Friday, January 11, 2008

Wind and Weather

"Nothing like a little wind to get the blood pumping and bring on the warm glow of "I'm alive!"."

I posted that comment the other morning on Musings of an Intrepid Commuter before riding to work. At 5AM the wind was blowing hard while I wrote and I was worried more about one of our big spruce trees crashing through the window than I was about anything happening on the road. With gusts at 50 MPH that can push a Vespa around on the road.

By the time I pushed the scooter out of the garage prepared to brave the elements the sun had broken through the clouds and produced a wonderful double rainbow. And I could see both ends touching the horizon. The lens on my little point and shoot wasn't wide enough though to capture the whole thing.

Half way to work the sky closed, wind started to blow hard and rain returned. I had to choose my lane position carefully depending on which direction the wind was coming from because it would knock me three feet without really trying. I didn't want to be too close to somewhere I didn't want to be when that happened. I just had to lean into the wind and bit to compensate and things were fine.

Almost as quickly as that happened the sky broke open again and the sun came out and the wind diminished a bit. In the sunshine it always seems less aggressive. I stopped to watch the clouds pass for a bit and then saw another ominous set of dark clouds approaching so I made a bee line to my office where I could watch the weather in comfort.

Just another day riding to work...

10 comments:

Rick said...

Hey Great Photos! Good to hear from you!

Pvino said...

What happen to all that snowy weather; I guess its true that the East coast has defrosted - how fast Xmas has gone bye. Maybe someday you can post "youtube" short video of your ride in your neck of the woods.

Ride safe

irondad said...

That last photo is evocative. There's something about what still looks like Fall colors and that special way the sun illuminates things. The golden glow makes me think of many things.

An experienced rider is one who has learned the judicious use of "attack and retreat".

You're starting to be pretty hard core, aren't you?

Sarch said...

This blog brings to mind a trip that my wife and I took along with some friends from a motorcycle themed bulletin board I moderate.

We made a run from Birmingham, Alabama to Guntersville, Alabama.
There were storms around the state but they were hit and miss and we were on a schedule to meet some of the board members who were coming in from Red Bay, Alabama to join us. So we soldiered on. Things were looking good (in other words...dry) until we hit a location approximately 10 miles from our meeting point. We were riding a beautiful rolling back road when we topped a rise and were shocked by a huge straight line wind blowing directly from the left to the right. Leaves were whipping past (one landed in my wife's lap and she screamed thinking it was a bug or bird - LOL!). It required some MAJOR sudden leaning as the whole line of bikes suddenly shifted towards the right side shoulder. I was proud of everyone as no one panicked and all managed to recover nicely.
It wasn't long after that when the first large drops appeared on the windscreens and then the deluge began. Almost as if materializing from our hopes and wishes an old abandoned gas station with a overhanging roof large enough for the entire group to fit under appeared and we were able to park in the dry and get our rain gear on while the rain just poured down. I posted about it when I got back home on our bulletin board. You can see some pics at http://p196.ezboard.com/fsouthernridersfrm14.showMessage?topicID=49.topic if you have a notion.

My apologies for the long comment, but thank you so much for bringing that memory back to my mind.

vtscoot said...

We lost all of our snow (a good 2 feet on the ground)here in northern vermont as well. Your blog and photos inspired me to return the battery to the scooter, and to take a very rare January scoot today in the balmy 40 degree temperatures.

RickRussellTX said...

I can't look at that rainbow picture without thinking, "Raindrops keep falling on my head!"

And then I think how much cooler that whole scene would have been if they had all been riding scooters instead of walking.

Steve Williams said...

rick: Thanks. During and after the holidays posting seems to lag a bit for me. Still working off the effects of all those Christmas cookies...

pvino: The weather seems pretty quirky these days. As far as a video goes I have started numerous new ones and have never finished. One of these days I will put something together though...

irondad: I think I might have been more hardcore last winter. This year the cold weather has affected me more and I am less excited about riding out in it. I still do and once out it is great but the transition from warm house to cold ride is more challenging.

sarch: Sounds like a great ride you had even with the sudden weather shift. I've seen those old gas stations around here now and again and have thought what good shelters they would make in a really bad rain. So far I have managed to keep riding but someday...

Tried to look at that link but something is missing so a get a page not found warning. Maybe you can post it again using an html tag to make it an active link?

vtscoot: Glad I helped you get out on the scooter! There seem to be more and more above freezing days during the winter now so it is nice to have the scooter ready.

I'm still not using a battery tender mainly because I am riding 3-4 times a week even in the winter so the battery appears to be ok with that. I suppose one of these days I will find out otherwise.

rickrusselltx: No that's a song blasting from the past! I remember the first time I heard that song.

Heinz & Frenchie said...

Oh Master of Photography, another great pearl for us to view. Love your images.

Speaking of wind, we have our share being on the Atlantic Ocean, but so far we have been able to handle them. However we have not had 50 mile an hour gusts. We are too new to riding to venture out in that. But we appreciate your advice and adventures. Keep it up!

zaldy said...

can your gts stand the heavy trafic here and climate gosh so heat here phil. in summer pls email me the answer because i want to buy gts thats why i want your good & bad comment sir because you post some extreme cold how about extreme heat thanks...

Steve Williams said...

The GTS can mechanically handle heavy traffic. As a rider I prefer not to ride in heavy traffic if I can avoid it.

Check the Modern Vespa forum for answers to questions about performance in heavy urban traffic and heat. There are a lot of riders living in those environments who are members.

The URL is modernvespa.com. There is also a link on the right hand site of my blog.