I find that usually the first day of a ride is always the worst. You're out of practice. Little things that you could do in your sleep, like putting on your gloves, or packing away the camera, seem to take extra effort. You remember where everything goes and how it all works, but nothing is fluid. It all takes thought and consideration. Everything is forced.
And so it was. Kyrin who I know from Piratz Tavern came by to see me off.
I hit the road around 11:45. It was hot.
I headed to Bob's BMW to pick up a quart of oil to take as a spare. It wasn't more than 5 minutes into the trip that a tractor trailer cut off an SUV which then swerved into my lane ... foreshadowing? I swung by Bob's, told the parts guy whose name I forget about the trip and then hit the road again.
I headed out route 32 to 70 and took that west. I decided for forego stops in the east and make some time. Lot's of superslab. Contrary to what I would have thought the miles seemed to go by pretty easily. It took me a while to suspect it might be the laminar lip I installed, which has significantly decreased the amount of buffeting I experience. I have to admit I'm impressed by the difference.
On the way on 70 I saw a dead dear on the side of the road along with a bunch of retread. More foreshadowing?
It was overcast with occasional drizzle but for the first part of the day all went well. I clicked off 112 miles before I even noticed. As I made my way west I was reminded of how beautiful the around around route 70 can be, especially once you get further up into the hills.
Unfortunately, once I got to the other side of a tunnel in Western PA, my luck ran out. At first it was a light rain. Then a steady rain. Then a torrential downpour where most cars just pulled off to the side of the road.
I hate rain suits.
I stopped under a bridge, donned the rainsuit, and went on my way. Aside from some soggy boots, me and my gear made it through.
All told I rode 370 miles today. Made it across the Ohio border and am staying at a Days Inn.
I had dinner at an Applebees. This area of the country seems to be a case study in obesity. It's really quite frightening.
Tomorrow I continue to make my way North West towards Duluth where I hope to visit the Aerostich warehouse and possibly buy an alternate set of leathers. I don't think the ones that I have are going to cut it for this trip. We'll see.
Writing these things is surprisingly not easy ...