I just finished a week long ride which took me from Colorado to Utah, Idaho, Washington State on through Yellowstone down through Casper, WY and back to Colorado. It was a trip that was almost cancelled before it happened. Three days before the trip the weather pattern took an ugly turn. The whole preplanned route called for rain, cold temperatures and inevitable saturation. Rain never stopped me before during my summer rides. On hot days, I normally love to get drenched on my motorcycle. This was a different matter altogether. The temperatures forecasted during my time off were projected to hover in the low fifties. Wet drenched bikers riding for 10 hour stretches in low temperatures could equal hypothermia. I am not meteorologist but it seemed highly illogical that a storm system could persist over the entire North West for an eight day stretch. It almost seemed like there was a conspiracy to keep me off of my ride. So I tried to adapt to the situation and plan for a different dryer route but any feasible ride from my base of operations had the same dark cloudy rainy forecast. In life opportunities do not come often and I have witnessed that those same opportunities become more elusive with age. At the end of the day there was no decision, I had to make the best of the situation and move forward with ride with all its glorious wetness.
I can tell you that the first hour of the trip was cold and dry but then the rain made its presence felt. When the skies opened up it was about forty degrees as I traveled Northwest through Wyoming. It was cold and wet but I planned precisely for these factors. The ugliest issue always stems from that which was not foreseen. As the precipitation poured my rain gear kept me dry but my face shield kept on fogging up which rendered me blind. A Foggy lens can be a real hassle so a few weeks before the trip I purchased an Anti-Fog Pinlock Insert for my face shield. This system worked brilliantly against the dreaded fog in light rain and cold temperatures but in heavy precipitation the fog slowly won the battle and manifested itself upon my lens with utter tenacity. My motorcycle windshield was also fogged, all I could do was pull over when my helmets face shield was to cloudy to see and dry it off and then start back down the road. This was a two pronged assault on my Zen like state of mind which normally accompanies me on my cycle. The foggy helmet lens represented a clear and present danger to my personal safety and was just darn right aggravating. It bothered me like that giant white head pimple monstrosity that erupted on the tip of my nose before my first date in seventh grade. Her name was Lori Reinhardt and I had had a crush on her since the second the grade. That foul puss oozing zit represented all that was wrong with the world back in seventh grade much like this fog on my lens did today. There are many more evil things to be concerned about then fog on the lens but in the moment it created some negative energy. During the time the fog was getting the best of me, I thought about just heading home. I was cold and wet and could not see more than 10 minutes before I would have to pull over and clear and dry my shield. The forecast stated that the weather was going to be cold, wet and crappy for the seven day stretch of my preplanned trip. Given the situation, I wondered if the trip was not meant to be. I thought of turning back and giving up on a very rare opportunity. I pondered this notion while riding and after about twenty minutes decided that rough roads often make for better destinations. I would progress forward till I could no longer move forward and hope for better weather. As I traveled ahead, the rain slowed down and which deterred the fog from clouding up my visor. Life does not always throw you soft balls and I am cognizant to the fact that the weather could have gotten worst but in this situation it did not. It remained relatively dry and fog free for the remainder of the trip with the exception of a four hour stretch through Yellowstone National Park which I shall discuss in a proceeding post. The entire trip did not have the best weather but ended up being a splendid sojourn which I desperately needed.
It’s about taking a situation you have and projecting your efforts to make the event as positive as it should be. In reality, a motorcycle trip can rarely be a negative event; it’s just too easy to have fun. In this situation, the trip was almost over before it even started. I am glad I did not let the fog of the unknown deter me from finding a great ride. Sometimes all we need to do is push through the barriers to find that happy place.