Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rat Down

 My plan was to ride the Rat Turd to the Slimey Crud run today. Plans get changed.

 On Thursday I rode the bike to lunch. As I was turning back into the drive at work the clutch cable broke. Bummer. A new cable is on the way but I won't see it till Monday.
 Al was kind enough to give me a ride home with the bike. The lift gate worked pretty good for putting a small bike on and off the truck. Much better than a ramp. Ya I could have rode it home with a broken clutch cable if necessary, but it wasn't necessary. This is the second time this bike needed a lift home. The first was the day I bought it.
 So today I will meet up with Dan and his main squeeze to ride down to the Slimey Crud Run. I'll let them lead as they are riding two-up and the temps are starting out in the thirties. If they get cold they can pull over. I'll be fine because I wired up my heated jacket yesterday along with a volt meter to monitor my battery.

 I just attached a voltmeter to a power plug. I can plug it in when I use the heated gear.

 The meter is just velcroed to the mount I made for the gps.

 The test ride went well from a mechanical standpoint. The little harleys charging system seemed strong enough. It sucked ass from a stay-warm standpoint. Oh sure my upper body was toasty. You can't run the jacket on the highest setting without starting to sweat. The problem was that it started to rain. I don't have heated pants and I wasn't wearing rain gear. No fairing or lowers on this mount so my legs got wet. The rain was hard enough that the water soaked into my pants, over the top of my waterproof boots and down to my feet.  The temperature was 42 but felt much cooler at highway speeds.
 As I rolled along with a wet warm upper body and a wet cold lower half, I was trying to mentally reroute my ride home. I was pretty sure if I had to come to a stop and put my feet down that my knees weren't going to cooperate. They ached from the cold. I rode with my left hand on my left knee just to try to keep it warm enough to move when I stopped.
 The few stops I made went ok. Before I approached the stops, I was able to stand up on the rear pegs and loosen up my legs enough to safely hold the bike up. It's funny how you can sit on a bike and freeze but once you get off and walk around you forget how miserable you were. This forgetfulness is what allows me to get back on the bike on days like this. The thermometer reads 31 degrees and its a two hour ride to my destination. For me, all this "suffering" is actually part of the fun of riding. I don't know why this is but I know I'm not the only one. There will be a lot of other riders there today.

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