After The Flood

“Were you affected by the flooding?”

That’s the number-one question I was asked at Interbike this week. People would look at my badge, see that I was from Colorado, and then want to know how bad things really were. To be completely honest, my problems were very minor compared to the massive devastation reported by the media. A leaky roof and failed sump pump basically amounted to an expensive inconvenience. In short, nothing compared to losing one’s home, all worldly possessions, and in some cases, loved ones.

Today, like nearly every other Saturday morning, I grabbed one of my bicycles and hit the road. Unlike all those meandering, destination-free adventures, this one was different. Today’s ride was a recon mission to see if my normal route to work had been impacted by last week’s flooding. Aside from a bit more broken pavement, the first couple of (paved) miles were largely uneventful. That all changed, however, when it came time to leave the asphalt.

GRAVELBIKE.com Front Range Colorado Boulder flood

The first of what would be several trail-head closures.

GRAVELBIKE.com Front Range Colorado Boulder flood

Looking up, and to the left of the gate in the previous photo.

GRAVELBIKE.com Front Range Colorado Boulder flood

Approximately two miles farther, and another trail closure.

GRAVELBIKE.com Front Range Colorado Boulder flood

Makeshift warning alerting cyclists and motorists to the shoulder’s damage.

GRAVELBIKE.com Front Range Colorado Boulder flood

That wash-out is approximately four feet deep.

GRAVELBIKE.com Front Range Colorado Boulder flood

I don’t recall ever seeing this popular trailhead closed.

GRAVELBIKE.com Front Range Colorado Boulder flood

I can only imagine how deep this was a few days ago.

It was at this point that I decided to throw in the towel and head back home. As I pedaled through the various neighborhoods, I heard the sound of shovels scraping against mud and asphalt. Discarded carpeting and furniture littered the sidewalks. Extension cords and hoses snaked their way across the remains of people’s lawns and driveways. I counted my blessings, grateful for my good fortune. All the while, a familiar song played in my head.

Watch your life slip through your hands
They’re not for shaking
They’re not for praying
They’re just for holding close
Everything you love in this fragile little dream
“You Were The Cancer” – Thursday

One thought on “After The Flood

  1. I live in a community that was struck hard by a tornado in 2003. I, too, was not directly effected, though many lost homes and three lives were lost. I know it looks really bad now, but, in time, things will get back to “normal”; at least for most.

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