Riding in the Rain

On May 31st, 2009 my alarm went off and I rolled over to discover that Jay was already up and about.  Jay doesn’t generally function before noon, so 6:30 AM is a real shocker!  I stumbled out of bed and opened the blinds, only to see that he had already pulled both of our bikes out.  They were lined up by the curb, ready to go!  Then the aroma of fresh brewing coffee pervaded my senses.  I staggered to the kitchen to find my bagel, pre-sliced, laid out on the counter in front of the toaster oven, waiting for me to be ready to toast it.  Cream cheese, a knife, my vitamins, and a class of OJ were set out on the kitchen table.  And he made himself coffee too!  Good grief, how long has Jay been up???  He was rearing to go that morning, and after a few minutes I was too.

The plan was to meet at the Odessa Sunoco, wheels rolling at 8:00 AM.  Steve (one of our veteran Road Captains in First State HOG) was to lead us along a scenic tour of southern Delaware to the Eastern Shore HOG Summer Splash Poker Run in Ocean City, Maryland.  The forecast was for a bright sunny afternoon, but as I got geared up it became quickly apparent that there was still some lingering rain in the air leftover from last night’s storm.  It began to drizzle, so we decided it best to don the rain gear so as not to start out the day wet and miserable.

Who would’ve thought that after nearly 4 years/thousands of miles of riding – day trips, overnighters, 3-5 day trips – I had never actually ridden in the rain?  OK, I had ridden passenger in the rain, but never on my own bike…until that day.

We knew that it was going to clear up, so we mounted up, headed out, and hoped for the best.  As we rode to the meet-up spot, the rain grew steadier.  I just used the same philosophy I do when driving my car in the snow: no sudden moves, keep it smooth & consistent, gradual breaking & acceleration, and stay a little slower than usual.  By the time we pulled in to the Odessa Sunoco, I had pretty much decided that riding in the rain wasn’t really all that bad.  Apparently there weren’t many people willing to agree with me, because all totalled only 7 people on 5 bikes showed up.

We all stood around in our rain gear laughing our butts off, and hoping that the rain would let up just a little.  Around 8:30 or so our little group did eventually head off into the pouring rain.  It came down steady for maybe another 30-40 minutes, then we rode in so much road spray it was hard to tell the difference for another half hour or so.  By the time we made our first stop near Seaford, DE, I had puddles in both of my boots.

Paula took break time to clean her bike.  I sat down to pull off my boots and wring out my socks.  Jay usually carries a roll of little plastic bags in his pack that we wrap around our feet when our socks get wet, but we must have used them all up.  Being desperate, I stuck a pair of latex gloves over my feet!  Folded over the “fingers” and put my soaking wet socks back on.  We had seen the last of the rain for the day, but it would still be a long battle to get dried out!

We picked up another couple near their beach house, and then another down at Ocean City Harley-Davidson.  We arrived as the last group was heading out to do the poker run, so we decided not to do the run.  We drew our cards and hung around relaxing for awhile – enjoying hot dogs, music, and sunshine. 

Eating Hot Dogs

Hanging out at Ocean City HOG Summer Splash

It felt so good to let my feet dry as I enjoyed the company of good friends.  I laid my boots and wet socks out in the sun to dry out as much as they could.  The only pair of socks they had in the dealership were little girls fuzzy slipper socks.  I have small feet, so I decided these will have to do! 

Diana relaxing and letting her feet dry

It couldn’t be a trip daown-e-oshun without stopping for a Nic-o-boli at Nicola Pizza in Rehoboth Beach…so off we went for fabulous food and a brief walk along the boardwalk.

First State HOG at Nicaboli’s in Rehobeth, DE

First State HOg in Rehobeth, DE

Altogether it was a great day, and I had gotten my feet wet riding in the rain (literally).  I wish I could say that all was good once the rain had passed, but the rain actually didn’t pass.  We had the coolest month of June recorded in over 20 years, and compiled 50% more rainfall for the month than normal.  At one point I believe that it had rained on 19 of the past 21 days!

The cool wet weather didn’t stop us from getting out and riding though.  Sure we got dumped on a few times, but for the most part we did a lot of RIDING & HAVING FUN!!!  And hey, in just a few short weeks I went from being a virgin to a veteran in wet weather riding.

Frame Mounted Harley-Davidson Bottle Opener

The bike that has everything

I drink Yuengling bottles which have twist offs, but I think this Harley-Davidson Frame Mounted Bottle Opener is a post worthy accessory. I realize it’s not chrome, but I could overlook that if I was camping on a motorcycle trip and I needed a cold one and it didn’t have a twist off and I was desparate for a beer and there was no other bottle cap popper handy. Caps off to the owner of this Harley-Davidson motorcycle and its owner.

Bottle Opener Close Up