Thursday, March 22, 2012

May in March

In all my riding years, we have celebrated kicking off the riding season in March. Typically we are dress in layers, stop often to stamp our feet or to hold our numb fingers just above the exhaust pipes. So when the weather forecast predicted unseasonably warm weather, we were excited to head out on Sunday with our friends Dave and Lee.

When we started to get ready for the ride it was not yet 40 degrees. That of course is perfectly fine. It is March after all. I put my long Kevlar undies on under my jeans, wore the hot chili socks, and layered the top with a thermal undies shirt, long sleeved tee and sweater topped with the riding jacket. Our plan was to ride to the coast and I predicted a stiff sea breeze for which I was ready. Who would have thought it would reach 80 degrees that day!

We headed out toward Hampton via the secondary roads. It was pleasant but odd at the same time. Typically on these byways you can get a scenic glimpse now and then through a break in the tree line. Yet, because it is March, there is no foliage yet, and we had views one doesn’t usually see from a motorcycle along this route. As we approached Hampton, it was clear that we were not the only ones  thinking of the beach. In the distance we could already see the kites skipping along the horizon, straining to be free of their tethers.


The temperatures quickly climbed, and we started to shed our layers once at the beach. We enjoyed a stroll, people watching and kite admiration until our hunger pushed us on to find a place to eat. We headed north along the coast yet at any place that was open this early in the season, the line of people stretched out the door and down the walk, so we pushed on to Portsmouth.

By the time we arrived in Portsmouth, I was becoming drenched and needed Andy’s assistance to remove the thermal undershirt without removal of the top layer. It was a class act for sure, and my modesty remained intact. Finding a place to eat here wasn’t easy either, but we found Me and Ollie where they treated us nicely and we were off again.

In Rochester we parted ways with Lee, and Andy Dave and I wiggled the rest of the way home. Of course Andy and I needed an ice cream fix at Hayward’s which hit the spot on this HOT day. The lines here too were long, but not one person was heard grumbling.

This March week has remained exceptionally warm and it begged a late Thursday afternoon ride. So off again we went, just Andy and I, around the area to put in a couple of hours of saddle time. Summer jacket, no layers, and some of the best therapy I’ve had in a very long time.

1 comment:

Trobairitz said...

Sounds like you got out for a few beautiful rides.

Doesn't it seem we are always taking layers off or adding layers on? We must be adaptable to ride comfortably.

I am envious of your weather. we had a surprise snow storm here in Oregon - very rare for Spring- and it hasn't quite all melted yet. It is off the roads but we aren't sure if they are dry and it dipped to 28 last night. No one likes to be surprised by black ice.