Trail Ramblings: Where Does The Water Run?

The open Lincoln trails I’ve ridden on recently have been clear, except for by the zoo as the paving is replaced. The elderberries are largely past and the wild plums are coming on fast. The sumac is beginning to be tinged with red, but I don’t think it’s quite ready. The red sumac, of course, not the kind with the white berries, as it’s poisonous. The red is used in middle eastern cuisine, is slightly lemony, and abundantly available along our trails.

stillwater, biking 018

Last night I went out riding in the post storm rain. Every time I thought it was ending, it would start up again. Luckily, the high water volume was past, and I didn’t have any high water problems like I did earlier this summer when I wrote about getting caught in it. You can believe I was extra careful about what I was getting into after dark in the rain. Mainly, it was downed branches on the Rock Island. After Gary’s experience ripping out 8 spokes on his fat bike in his encounter with a branch recently, (the branch won) I found myself looking with extra caution at that debris. I do enjoy riding in rain, though. Not a downpour and hail kind of rain, but a reasonable rain, as long as I have on a wind vest so that I don’t get chilled, and cycling gloves so my grips don’t get slippery. It’s important to take corners more slowly and generally ride a little more cautiously, as well.

flooded underpass

One reason I like to ride in the rain is to watch how and where the storm water runs. Often by the time I’m in it, the rain is subsiding and I can see the high water line of leaves and mulch along and across the trail, reminding me I’m lucky I wasn’t there a little earlier. Streams that are normally sedate and even dry are suddenly full of energy. I was surprised there wasn’t more water coming through the Antelope Valley project last night, but much of it is diverted at the weir structure near N Street into the old underground channel for storage and comes out just north of Vine Street, where I sometimes see people fishing. Last night it seemed to be carrying most of the storm water.
So while most might avoid riding their bikes in the rain, some of us find it fun. It shows us things we would normally miss altogether, and the importance of planning for where storm waters go.