Day 6: Yesterday – Anatomy of my Worst Ride

I know it’s one thing to say I had a bad ride but I thought it would be better to describe it so you can get a feel for what it was like. I’ve pretty much recovered but I have to say that yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve ever ridden through. There have been windier days (Pacific Coast Highway in California 2014 –but it was for about an hour) and wetter days (Myrtle Beach 2015.  The streets were flooded and the heel on my boot came off – but the weather was bad for only about two hours) but I’ve never ridden on a colder day, all day. And I was dressed to the max: two pairs of socks, tee shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweater, leather jacket, and a rain jacket on top of that. The heated gloves run on batteries and last about 30 minutes, so when they ran out I took the batteries out and charged them in the saddlebag while I rode. Rinse, repeat, all day.

I was hoping to meet my friend Kevin in Calgary on the 17th (Yesterday, was the 13th) and Calgary was 1255 miles away. So I had to try and do over 300 miles a day the next few days. I could easily do that if the weather was good. I once went 660 miles in one day. Yesterday, I got up early and managed 40 miles, but it was windy and raining and the spray from the trucks was making it hard to see at times.  I started to freeze and stopped for breakfast and coffee at Starbucks.  It was 34 degrees (1 degree Celsius) then. Finally, the rain stopped and I headed out. I managed another 50 miles before I was freezing again and stopped at a gas station for another break. After 20 minutes I was on the bike again but only managed another 50 miles. My back was hurting. I took another break this time at McDonalds. Some of the folks there spoke to me, mainly, I think, because they felt sorry for me and wondered what kind of idiot would be riding a motorcycle in this weather. They wished me well. Before I headed out my weather app said that freeze warnings were in effect. I managed another 50 miles until I was shaking and had to stop. I knew I couldn’t get warmed up enough after stopping, to face getting back on the bike again. Besides, it had started to snow lightly. So, I got a motel room, turned the heat up to the maximum, collapsed on the bed and slept for 2 hours. It was about 7 pm then and I couldn’t bring myself to walk or ride down to get something to eat (it was only a mile away). So I skipped dinner. I slept again and then walked a little outside.

I’m still optimistic about today. And still thankful for this trip but I have to wait until it’s above freezing before I can ride.

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