Feb 24, 2010


finally took another ride!!! hard to believe it’s only the second ride i’ve taken this year… i blame that mostly on the weather; although other commitments have played a part.

this ride held the promise of warmer weather – in the fifties. definitely better than my last ride… the problem was that was afternoon temps. and i was leaving at five in the morning. with temps in the twenties.

in preparation, and with memories of the last ride fresh in my mind, i purchased ‘lectric pants and vest. purchasing them the day before the ride, i was a little concerned i wouldn’t have a chance test them out before embarking on a longer ride.

saturday morning i plugged up and headed out. needing gas not too far down the road, i decided to set the controls on medium figuring i would adjust it as necessary when i stopped. turns out it was just about perfect. i could feel the heat in the pants and the vest. i was actually surprised at how well they worked.

the ride was supposed to take three and a half hours – i was figuring closer to four with a gas stop thrown in. i was cruising along nicely, actually starting to warm up a little as the sun was rising, when i passed the city limit sign for winston-salem. within a mile of passing the sign, the temps must have dropped by five degrees.

not that might not sound like much, but remember it’s in the twenties. on a motorcycle. going seventy. it got cold!!! shivering cold!!

deciding how long i could make it like this and how soon i should stop, i was comparing the gps arrival time, eight-thirty, to the clock on my bike, about a quarter to eight.

my first thought was the trip was turning out to be shorter than i thought. planning the trip, i was sure i would need to stop for gas. now, by my estimates, i would be able to make it without stopping.

about fifteen minutes later, after merging to another part of interstate forty, the gps recalculates, now showing me about sixty seven miles to my next turn. holy crap!! what happened to thirty more minutes?? then it dawns on me… my clock is set to summer time - it’s only seven!!!

now i’m trying to figure out when to stop for gas. i like to go as far as i can before fuelling. i’m weighing that against stopping sooner to warm up. i decide the need to stop shivering definitely outweighs squeezing more miles out of the tank.

after the stop, i felt much warmer. which was a great relief as i headed further west and started seeing more and more on the sides of the roads.

despite the cold and the time miscalculation, i was rewarded as i rounded a corner, the road ahead of me opened up and in the distance i saw the snow covered mountains. i was struck by the  beauty of the mountains with all the snow. i was wrapped up in the majesty of the view ahead of me and was instantly taken away from the cold harsh winds of the highway. realizing it was the first time riding in the snow-covered landscape, i was hoping it wouldn’t be the last.

i made it to my destination and took care of business. by the time i was ready to head home, the temps were in the fifties. the ride home would be awesome – finally a ride in some decent weather. as i was leaving, people were commenting on how nice of a ride home it would be, forgetting the cold i endured on the way there.

and it was a good ride home. a comfortable ride under the clear, sunny skies. made even sweeter by the memories of the morning ride.

in hindsight, the morning ride may have been the better one.

check out the 2010 ride map – this one in red