New Orleans to Canada: Day 9 Berlin, VT to Rochester, NY

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ May 25, 2013/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, New Orleans to Canada 2013, Touring/ 0 comments

Date: May 25th, 2013

Departure TIme: 8:30am

Arrival Time: 6:45pm

States Covered: Vermont, New Hampshire, New York

Miles Covered: 352 (over 300 miles in the rain just today)

Departure temperature: 39 degrees and steady rain

Rain and cold temperatures dominated the day, with the exception of the last 80-100 miles. After seven out of the last eight days of riding in the rain, I have never been more excited to see blue skies and white billowy clouds.

Most of today was a blur of rain droplets and fog on my helmet visor and windshield. What would normally be picturesque vistas of lush green mountain ranges and gently undulating roads, were nothing more than another mile on the odometer getting us to our destination.

By the time we had made it to our first fuel stop, my feet were soaked though due to a large puddle of water that I blasted through that forced water high enough into my rain suit that it settled in my boots. My fellow riders were gracious enough to allow me some extra time to ferret out a fresh pair of socks from my roll bag and change them out. I also put on my boot covers… Something that I should have done before our departure this morning.

At this point, I realized that my helmet’s Bluetooth communication was no longer connected to my iPhone. This was most distressing because that meant I could no longer receive calls or listen to my favorite pandora stations. After fiddling with it for as long as I could without delaying my fellow travellers, I decided to relegate the troubleshooting to a later time.

We stopped for lunch in Saratoga Springs New York at a highly recommended local joint called PJ’s Bar-B-QSA. I had their sliced rib sandwich and some fried okra, both of which did not disappoint. I was intrigued by the notion of a a “sliced rib” and the young lady was most helpful in explaining that they simply took the rib meat off of the bones for you. This made me wonder about our Yankee brethren and their lazy eating habits… First “Pre-peeled” lobster already dunked in butter for you, and now Pre-sliced ribs… What’s next…

While we were dining, the rain slacked noticeably, but just as we were about to pull out, it started to piss rain on us again. For the past week, we have endured tremendous weather conditions… Rain, cold, fog and heat. All were anticipated, but none of us were really prepared for the torturous conditions that we endured today. I have been very cautious throughout the past nine days, analyzing each turn, stop, incline, decline, and slow speed maneuver to the point of, at times, frustrating some of my fellow adventurers. The end goal here is to keep the rubber down and the shiny side up, as they say. I have done this successfully in the fog and rain, and virtually every other conceivable combination of challenges for a short guy like me riding a tall bike like the RT… That is… Until this afternoon.

The skis cleared for us about 60 miles outside of Rochester, NY and it was time for fuel. We all pulled in and lined up for gas. The tank range of the BMW’s are close to 300 miles, so we pulled off to the side to allow the others to gain access to the pumps. As I was coming to a stop, I put my left foot down, but the boot cover was snagged on the foot pegs. Before I new it, me and the bike were laying down in the parking lot. Everyone was helpful in assisting me to right the bike… But I was still embarrassed. One could justify doing so in most any of the conditions that we have seen in the past week of pitiful weather, but the sun was shining and the ground was dry… Curse you boot covers. I was completely fine, and the crash bars did their job! I wonder if the make crash bars for ones ego?

Be last funny story from a few days ago… I was attempting to discuss an engine gearing issue with Matt by using Siri to convert my speech to text messages. My issue was with a “bucking” sensation to the engine below 2500 RPMs. Siri thought I said, well, something else…since that time, there have been many laughs about my “bucking BMW”!!!

Tomorrow we head into Canada… The forecast is for cold but clear weather.

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