Last week I checked the weather and rode my motorcycle down to Philly with plans to ride back to Bucks County today.
It was raining and very windy in the city so I left a bit earlier for safety sake. It was cold but the road was not too slippery until I ventured onto 95N. As soon as I got the bike up to about 40mph I got hit with a crosswind and felt the back tire move sideways. At this point higher brain functions kicked in and I slowed for the next exit, Aramingo road.
Turns out I have no idea how to get home locally from this area. I literally wandered the neighborhoods, trying to keep 95 in sight and after about 25 damp minutes I somehow wandered onto Broad Street.
In an earlier phone call Jennifer mentioned to me that I could get home from Broad so I gave it a shot. I headed north and then saw route 1. I do know how to get home from Rt 1, and that is a non-elevated roadway with some decent wind protection so I went for it. Unfortunately I could only see signs for Rt 1 south and what I thought was Rt1 north turned out to be a Septa depot. A nice man rolled down his window and gave me some directions to Rt1 that I obviously got completely wrong because 20minutes later found me on Broad St. again.
At this point my desire to get home and dry was in direct conflict with my desire to find a restroom but I pressed on.
At this point I saw a Harley Davidson sticker on the back of the SUV in front. There is a great stereotype about the Harley rider, and this was such a scene. A harley rider, dry in his SUV with his Harley fashion followed by the fully armored BMW rider on an unstoppable GS. At this point in my ride I was definitely thinking about getting a Harley ;). I man-up and pass this fellow as a rider in the opposing lane hits a long puddle and throws a rooster-tail wave my way and I’m buried in gallons on Broad Street’s finest vintage.
Olympia AST Jacket and Pants fully protected me from this downpour. I can’t say enough about the water protection here. When I got home my pants and socks were a little damp, but overall I was dry.
The gear didn’t do a thing for the demoralizing effect of getting hit with a tsunami, but I appreciated being dry.
But again I press on towards willow grove and the only low speed, ground-level route I know home. Finally my bladder cries foul and I pull into a Dunkin Donuts. Two more guys there greet me and another stops to tell me, “Dude, you are hardcore, I put my bike away last month”. I tried not to let him see my teeth chatter as I thanked him and drank some life giving coffee.
Back on the road after 1hr and 45minutes of travel and I hit merciful low speed traffic. This road was a sheet of ice and after I took this picture I had to ride on the median. (Taking the picture was by far not the dumbest part of the ride, but at this point my destiny may have been to serve as an object lesson for others) Try to notice the ice under the truck bumper in the photo – that was solid ice.
I finally got home and was looking forward to a nice hot shower….and my power was out.
Safety begins before the ride starts