Thankfully, nobody got whisked away to Oz.
We never know what we’ll capture when we take our cameras out and strap them to the side of our bikes or the top of our helmets. Good things, bad things, weird things, cool things—we’re always in for a surprise. From near misses to random acts of kindness to tiger attacks (yes, tiger attacks), the world outside can be a wonderful, confusing, and terrifying place. Sometimes all at once.
Sometimes we even get to capture something unexpectedly spectacular—like hitting the track in a rainstorm while a tornado is forming in the distance, for example.
That’s what happened to YouTube user Hayley Cox. The speed enthusiast shared a video of a track session record on May 25, 2020. She explains in the video’s description that she was attending a novice track session in Topeka, Kansas. As we can see from the images she captured, it was a pretty crummy day to ride, let alone to hit the track. The clouds are dark and low and the rain looks relentless.
As she’s about to enter the first bend in the video, you can see a “pointy” cloud formation on her right. That’s a funnel cloud for you—or a forming tornado that hasn’t reached the ground. Trippy much?
Cox explained on Reddit, where she shared the video, that the funnel cloud sighting prompted the track officials to whip out the red flag and bring all the riders back in the pits pronto. She added that the event was thankfully short-lived and they were able to get back on the track relatively quickly. Since there have been no forma reports of a tornado in Topeka on that date, we can suppose the tornado never fully formed in the end.
Some users questioned the officials’ decision to let riders on the track in that miserable weather in the first place but Cox had a diplomatic answer, saying that riding on the track in the rain is a great learning experience. Ultimately, all is well that ends well, and Cox now has a pretty badass story to tell.