WOW! What a commute!

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by MODNROD, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,168
    Location:
    Midwest, West Oz
    I finished my 4 days on, then got packed up (clothes, sleeping bag, etc, all in a 60L gearsack/backpack) and ready to ride the 100km home. Thunderstorms were hanging dark and low on the near horizon, and the wind was starting to pick up.........

    I had just bought a new open face helmet to ride the scoot with, the composite race helmet has a small viewing port, but I wanted to be IN the world, not isolated from it. It's an Rjay's Tomcat, has a really cool flip-down sunglasses bit behind the visor, very cool! Comfy, but the visor only comes to my nose. I didn't worry, coz I had my new screen set up, and in addition I had dummied up a laminar lip I'd made after hours at work. It was only held on with sticky tape and foam blocks, coz I wanted to find the ideal height.

    Started the Sportcity One 125 up, threw on the "fighter pilot" (Hahahahaha!) helmet, leathers and gloves, and off we zinged! I rode down the short 1km long bitumen driveway, then turned into the gravel. It had seen a light shower or two already, so the dust was settled, but the red clay goop hadn't started to flow yet, so plenty of traction. I sat in the centre of the 8m wide red dirt road in the smooth wheelruts (avoiding the big corrugations and the loose gravel between ruts), wound it up to about 90kph indicated and off we went. Sat forwards on the seat for the dirt, braced my feet a bit, I went over a few loose patches and a few sloppy bits, but just steady and upright, smooth throttle AND a touch of rear brake together, and this little "scoot-that-could" shimmied through them. I got ready to turn left after a few km's, hit the deep, hard corrugations, and my laminar lip promptly fell off! Huh? Who woulda thunk it? Obviously they don't make sticky tape like they used to! :lol3 While it was there, it was the best thing in the world. Now it wasn't there, I noticed just how noisy my new open face helmet was in the airflow over the top of the low screen!

    The stormclouds were rolling in from my left for the next few km's after I had turned, dark and low and rolling. Thunder was everywhere and lightning flashes lit up the sky to my left and ahead of me. It was so dark it was almost like twilight, a decent summer thunderstorm........and me zinging along happily at 70kph over the red dirt, getting now blown and buffeted all over the red dirt by the sidewinds picking up. I got to the top of the last crest on the dirt before hitting the bumpy twisting bitumen highway, and I saw a giant willy-willy coming from the left past the trees, and I had nowhere to go. Willy-willy's are like little mini tornados, this one reached higher than I could see, dirt and leaves and small branches swirling around in a mad dervish dance, and since I had 70-80kph on the clock, I ducked behind the screen, braced everything and hung on as it hit me. The wind roar was bloody loud, it drowned out the thunder, Something hit one of my arms in the melee, hard enough to leave the bruise I found later. The wind lifted my little visor up so hard it nearly tore it off, and dust and dirt flooded my throat and eyes. All this lasted for only 5 secs at the most, while riding over a blind crest doing over 60kph on a slippery red dirt road in the bush, but I zipped through it and out the other side again into the cool moist storm air of the nearby storm, completely unscathed apart from a few bruises and a bit of a "OMFG" moment :rofl
    I rekn I must have Faerie blood sometimes........

    Reached the end of the dirt, and turned right onto the winding bitumen road into the nearest town 15km away. The storm had picked up another notch or two, and it was starting to rain, BIG droplets of water hitting me, and the wind whistled up even more. I took off down the bitumen highway, down the hill towards the little creek crossing bridge with the wind at my back. It was powerful enough so I barely felt the wind over the screen hitting my face. I zipped down the hill, over the bumpy little bridge with the faded wooden railings, then ripped up the other side, I was going uphill with the wind at my back, and the little scoot had over 100kph indicated on the clock. The storm was REALLY picking up now, then it was on me in a few seconds.

    The thunder was deafening, the raindrops were huge and splattered against the road and bounced they hit so hard, the wind whistled past my ears, and the poor little scoot got blown down the highway at a huge rate of knots. After a minute or two of blindingly heavy rain, and the screaming wind, the temperature suddenly dropped like a stone, I rekn it lost 5*C in less than a minute. The rain petered off a bit, and then the hail hit. :eek1 Big hailstones about 10mm-15mm started bouncing off my helmet and pummeled my leathers, and they rapidly filled the road ahead with hundreds of bouncing little ping-pong balls going every which way, it was like someone had a attacked a packing crate filled with polystyrene balls with a leaf blower! :lol3 All the time the wind was howling, and lightning filled the sky, as I raced down the little highway. Then suddenly, it was gone........

    I came over the crest and rode down into the town. The rain and hail had gone, but the wind was still strong at my back. I tucked in behind the screen and wound it into the stops, and the speedo spun faster, and faster, and faster. It started hesitating as I hit the limiter, so I rolled off slightly, and the wind carried it even faster still. The little "scoot-that-could" saw an indicated 124kph down that hill, hahahahha! :clap I sat up just as I entered the edge of town and yelled through my helmet with it all........and promptly swallowed a large bug that went splat against my throat. :puke1

    After that, the rest of the 75km trip home was a bit of an anticlimax. I got a bit of rain and wind a few times, but nothing like what I had hit earlier. Apart from the storm always sitting on the edge of vision, dark low clouds on the horizon and lightning flashing the afternoon sky in the distance, it was the same ride as normal. I leaned my gearsack into the top box, rested my knees against the front bodywork, then assumed the "lounge" position all the way home, zinging along at around 90kph watching the summer thunderstorm show off to my left. I saw the usual roos at the side of the road getting water from the puddles, a few stray sheep that ran away from the storm I guess, and one huge Wedge-Tailed Eagle that rose up off a dead roo at the roadside. When it lifted off into the wind, it's wingspan almost reached across a whole lane of this country highway, so well over 2m in width. It lazily rose into the sky, and I lazily rode into my town and back home again for my days off with my family.

    Honestly, and people want me to leave the scoot at home and take the car!?!?!?!?!

    Are they mad?!?!?!?!

    :clap
    #1
  2. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    681
    Location:
    People's Democratic Republic of Tarsnakestan
    [​IMG]

    the madness; best part of ridin', eh? ;>b​
    #2
  3. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Upstate SC (GSP area)
    That is a great story. It's the kind of story we, as real riders, file away to remember when some car driver complains about how tough their commute is when the line at Starbucks causes them to be late to work. They'll never understand. We tell them about riding in snow, hail, thunder storms, under a tornado, during a tropical storm. The look of horror and disbelief on their faces make us laugh, they'll never understand. We travel the same roads but where they have complaints for the day, we have memories for a lifetime. They'll never understand. To drive in a car is to watch the world go by as a distant spectator. To ride a bike is to experience life as it happens, on its terms. In other words, to LIVE life. They'll never understand because they fear too much to try.
    #3
  4. gec343

    gec343 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    Evart, Michigan
    Well stated, to say the least!!:wave:wave
    #4
  5. bandito2

    bandito2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    EXACTLY!!!! Cage drivers miss out on all the fun. Too bad for them eh? Yep, seems that sometimes on some days that EVERY moment is a "Kodak" moment. Isn't life on a scooter great?:ricky
    #5
  6. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,164
    Location:
    Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
    Quite a little jaunt home.
    #6
  7. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Upstate SC (GSP area)
  8. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,168
    Location:
    Midwest, West Oz
    HAHAHA!
    Yep, good on him too!

    Damn that looks cold.......... :huh
    #8
  9. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    Upstate SC (GSP area)
    My motto is that you can only get so cold, then you don't feel a thing. (some people call that hypothermia) :D
    #9