thinking how I was caught in the cold rain. No, it was not a warm shower you welcome on extremely hot summer days. This was a hypothermia-inducing rain. I smiled at the irony - and my good sense to have dressed for rain and the cold in layers. Let me again stress the old outdoors adage: "There's no bad weather, only bad clothing choices." I had chosen well.

The rain quit and I wanted to get back on the trail. You'll laugh to hear I had to get off the trike, despite all my efforts not to. The current tires are for riding on smooth surfaces. They just turn and slip in mud and wet grass, especially when weighted down with a rider. In fact, my efforts to spin only appeared to be getting the tires mired deeper in mud.

I unstrapped my left foot from the pedal and then carefully stood up, grabbing the trike both for support and to attempt to walk it the foot or so up onto the trail. I sure had hoped it wasn't stuck because that might have been beyond my capabilities and I would have required help to pull it out. Remember, my left hand and arm don't work well and I don't have the best of balance.

On the positive side, I'd left word with friends that I was out riding, information on my route, and my expected time of return home. If they didn't hear from me within an hour of that time, I hoped they'd come looking.

On the super positive side, I worked as much as I felt I could and was able to get the trike on the trail. No search crew was needed. (But it's sure nice to know they're there.)

It didn't take long to realize, once back on the trail, another shower was moving in. As I got into Preston, I left the trail, went right onto the road and bee-lined it to the city of Preston's big shed near the fairgrounds. I sat close to the south wall. There was no overhang there, but the tall building protected me from the rain from the north.

When it let up, I moseyed under the slight west overhang of the building before determining it looked clear enough to pedal the mile or so home. And I did.

I'm smiling now as I think about that day. Why? Even with my new handicaps, I fared successfully against miserable, threatening rain, cold and mud. That's a good feeling and confidence builder. Who knows what tomorrow holds and how far I'll go?

Although, truth be told, I'd be super happy with nice, warm weather and not being forced to push my limits.