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Riding In The Rain

The next couple of weeks were somewhat uneventful, taking short trips here and there.  The Texas Rio Grande Valley has an intricate road system that resembles the interior of a honeycomb. There are farm roads to ride for a couple of eternities.

However, on September 12, I decided it was time to go back to San Antonio to visit family and friends.  I rode my bike to work and parked it right outside my window where I could watch it while at work. Throughout the day, people stopped and stared at it because a Goldwing is an unusual sight in this part of the country.  There are mostly Harleys, big ones, and loud ones, but a Goldwing is something of a treat when you see one ride by. I was proud of it, and my students caught on that it was mine.  Questions about it flowed one after the other.

After work was out, I embarked on the trip that would baptize me as a true rider.  Taking Hwy-83 east, then Hwy-77 north towards Corpus Christi I rode without incidents other than getting crampy legs and having to stop to shake them off. Once I changed highways in Corpus Christi and took IH-37 northwest-bound for San Antonio rain started pouring just as it started to be nighttime. I have to shyly admit that I had never ridden in rain and that at first it was just a sprinkle here and there.  As I was heading west, the sprinkles turned into a deluge that forced me to stop under bridges.

I didn’t know if the sound system on the bike or the dashboard could take such a pounding from the water, but I pressed on.  The road felt pretty good considering it was wet and going still 65-70 mph.  I believed that if Honda had decided to have a stereo, LED screen, and all the instruments out in the open , it was because they thought it through and knew rain would be part of the riding fun. Corpus Christi is about 125 miles away from San Antonio, and it rained all the way, sometimes hard, sometimes really hard. The only problem I had was changing lanes if the tires caught a white stripe on the road. Did I mention before they are SLIPPERY? More than once I hugged the gas tank with my knees as hard as I could to become one with the bike and control the skids.

Entering San Antonio, I felt like a rookie rider.  It hadn’t rain in a while in that city, so the streets were all full of oil from months from the cars making the streets and roads very dangerous.  There is a highway exchange that is all full of turns, switches and about four levels high.  I had to take that one making me feel like I was in a Star Wars movie out in space, it was wet, slippery, dark, and full of lights from the cars.

Finally, at around 9:30PM,  I arrived at my destination, more tense than a tight rope, and wetter than a fish. But I was happy and felt satisfied that I had made it home to San Antonio.  In less than ten minutes after my arrival and with dry clothes on, Robert and I went to dinner to celebrate my adventure……in his truck.

HRL-SAT

Oct022009

Published by at 7:46 AM under Uncategorized

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