This was a trip in the back of my mind and was almost cancelled because of rain and cold. However, the rain let up and I decided to make a run for it. Had to test myself and equipment for extended rides in the cold for both my February run to New York and the summer run to Deadhorse. No way could I test it all sitting in a house. Photos are scarce because the camera is not glove friendly and I was wearing heavy gloves the entire trip.
As you can see from the photo, it did get wet on the journey but at the start it was not all that cold. In fact, it was just too warm for chaps but I knew it was going to get cold so I put them in an old army green water proof bag where I could get to them quickly when needed. Also, wet leather is a mess and just makes the cold colder. It was not long after I took this photo that I stopped at a cafe on I-10 to put them on.
This will give you a sense of what I was headed into. No matter how you cut it, it is a view of cold weather to come. What you can not see is the holes in the clouds that portend clear skies and cold weather that follows a weather front. In my rush to get on the road, forgot my polar-tech shirt warn between long john shirt and leather jacket. Was stuck with a conventional sweet shirt and paid dearly for it.
This is a part of Harley-Davidson stores most people don’t know about. They have a cafe of sorts and on Saturday the Harley-Davidson shop in Tallahassee stocks it with free donuts. It seems as if I am passing through Tallahassee on Saturdays and as such do make a pit stop here. No one gives me any static when I pull up on my Yamaha. I guess that just consider me a lost cause.
Did have a real reason for the stop which was to exchange a pair of gloves that I have bought on a previous stop. Brought them in and showed the sales lady the gloves with no receipt. She remembered me and gave me a new like set in exchange for the old ones without a receipt. This is not like the Best Buy incident a couple of hours later where they wanted all the parts of my GPS to exchange for a new one even though it was on an extended warranty. Got to admit that it was my 6 or 7 GPS on that warranty. I find they are good for about 3,000 miles. Needless to say had a few donuts and filled my thermos and headed into the panhandle.
Make no mistake, this is not me and where it was a cold ride to Panama City, it was not like this. This photo came to me through face book and in many respects is a great inspiration on so many levels. As much as anything else it is a measure of the human spirit and what can be done. My ride back to Gainesville will be cold and I have learned a lot about myself and riding in cold weather but I know what can be and this will be in my mind when ever I think of the insanity of what I plan on doing. It is like running a marathon, just take it one step at a time and it will get done. In my case, it is just turn the key in the ignition and the Dragon Princess will go where ever she is pointed and in what ever weather she encounters.