WE COULD RIDE!!!
The snow is gone. The roads are relatively clear. Some cities were a little sand happy, but that probably wouldn't be the case with the direction we were traveling. It was going to be smaller cities and farming communities where you still see 1970's Chevy pickups in driveways of mobile or cinder block homes. Not exactly the Lexus and Mercedes communities with three quarter million dollar homes. No. The cities in our direction of travel don't warrant sand.
The day started like any other. The temperature showed a balmy 29F (-1.7C). But we should be hitting the tropical high of 46F (7.8C)! Oh what a glorious day!
The breakfast time of 9 AM and kickstands up time of 10 was ignored by all in the messages. Everyone saw 10 and basically came at 10. So we ate breakfast while the ride organizer/leader arrived promptly at 10:02. :)
One of the group realized he needed to put 10 lbs of air in each tire. But he detests paying for air. (I don't know about your area of the world, but air at gas stations is no longer free over here.) He was going to bite the bullet until Mr. Oilburner pulled out his little air pump and all became right with the world. Cold, but right.
In all, this started our day off about 45 minutes late. Say it with me...as usual. LOL. :)
No matter. I don't think anyone cared. Some of us were suffering from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) and just needed to ride and others were testing their cold weather survival gear as they hadn't ridden in the winter before. (They were woefully lacking...)
Saddled up and ready to take off I had to verify the morning temp. Yep. It was still cold.
|That sucker displays 32.9F (0.5C)|
Now we are off for our adventure. Which actually starts quite suddenly with some unexpected turns and immediately getting lost. I am chuckling because the organizer was fairly stern in his warning that he was sticking to the route and everybody better have it programed in or printed out and learned. Yet his little iPhone mapping/route wundermap (pronounce vundermap) was not following his admonishments. Meanwhile, he is getting frustrated and trying to reroute while riding. He's chucking it in and slows down to ask me if I would like to lead. See, I had given him this route. It was nearly identical to the route we three had taken last year to Warm Springs. Only this time we would be riding it backwards. The route, not the bikes! Like a dutiful little anal retentive mapping person that I am, I had not plotted this route into the GPS. He was going to have to do this on his own. And he actually had us turned around and headed in the proper direction in short order. But it is fun to tease him about it.
We're making good time down the road and our first break is about 60 miles out. Someone in our group of 8 needed to use the restroom.
What is the old quote about women and always needing to pee? She never passed a lilac bush without having to stop and pee? I don't know, something I read in a Stephen King book one time or another. Unfortunately, in some cases it is true. Fortunately, not with me. I have a bladder like a steel trap! So I found it particularly funny that I am the only girl in this group of 8, and all 7 guys had to go to the bathroom. Score one for the women of the world. All the years we put up with humiliating exams. Men over 50 it's your turn.
Those of us watching the bikes and personal property began to wonder where the others disappeared to after 5 minutes of minutes of waiting from them to return from the bathroom. I was told on questionable authority later that not all were using the facilities. Some were purchasing hot coffee to warm their frozen fingers after their gloves proved deficient. It might have been more productive if they had just dipped their frozen digits into the scalding coffee. After all, holding the cups merely warms the palms; areas that aren't as cold as the outside of the hands! Other gentlemen were making new best friends of the hot air dryer in the bathrooms. Either way...they were still cold.
One pet peeve that I have been encountering more frequently lately is people leaving their bike at the pump and walking away! Walk away to either go to the bathroom, get something to drink, chat, you name it. And it is never for just a minute. Stopping for gas in a group generally means 10 to 20 minutes of hanging out. It just seems so inconsiderate to other people that need the pumps and to the gas station owner to deny access to other customers. Does anyone else experience this? So our little group was blocking access to 4 (out of 6) pumps while they were taking care of business...at Wendy's next door since the gas station facilities were out of order.
OK. Female superiority intact, we head out again. Only another hour till our arrival at Warm Springs. First order of business? Food! Believe it or not, it had been four hours since breakfast!
|Our motley crew|
We headed directly for the BBQ shack. They have limited seating in their establishment and we would not have left room for upcoming customers. Or so we told ourselves. They couldn't possibly have been profiling us as some die hard biker gang come to destroy their place. Could they?? So we were shepherded into the adjoining steak house that wasn't opening until 5. They allowed us to spread out on the HEATED, enclosed patio.
Alan snuggled up to the heater, making a second new best friend of the day.
|Grilled chicken with good flavor. The BBQ improved it. Slow baked bean side...yum. Hey|
it wasn't like we were in an enclosed car if I had any problems...
|Mr. Oilburner's rib plate. The Brunswick Stew was really good!|
|Lil Sturgis my foot!|
|Yamaha Midnight Spirit 1100|
|Honda CL70. This looked so cute!|
|Triumph Bonneville. Beautiful!|
|Couldn't find the model on thsi one. ;-)|
|That little temp gauge is reading 39.2F (4C) when we stop for frozen custard.|
Our fourth party is sitting in traffic, still another 30 minutes away. The breeze is a little stiff and we don't want to wait. We check our options and think of the Thai place a couple miles down the road. Dinner thoughts are lingering and we all agree that is better suited to our needs; a nice warm place with hot food! This place is our favorite Thai restaurant, all organic and the owners are the nicest people.
|Crispy Duck for Mr. Oilburner. I manage to steal a few pieces.|
|Penang Curry for me. Before|
Dinner is great. Company is festive. Those of us on bikes manage to regain a little of our warmth. We are reluctant to gear back up, but the sooner done the sooner we are home. Luckily we are only 6 miles away. Poor Alex has about 30 miles to traverse. But he has a better hot tub waiting at home that I do.
Last temperature shot revealed a whopping 31.1F (-0.5C) at home.
237 miles, wonderful but cold
I managed to see 44F (6.7C) on the gauge...once...as we headed for home. It was short lived.
The new Gerbing's jacket worked like a charm
Men can get lost in the bathroom just like women
Can still get a good ride in cold weather with some friends
More images at Warm Springs on Flickr
Roger, get one of these so you don't have to take it down the block in ATGATT to air up. Slime Top Off. Has some high reviews on ADV and sells for about $13 USD.
Hope everyone else has some great stories to share! Our weather is taking a bit of a downturn this week. Hopefully the weekend will look up. :)