If there was one thought or memory that mark the 650 mile plus run is that it was cold and cold again. Spent the day dressed like a snow man and arrived at Cambridge around 2130 at night.There were times when there just was not enough clothes. Did not take a lot of photos as I had heavy gloves on and was moving through the likes of Baltimore, Washington, New York and Hartford. Had to spend the last four or so hours riding in the dark on strange roads after some 8 or so hours riding in the cold light of day.
Now you would think that the equation to be comfortable would be to layer up and that is ok but there is a far more critical to comfort on the road in cold weather than just laying. It is oh so import to time your bowl movements. That means focusing on not only what you eat but also what time you eat. Was not able to get the timing correct and paid for it. There are no friendly rest rooms on the inner states unless you find a Lowes or Home Depot.
Well , as it worked out, had to take a movement at the Maryland welcome station and it was gross. As gross as it was was as difficult trying to peal down all those layers and the leather. Then trying to layer up again in a cold stall. Anyway, this is certainly a part of life on the road.
No way can or could I capture the essence of cold on the road with a photo. However, this is as close as it comes. Now, I do know that the high 40s and low 50s do not fit the category of cold but after 5 or so hours on the road at highway speed, the dynamic to of cold take on new meaning. Knees, hands and feet feel the impact and I mean impact of the wind chill factor. I did notice that my ability to work the gears, brakes and balance the bike at stops on the road in places like Hartford and New York City were very diminished. By 2000 and dark, got to say that I could have had serious threats in an emergency situation.
Am going to re-look in layers of clothing towards some of the newer version of military cold weather gear. Especially so for gloves and socks. May even spring for some electric gloves and socks. The average temperatures on the Davidson Highway from Fairbanks to Deadhorse average 50 degrees.
Got a big surprise on the highway in Virginia. They are everywhere. Rolled off the highway and there nestled in the mini shopping plaza was a Starbucks. Where as I am a Dunkin Donuts coffee drinker, it was a welcome sight as truck stop or gas station coffee is something that ought to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. I do mean regulated out of business as a public health hazard. I consider top of the line highway coffee to be Huddle House or Waffle House coffee. Now go figure.
New England toll roads are the single biggest rip off in this nation. My motor cycle as not a single axle. My trailer does not have a single axle and yet they charged me the price of a car pulling a trailer. To travel the length of the New Jersey Pike was $37. Got to New York City and when I choked on the toll price to cross the bridge the women at the gate felt so bad that she let me go through without paying the trailer fee.
Coming out of New York City at rush hour traffic was a real zoo. It was stop and go for miles. The good news about stop and go is that when stopped, I could feel the heat from the engine on my legs and that was nice. After what seemed like an hour, we came on the scene of a two car accident. As you can see that with cement barriers on both sides there are not a lot of places you can go. However, the accident was on the other side of the cement barrier in the meridian and not an emergency of police vehicle to be seen. As soon as I passed the accident, it was clear sailing till I got to the Cambridge Zen Center. Go figure.
This is what it looks like at night on a motor cycle. The road is I-90 headed east into Boston. My eyes are focused on road, rear view mirrors, GPS and odometer. At about this time, the miles go into slow motion on both the GPS and odometer. In fact, last night, I would have thought there was a lock-up in both the GPS and odometer. At one point, thought I entered into a time warp where everything stood still except the clock marking the moments off of the years I had to go. However, finally did find my way into the driveway of the Zen Center. One of the nicest things was the help available without asking to unload the trailer and bike and then to see a couple of friendly faces from years gone by. Don’t know I could have been graceful unloading the trailer as my knees were on strike from the cold and my hands were tired from the ride.