Today was another day full of interstate riding, though it was a bit more eventful than yesterday. I awoke at 5am to someone’s car alarm going off, and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and started getting things cleaned up and ready to go while I let Dwayne sleep until 6. After he got up we had a quick continental breakfast at the hotel and loaded up the bikes and hit the road.
Everything went smooth with cool temperatures and cloudy skies, but no rain, up until right before Oklahoma City. About 15 miles before OK City the skies started to darken up, so we stopped and put on our rain jackets, but decided to go without our pants because they are a pain to put on and we figured we would have good enough protection on the bikes that our legs wouldn’t get too wet. We were wrong. We both ended up with rain running up our legs and under our butts, which was less than enjoyable.
We stopped at a Wendy’s off of the Kilpatrick Turnpike in OK City for lunch and to figure out what to do next since the skies looked rather dark up ahead of us. After some indecision we finally made up our minds to put our rain pants on in addition to our jackets and continue on, so we paid the stupid toll road tolls (again) and started on our way… for about 2 minutes, then Dwayne realized he had forgotten to fasten his helmet strap, so we had to pull over on the side of the turnpike so that he could latch it.
While we were pulled over, a motorcycle cop on a BMW pulled up behind us and walked up to see if we needed help. We explained that we were just stopping so he could fasten his helmet, and that we were going to put our tank bag rain covers on while we were stopped because it looked bad ahead of us. He was super cool and talked to us about the bikes for a few minutes before wishing us safe travels. He said he would love to have an adventure bike like ours, but that Honda’s and Yamaha’s were more in his price range, so he thought maybe he would try to pick up a Super Ténéré, which he pronounced “Super Ten-neer”. I wish I had thought to try to get a picture with him for the blog, but I didn’t, and it’s possible he would have declined anyways.
After that we started on our way again, right on to yet another toll booth. Unless you are a motorcyclist who has ridden on toll roads, you probably don’t understand how much of a hassle it is to try to pay a toll when you are wearing gloves, and the money is in your tank bag, and you have to remove your gloves and open your tank bag, retrieve the money, zip up your tank bag, and put your gloves back on, all while impatient motorists are behind you becoming angry that you are taking so long. It’s good fun, let me tell you. This is made even more difficult when it is raining and you have your waterproof protector over your tank bag and you also have to remove and reapply it in addition to the gloves and zipper.
We only made it another mile or so after paying the toll before we had to pull over on the side of the turnpike again so that Dwayne could tighten his rain cover on his tankbag better because it almost flew off. So at this point, as I’m sure you can imagine, we are becoming a bit annoyed, and Dwayne may or may not have been muttering curse words about Oklahoma toll roads, hahaha!
From there the skies continued to get darker, and it rained off and on up until about 25 miles before Clinton, Oklahoma when it started to rain harder and more consistently. By the time we got 10 miles from Clinton, it was raining hard and visibility had become very, very poor. We were going slow and staying way back off of the vehicles in front of us, which was good, because someone decided to wreck in the left lane, which caused the semi’s in front of us to all slam on their brakes and come to a near complete stop, which was quite scary on the rain soaked roads. Thankfully we have ABS on the Tigers and we were back far enough we were able to get stopped without incident, and I pumped my brakes rapidly to alert the vehicles that were a ways behind us so they would know to stop.
Luckily we were able to get past the wreck and we weren’t stuck on the interstate in a downpour (they were okay and already had assistance), so we made our way to the first Clinton exit and got off of I-40 and made our way into town where we found what used to be a gas station but had been converted to an auto shop that still had the overhead canopy, and we stopped under it to find a place to stay and figure out where we needed to go. When I stopped, Dwayne said it was hilarious, because my rain gear is a bit too big on me, and water had collected where my pants and jacket are baggy on me, and about 30 ounces of water fell out when I got off the bike.
We booked a room and rode through some huge water puddles to get across town to where we were staying, only to find that we booked the only hotel in existence that doesn’t have a canopy where you check in. Go figure. So Dwayne stood in the rain while I dragged my rain-soaked self into the lobby to check in. The sweet lady at the counter asked me how I was, and I smiled and told her I’ve been better and laughed. When she told me that our room would be on the second floor, and there were stairs but no elevator, I explained that our luggage is quite heavy (seriously, the Givi Outback Trekker cases are heavy when they are empty, but they are REALLY heavy when they are loaded with 3 weeks worth of gear, clothes, and necessities), and I asked if she had anything on the first floor. She said that she didn’t have any king beds available on the first floor, which is what we had booked, but that she had some double queen bed rooms if we would be okay with that. I told her that I would go out and ask Dwayne and see what he wanted to do, and she must have felt bad for us in our current rain-soaked condition, because she followed me out a moment later and handed me a room key for a king bed room on the first floor and said that she would switch us with someone else who had booked that room but hadn’t shown up yet, and I thanked her repeatedly.
We ended up riding 377 miles total today, here is the Rever Moto app details:
Tomorrow we will be heading to Albuquerque, NM, and hopefully we will have better weather, though it is looking a little iffy until Amarillo, so we will see what happens. We intend to get up early again and have a quick breakfast and hit the road as early as possible, so hopefully we will get a break in the rain long enough to get out of it.