With temps like these sitting over the South it shouldn't come as any surprise that we received some snow here. Snow isn't unheard of. It just isn't common. The schedule here is about every seven years. And this is not one of these years. Nevertheless...snow it was.
The accumulation was enormous. We had drifts all about town at curbs (what few there are), building foundations and windshield wipers. Drifts up buildings piled to the second floor windows. First floor doors and windows were fairly useless. Vehicles were bogged down and it was almost too much for these poor pieces of machinery. The weight was unbearable and almost broke power lines. Nay, power poles! And lets not get started on the black ice...
So the bikes have been tucked away in the garage. Their little footsies are cold. They aren't directly on the cement floor, but the scant 1/2 inch separating the tires from floor doesn't prevent the cold from radiating up towards everything warmer.
But the clouds cleared away on Sunday. The sun warmed the ground enough to dry up the rain and hidden ice. The temperatures were a chilling 40F, but one could survive outside. So we dusted off the bikes, gently blew a little air into those frigid dancing shoes and went through the labors of suiting up into our death and flexibility defying cold weather riding gear.
We stupidly hoped the promised mid- to high-40's temps would come earlier, instead of later. So we foolishly just zipped the liners into the jackets and went on our merry way. Not so merry... If we had just been riding on regular side-streets at standard speeds it probably would have been fine. But our destination was way on the other side of Atlanta and we were taking the interstate to get there. So the liners proved insufficient at highway+ speeds. It wasn't so bad that we had to pull over instantly...but we knew arrival at our destination meant we would be unzipping those useless liners and suiting into the heated Gerbings. Why oh why do we shun you dear Gerbings?? Actually I know, but that is a story for another time.
So stopping and changing our clothing at our destination gave us a pause. See...we were following the lead on our local tag game. The current tag had been sitting in situ for awhile and people on the boards were starting to whine. Warm weather wussies wanted it to move, but didn't want to be the one to move it. Insults were flung back and forth! It was getting nasty and degenerating into some rank name calling. Then someone put forth that the group was just a bunch of girls.
So...OK... If they were nothing but girls, it was gonna be a girl that kicked their ass's. But as I said, changing clothes at this particular destination was disconcerting. This location just happens to be Travis Tritt's driveway...
I could just imagine what was going through Mr (or Mrs) Tritt's mind as they 1) wondered what these motorcycles were doing in their driveway and 2) why are they dressing in their driveway?? Mr. Oilburner and I kept waiting to hear the whine of an electric motor rotating some remote camera around to keep us in its sight.
Because this also turned into a day that the Tritt's residence was a stopping point for many motorcycles. (It seems the warming trend in the weather had a couple more people out on their steeds visiting the same locale.) But I won!! HA!
I wasn't planning on being too original on where I was going to move the tag to. I was just making sure it moved to stop the whining and shove it up their noses that it took a girl to move it. Mr. Oilburner and I were going to visit some nearby relatives and we would just place the tag in a nearby landmark. A well known landmark that would be one more nail in that coffin of vindication.
But on that way to that landmark I spied something infinitely more suited to my tastes. I finally managed to get an image of my bike in front of the Space Shuttle.
The McNASA McShuttle!!
Admittedly it isn't quite the Shuttle that I would have liked to image my bike in front of, but it is better then nothing. Seems this one wasn't launching anytime soon. Just like that other one sitting down at the Cape. (In case you haven't heard, the same launch that RichardM and I had hoped to witness is currently schedule to fly no earlier then Feb 3, 2011... Poop!)
In all, it was a lovely day. We never did see those high-40's temps. My temperature gauge bounced back and forth between 38 and 44. The Gerbings was making it bearable. Earlier I alluded to a problem with my Gerbing's, which I am still not going to go into just yet. The current result is that I am not able to use my jacket at 100% effectiveness. But the cold was kept at bay.
We found a wonderful shanty of a restaurant with great food. The staff was friendly and used to seeing their regulars. We were identified as strangers and treated as such. Meaning that they talked our ears off about who we were and what we were doing and when would we be coming back. The food was really, really good.
|Philly Cheese steak with onions and peppers. YUM!|
|Pulled pork BBQ. The sauce was wonderful.|
|The place is actually Benson's Grill. They haven't yet changed the name on the outside.|
There was also the guy in the truck at some intersection that was intent on getting my attention. Mr. Oilburner saw him and returned his thumbs up. But he wasn't satisfied with that and needed to get my affirmation too. I did have to smile at his enthusiasm and wonder if he was happy to see the bikes, or to see a girl on a bike.
Then we had our familiar obligations... We said our hellos. I worked on posting my pictures of that tag while Mr. Oilburner sucked down large quantities of Hershey Kisses. We chatted and discussed Christmas plans for awhile. Then excused ourselves as we wanted to get home before the sun went down and the cold came back with a vengeance. The older generation of the household wanted to see us ride away, as they hadn't seen us on bikes. (And one secretly still believes that I can't possibly ride...) The cold kept them peeping out from the window. But it makes one painfully aware of just how long it takes to stow sundry laptops and cameras. And redress in the required safety gear of gloves, helmets and jackets. And to get said jackets properly plugged in. And to get the steed mounted and ready to move. And there wasn't any possible way I was going to make a u-turn in this walking path they call a street because you could be guaranteed that I was going to do something foolish or stupid since loved ones were watching.
Boy, it is so much easier just opening a door and climbing into a car. A twist of a knob and heat is blasting out some vents to warm you right up. But there is NOTHING that compares to squeezing that tank between your legs, twisting the throttle and leaning into the speed to make up for any amount of time required getting all that gear right. (Which I didn't actually do and my neck froze on the way home because I refused to stop. I just wanted to get home!! It was cold!!) :)
I have to acknowledge special fortitude in blog friends that are tougher then I and are out riding in colder temps with much less whingeing. CircleBlue on his Symba. SonjaM enjoying Nella for the last ride of the year. Steve and his scooter, camera always in hand. Tombstone's icy mountain ride. Trobairitz and her speculations on riding weather. Twisted Roads legend making another excursion before the snow sets in. Nikos overcoming machine and distance to enjoy some water with winter. D&T enjoying (cough) feets of snow and prospects of foot traffic. And then there is Roger in the southern hemisphere just laughing away at our chilly temps and snowy tribulations as he enjoys the beginning of summer. But don't worry Roger. We will be basking in our warm, sweet revenge come April and May. Click on those links on the right side of this page and support some friends in their adventures.
May you all steadfastly remain with two wheels on the ground and the shiny side up. May you each enjoy the season in the best way you see fit and ride to many more adventures. Wishing you all the best for the remaining year and robust wishes that all come true in the one to come! :)