Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wet Adventure Commuting

I left work at 4:00 PM today, the objective being to ride down the I-25 interstate to the Denver Tech Center where the local retailer for Chippewa Boots was located.  The name of the store is Sheplers and they are now yet another brick and mortar place that is dead to me.

It started raining as I rode out of the downtown area, in very congested traffic conditions, which did nothing to help the bad traffic congestion on southbound I-25.  Yep, I was questioning my decision to say the least.

As I neared the turnoff for the I-225 highway, it started raining really heavily.  I am talking the heavens opened up and the output of Niagara Falls was temporarily diverted to an area about one square mile, centered around me.  I will admit, I was wishing I'd had picked Valencia, my URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig for the day's commute instead of the Beemer!

Water started to accumulate on the pavement of course, because CDOT apparently doesn't look into building enough drainage to deal with really heavy rain.  Little did I realize at the time that the guys who built the interstates actually had a grasp of the concept of drainage....the guys who built Tamarac Street, were absent on the day that drainage was taught in road building school.

To add to matters pressing on my mind, I had cut over onto reserve on my fuel tank on Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer a few miles back and was soon to be running out of gas.

This led to me to take the next exit,  the Tamarac street exit, which led to me to ride in the deepening water levels of the street to get to a nearby gas station I knew about.

The rain continued to poured, visibility through my visor was compromised slightly, and I could see a big deep looking stream of water blocking my way into the gas station's parking lot.  Joy.

Once there was no oncoming traffic, I pulled out and dove Brigitta right into the fast running stream of rain water.....water splashed up high on both sides of me but I made it through with no issues.  I got to a gas pump and filled up, I had all of 2/10ths of a gallon of gas left!

The rain started petering out and stopping as I finished fueling so I decided to park by the convenience store at the gas station.  It's good that I did because I then had a chance to wander on foot closer to the street and saw the water situation on the street.

Less than 15 minutes after I took the above video, the street water drains had finally caught up with the onslaught of water dropped by the storm.  I geared up, still soaking wet from the previous rain, and headed south on Tamarac street towards Sheplers; this involved at least 15 more minutes of stop and go traffic to cover perhaps two miles to get to the store.

Personally, I hate shopping.  Sheplers reminded me of why. The stocks of Chippewa Boots were non-existent though someone one the phone that I'd called earlier had claimed plenty on hand.  Plenty of cowboy boots, a bountiful of them actually, a virtual plethora of other brands.  Of the one I wanted, nothing.  Of any available personnel to help or ask questions of, not a soul.

I dragged my dripping self out of the store, got ready to ride and rode home in still heavy rush hour traffic but at least no more rain.  Two and a half hours of my life that I'll not get back.  Sigh.  Now, to order the boots I need online, zappos.com here I come!


RichardM said...

Not a fan of cowboy boots, eh? I hear that service from Zappos is great. Not just compared to online but anywhere.

redlegsrides said...

I don't mind cowboy boots, they do tend to suck for motorcycling I believe....I need steel toed boots for work.

SonjaM said...

That is exact the kind of biblical rain I fear most when I am on two wheels (my scoot would likely have drowned in that big lake that was once a road).
Bummer the whole trip wasn't worth it but you arrived back home safe and sound, so all is good.
Although one wants to support local business sometimes internet-shops are the only option to get what you want these days...

Lucky said...

Sounds like a frustrating experience although, to be Pollyanna-ish, you got a good story out of it.

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, I will admit that when on two wheels, rain does tend to make me nervous....having it come up to the level of the engine....that's when things get interesting.