The long dark night of winter ..... Winter? We had a Winter? This has been a very mild winter here around Cumberland, but still cool enough, and wet enough that there where not too many days that where optimal for a big sport touring machine [and an ol fart]. Instead of CC Rider, it was more like Sissy Rider!
. I had Kira out on numerous occasions but nothing note worthy of a post!
That all changed Monday. A friend had called me a week before and said the forecast for Monday was supposed to be decent. And so we made plans. the week passed and Monday morning came. The forecast high was going to be into the mid to upper 60's. At 9:00 am it was 48 degrees, and the new forecast was downgraded into the mid to upper 50's. Common sense was seen leaving the building and machismo was sneaking in the back door. We pulled out heading for Covington VA 165 miles down route 220. 220 runs all the way to Covington. I have the Beemer, and my friend Fred Wolfe had this most excellent 2010 Triumph T100 Bonneville. Did I say any thing about the weather report being down graded? It was a sunny day, but the winds where gusting from 15 to 30 mph ... all day, and they did all day, all the way to and from. The air was so dry you could have created a new cooling process of dehydrating beef for jerky.
It was like zero percent humidity [exaggerating of course, but you get the picture]. As you will see in the pictures I had what I thought would be sufficient gear, and NO back up. I have some "Bon Body Armor". and my heavier coat, and my leather gauntlets [ I didn't think I would need]. yada, yada, yada! I think some of the wind gusts where more than 30mph. I could be riding along and either change lanes or be leaning [literally] into the wind like I was taking a big sweeper. This was Crazy! The roads couldn't have been better well paved [sorry dirt guys]. They where a great combination of straights and twisties up and down "The Mountains of the Appalachia's" all the way down to Covington. Did I say it was windy and chilly? We take our time and several stops along the way we pull into the "Hardees" in Covington I think it was around 3:00pm by now. We did not take long, because we needed to start heading back soon and Fred had picked a different route back. Our plan was to take interstate 64 west about 18 miles and get off at Lewisburg pick 219 north which would take us all the way back up to Western MD. As we pulled into the first gas station up on 219 a BP to gas up Fred noticed what my instrument panel had told me half way down 64. The dreaded "LampF" warning light was on!? Who in the world talks like that? That was the indicator for my low beam running light head light was burnt out! CRAP!
Can this day get any better? It is now around 6:00pm and in this part of the world the lights are turned off and the side walks are rolled up till 5:00am the next day! Don't even think about finding a Auto Parts store to get a bulb. Thank God I still have the high beam. Funny thing about this time of day too, the temperature is starting to drop and the last time I checked the weather service before we pulled out it was a calling for a freeze warning for ... late Monday night early Tuesday morning with the temperatures to dip into the upper 20's.
Not Good! We are still about 2 and a half hours out! That's right we will be riding into the dark of right around dusk in some of the best "Whitetail Deer" country on the east coast, and the deer will be up and moving about! Gonna try to shorten this up here. We pull into "Parson WV" around 7:30, and the sky is still a little light, but the sun has has definitely set. We pull into to get some more gas, and the temperature has now dropped down to 48, and I'm shaking so much from being cold that I literally can not stop and Fred is laughing. He is cold too! He's got an extra sweat shirt packed away and I remembered I have a balaclava and my "Frog Togs". I don't care at this point if they will ad another layer of warmth I'll wear them. Gassed up through down a steaming hot cup of coffee, and dawned the "Frog Togs" [which where working by the way]. We started to travel every goat path we could find that was taking us on the right direction on the compass that we thought would get us down off these mountains and into the flat lands slicker than fish grease. My big a... butt monster caught every groove, and danced me all over the road like a dirt bike. The only problem was dancing with an almost 600 lb touring bike is no waltz. Around 8:30 we found a real road, with real tarmac and it was familiar to me!
Civilization and the warmth of home was not .... a far off. We where on route 50 east just outside of Mount Storm [they named it that for a reason]. a nine mile decent at a posted 8 degree steep grade with some of the biggest twisties and switch backs in our area, and we where down in the low country again and it was warmer down there around 47 degrees now. HOOo Yaaahhhhaaa!
I was only twenty six miles from home! Finally at 9:30, 12 1/2 hours and 407.8 miles later I had returned home! It took me close to twenty minutes to peel out of my clothes.
Like I said the day had enough issues, that though I had two cameras and three lens with me I only have a few pictures and this story, and Fred as my witness to verify this tale, to show for my efforts!
But the truth be known I wouldn't trade this ride for almost anything [that's ALMOST
This is probably one of the best of the top five rides I have ever taken!
I would probably not want to intentionally repeat it, yet I had one of the best times of my life!
Ok now if you are like me you would probably jump past all this blah, blah, blah by now and go straight to the pictures and that is ok. I feel better for sharing it. and for those incredibly hardy souls who can stand extended drivel, one who would have taken the time to read it and hopefully laugh your ...... self silly! I hope your enjoyed my story, and here are the only pics I have from this trip.