I started the day (August 9, 2011) refreshed after a long sleep. The clock radio had a headphone cord on the back! (Awesome idea) I plugged it into my phone, and turned it all the way up. This was a new hotel which was still being built, so I didn’t have any neighbors. The music really helped to spice up my oatmeal I cooked for breakfast in the in-room microwave.
After breakfast, I rode back to Annapolis. I hadn’t gotten a chance to look around the night before as I was too tired.
Sadly, the capitol building was covered in scaffolding and giant blankets.
Annapolis felt very European to me with the buildings close together and the brick roads.
They even hid the power,phone, cable lines to preserve the look. nice!
After Annapolis, I rode east over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to start the directions Jack Riepe sent the night before. He was kind enough to include three different sets. I chose the most scenic route of the three as I had time and the weather was nice in MD.
On one of the country roads I passed by a number of scooters – this was one of them.
The closer to Jack’s house I was, the darker the clouds. At what looked like the edge of the storm, I pulled over and put on my raingear. I kept the tinted shield. It didn’t look like it would be a bad storm.
In the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside, I was enjoying the route Jack had laid out. Then the wind picked up and started blowing the leaves off of the trees.
It got very dark. I didn’t realize how dark until I saw my headlight reflecting on the road signs. Even though it was noon, it felt like 9pm. Then it started to rain.
I tried my best to follow the route, but it was getting harder and harder to see the directions on my tank bag not to mention the road signs. I abandon the route about 15 miles out from Jack’s house and began to follow the GPS since I could easily see the screen.
As the storm got worse, my speed kept getting slower and slower.
My GPS lead me down this road which was closed for construction – dead end. I sat at the red light for what seemed like hours in the pouring rain waiting for the green. It gave me time to decide left or right since there was no detour sign. The GPS wouldn’t start re-routing until I turned off of its suggested route. A truck went by to the left. I decided to follow it since large trucks usually use main roads one of which would hopefully go the way I wanted. I was less than 10 miles from Riepe’s place now. Given different circumstances, I might have pulled over to wait. There wasn’t anywhere to pull over, and I was so close to my destination. My gear was keeping me dry, so I pushed on.
I started up the hill. There was a lot of water coming down. My boots, while on the pegs, were dragging in the water.
The mud from the side of the road obscured the road surface which wasn’t smooth. My front tire bounced around as I climbed up the hill.
There was a lot of water on the road!
Multiple times the wave from my front tire was splashing up to my handlebars. I was happy to have the fenda-extenda on the front fender to keep the water out of the forward facing spark plug!
The cars were also going slow. Many of them were considerate and slowed even more when we passed each other. This guy didn’t. It was a huge wave that went over my head!
The rain took a breather as I rolled in to West Chester, PA still following my GPS. It lead me right into a lunchtime traffic jam.
I escaped the mess of cages and only had one more turn until I was on Riepe’s street. I was only half a mile away now. Then the cars started stopping again – some of them even turned around. I crawled forward unable to see the cause of the delay. When I got to the front of the line, there was a UPS driver standing in the middle of the road. His truck was no where to be seen.
He said “The road is blocked. A tree fell in the storm.”
I replied “How blocked?”
He shrugged “You might fit.”
I waved, and rolled on the throttle. His truck was parked five or six blocks up the road. The tree was three blocks beyond the truck. Just as I pulled up a worker, pulled the last branch from the shoulder. A skinny strip of clear pavement appeared. With the tree and worker out of the way, I slowly rode through. There had to be more than twenty cars waiting on the other side.
Minutes later, I saw Jack’s house and pulled into the driveway. The garage door opened and I heard a voice call out for me to pull in. Jack was waiting for me inside. When I mentioned the storm, he said I should have stayed at the hotel.
I was lucky enough to park next to his K75 named “Fireballs”. From the stories of cooking deer in mid-jump and disintegrating small rodents, I expected more lights.
Jack made Leslie and I some food. He refused to eat it as he said “It tastes like garbage”. We enjoyed our garbage. It was tasty.
We stayed up well past midnight chatting away and swapping stories – another great meetup!
The storm was in the top three of worst storms I have ridden in. Strangely, all three storms were on the SV650 and in other states (CO, LA, PA). I seem to experience a boot-dragging-in-the-water storm once a year. I have the entire ride on video, and I will be posting that later.
About 120 miles today. The last 20 miles took over 70 minutes.
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- BigTrip2011 – Day 11–A Trip to the Beach is the Cure
- BigTrip2011 – Day 10– Gold at the End of the Slab
- BigTrip2011 – Day9 – WWI Military Expo Video
- BigTrip2011 – Day8 – Raingear to the Rescue
- BigTrip2011 – Day7 – Mountains and Rainstorms
- BigTrip2011 – Day6 – NY & VT – Adirondacks and a Ferry
- BigTrip2011 – Day5 – Buffalo, NY to Watertown, NY
- BigTrip2011 – Day4 – Buffalo, NY
- BigTrip2011 – Day3&5 Videos
- BigTrip2011 – Day3 – OH, PA, NY – Lake Erie and Niagara Falls
- BigTrip2011 – Day2 – Indiana to Ohio – MotoVlogger Meetup
- BigTrip2011 – Day1 – Minnesota to Indiana
- Trip Starts After More Delays!
- Announcement: Big Trip of 2011!