Good thing I had my bike
Last evening while at the local mall, not far from my apartment, it started to rain. I had left my bike in the basement garage so it would stay dry and I would wait. In Toronto, it often rains very hard. A couple of summers ago, you’ll remember that we had a horrendous storm that flooded much of the city. However, in a city like Bangkok, where there is a distinct rainy season, these marathon rains can occur pretty regularly. And like what happened in Toronto, the storm water management infrastructure is often not up to the task.
The rain last night was just such an infrastructure busting deluge. It lasted about 35 minutes in its most stormy mode and then it calmed down down to a very gentle rain. But in that 35 minutes, it overtaxed a lot of the city’s storm water systems.
One of those overtaxed areas was around where my apartment is located. When the rains mostly subsided, I decided to get my bike and try to ride home before the heavy rains started again, as one never knows about the timing of the stops and starts. I figured my place was only a five minute bike ride away, so it was worth a try.
It turned out that having the bike was a huge advantage, because while it did not rain heavily on my way back, the streets in the surrounding area of the apartment were all heavily flooded. I’m talking way above the ankle flooded. If I was walking, my feet and legs would have been drenched but being on the bike saved me from getting too wet, as long as I didn’t stop pedalling. (I didn’t)
When I first started coming to Bangkok many years ago, the flooding situation was horrendous. You could have rivers of knee high water flowing down streets. These days, the situation has improved a lot and these smaller side street floods are a bit more rare. But sometimes, like last evening, when the sky totally opens up, nothing seems to be able to stop the deluge.
Pedalling through storm waters was a bit of a challenge, because the pot holes were invisible, but last night my bike kept me relatively dry and by riding more slowly I was able to navigate the over flowing streets of Bangkok.