Monday, June 1, 2009

Technology and Riding

The extended forecast calls for showers and thunderstorms all weekend. Andy and I decide to stay home Saturday and attend to chores. Not a drop falls from the sky all day. I have a stocked pantry and refrigerator, clean socks and underwear in the drawer and the house is vacuumed and dusted. (Long overdue I might add.) It’s not exactly how I want to spend a sunny day. As I’m preparing supper, the phone rings. It’s my good friend Dave. He tells me he has picked up his bike from the Harley dealer.

“Yippee!” I say, “Let’s ride tomorrow. I’ll send out a note and see if Lee and Deb can join us.”

In the morning the forecast seems to be more accurate in the shower and thunderstorm prediction than the day before. We study the Doppler on TV. Armed with this information, we decide to ride were the storm track is least likely to be. When we meet up with Lee and Deb, Lee takes out his Blackberry and checks the Doppler for updates. He and Andy put their heads together. So begins our day of outrunning Mother Nature.

The storm track is heading from west to east from a southwest to northeast track. We head northeast first ahead of the front then head in a more easterly direction through Bear Brook State Park. We make a grand loop to the shore. The weather is fantastic so far. From there we head south and stop for a lunch of fish and chips. What else would one eat at the shore? While we are enjoying the banter along with the fish and chips, the wind picks up. Lee consults the Doppler via his Blackberry. He teases Dave about how much rain is falling on Dave’s house at the moment.

Lee and Deb have unfinished chores of their own, so they decide to hightail it home after lunch. We aren’t ready to head home, so Andy takes us as far east as possible to keep away from the rain. We enjoy the breeze at Plum Island. Dave and I watch the shore birds while Andy gabs with the local fishermen. Then off we go again. The plan is to follow the Merrimack River west along 110. We get as far as the intersection of 97 when an ominous black cloud appears on the horizon. Andy decides a northerly heading on 97 is in order. The black cloud catches up with us in Methuen.

The rain starts as a sprinkle and quickly turns into a deluge. Andy pulls into a closed auto place that has a canopy we park beneath. The wind has really intensified and the tops of the trees are twisting and dancing in circles. While we wait for the rain to let up, Andy asks to look at the GPS to find the quickest way out. Route 93 is ahead about four miles and we decide to hightail it out of this rain. We get back on the road and just ahead a tree is down in the roadway. Our guardian angles have once again pulled us over before danger. We are safely around and by the time we reach Manchester the sun is shining. We are all dry before we reach home. Upon reflection, I realize that without such high tech toys like Lee’s Blackberry or a GPS, it would have been a very different ride. In addition, playing keep away is as much fun as playing tag.


Baron's Life said...

another excellent and well documented post...just like being there. Good thing you were able to avoid the rain....

mq01 said...

i am craving fish and chips now :) great post

fasthair said...

Ms. Pat: I don't need no stinkin' GPS! I'm a man and I don't need a man either :) I do have the weather on my phone though. It's kind of nice to know if you can smelll the roses a bit longer or have to high tail it for some place else.

Great ride post!