Sunday, October 12, 2008

First Really Cold Rides of the Year

So far into this month, my morning commutes had been while riding at temperatures in the low 50s and high 40s at most.

My first really cold ride of the season was last night as I rode home from United Airlines' Flight Training Center where I am a contractor. I'd flown in from SFO where I'd been on business with some family visits thrown in.

Temperatures were in the low 40s, with a light rain falling. In fact, the plane I came back in on had landed in a thick fog, first time I'd gone through that! I wasn't able to see the runway until the plane was merely a few feet from touching down, a bit unusual.

I got geared up in the misty rain, hoping that the wet pavement in the parking lot was showing me what road conditions were all the way home.

Visibility of course was crap with water on my helmet's visor. The droplets that collected on the visor reflected oncoming headlights, further interfering with my vision. I kept wiping the drops away using my gloves but still, it was not great conditions for riding.

And yet, it felt good to be back on my motorcycle after two days of no riding while in California, the land of fruits and nuts.

Today, I went out for a ride once the temperatures were above 40 degrees according to the house thermometers. It was a leisurely jaunt towards Parker Rd from the suburbs I live in, then South onto the town of Parker itself. I compared my onboard thermometer reading of 42 against the bank in Parker's roadside thermometer reading of 37. So my onboard thermometer reads 5 degrees high or the bank thermometer is off by 5 degrees. Hmmm.

Took the above photo using my cameraphone, had to do some manipulation using to make it somewhat usable. I liked the way the light was hitting this tree near the Parker Town Center, the cameraphone really did not do it justice.

It was perhaps an hour of riding, taking the really long way to the grocery store. The store is less than one mile from the house you see, but as long as I was riding, I figured I'd look for other riders. None to be found.

By the time I got my groceries and gassed up Maria, I was starting to feel the cold penetrate my gear and underlying clothing. Time to pack the heated vest onto Maria's cases I guess.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

You're a better man than I am, but we both suspected this. My eyes are not what they used to be and I get little satisfaction from riding in the fog -- in daylight. It is out of the question for me at night.

I do not own electric gear, and will ride in temperatures of 27ยบ -- on perfectly dry roads. I will continue riding in the rain if I get caught in it. But would think twice about starting out in it.

Fondest regards,
Jack Riepe
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...


not a better man, hardly. If only I had your writing talent Sir.

I may have confused things in my posting, yes it was raining and it was dark but the only fog was at the airport while landing.

Rain, dark night AND fog? Yeah, it would have stopped me too.

irondad said...

Maybe the bank and your thermometer were both off by 2.5 degrees?

I'm probably insane, but I'll start a ride in anything but ice. Maybe it's because I'm so insecure that I can't stand the idea of being defeated by anything!