With winter hanging on so desperately, we’ve had precious few opportunities to ride this spring, so I jumped on the warm weather Thursday, May 2, to ride into Calgary. The weather was so beautiful that I decided to try out my new two piece leather racing suit. What the heck was I thinking? Although the ride in was very enjoyable, by 8:00 pm a storm front had rolled in and my bike was under an inch of snow.
With the Drag races in Mission next weekend, and the AIM Boogie Bash in Kelowna the next, this caused us to discuss the idea of having a trailer along in case the mountain passes are impassable when the time comes. My thoughts are with the rest of the team, one basking in the sun shine of Florida bringing our viewers all the excitement from the Florida rallies. Next week Harpo will be traveling to Myrtle Beach with Rob and Deb of Road Hog Motorcycles. Huss has just returned from the Laughlin River Run where the sun was shining and the faces wind-burned.I
I’ve been stranded in Calgary for two days and am finally heading back to the farm. As I head north, past Airdre, I’m pondering my next article. Although the temperature is chilly, at least the roads are dry. No sooner did that thought enter my head than the sight of a few scattered snow flakes floated into my field of vision. A slight chuckle slipped out as I realized that once again, that old woman Mother Nature was playing with my head, and my assumption of dry roads was another miscalculation. This is one of those times when a few snow flakes in the air only accentuated the pleasure I felt as I rolled past numerous four-wheeled occupants with their slack jawed stares.
These are the kind of days that people get killed on the #2 Highway. I had been able to stay with the flow of traffic to this point. From here on, I knew that wouldn’t be possible. With that in mind I decided that this would be one of those times that “the road less traveled” was definitely the safest option. I had no doubts of my ability to keep the bike vertical in the snow, my biggest fear was that I might get rear-ended in the white-out.
There was a ˝ inch or more on the roadway as I turned east on the first gravel road. As I chugged down that gravel trail, my feet extended like landing skis, a children’s tale kept popping into my brain.
After two miles of gravel I came to a junction and turned on to the black-top, realizing as I did, that my brakes would be of no further use to me. The rear end had tried to pass me the first time I touched the foot peddle. From here on, I’ll be stopping Fred Flintstone style, feet dragging. once on the black-top I managed to reach speeds of 60-70 kph. The rough pavement was able to retain heat better than gravel so it was still melting most of the falling snow. Turning north once again on a secondary road, I was pleased to see clear pavement and briefly thought that the worst was over. Boy, I can’t get anything right today. Less than two miles north I once more became engulfed in the raging storm. In fact, I had shook the snow off my dragging feet 2-3 times before I became consciously aware of what I was doing.
By now I was looking over my glasses and windshield because both were obscured with wind-packed snow. The flakes were huge, wet, and blowing across the side of my face with stinging force. With my face numb and three fingers frozen the basics were quickly becoming difficult. I noticed lights gaining from behind and realized that this was the first vehicle I’d seen since leaving the main highway. My hazard lights were on but still I pulled over to allow them to pass. Looking down I see I am riding in six inches or more of fresh fallen snow and think to myself “These Dunlop tires are amazing”.
The truck pulls along side of me and a tinted electric window drops to reveal an angel whose first words to me were.“Can we give you a ride”. Up until this point, I had never considered that I was in any trouble, only that it may be a long ride home. Standing astride my 800 pound beast in this winter wonder land I replied, “I guess under the circumstances, I would be foolish not to accept your offer”. We quickly decided to continue north to the next farm house where I could leave my precious bike. It is times like these that make you appreciate your fellow man. I figure the Big Guy put these fine people there to take care of me and who am I to mess with destiny. It turns out that Miles and Viv have a “one stop truck shop” in Acme called Redline Truck “N” Trailer Services, at 1-888-546-4099. They also ride a Honda 1100 Shadow, so we had lots to talk about as they drove me home, considerably out of their way. That my friends, is not only the Christian way, it is the Biker way.
At the time of writing, my beast is still down the road in a farmer’s yard. She is awaiting my return, with all parts intact. I just hope it doesn’t start rusting before I get her out of the snow. They are now telling us to expect another 20-40 centimeters by tomorrow so I may have to attempt the ride today. Wish me luck. To the rest of the team, I hope those sunburns are killing you!