At 17:00 EST on April 13th Paul
Lahaie and I set off to take a short tour around the
Upper Ottawa Valley on our motorcycles. I have a 1996 Honda
CBR900RR, and Paul just picked up a brand new Suzuki SV650S
he was eagar to bring into the upper valley twisties.
We arrived in Pembroke which is usually about a 1.5 hour
ride away from Ottawa about 4 hours later. Several warming
up breaks added to our travel time.
Friday morning came all too early and contrary to the
weather reports, it was raining. Not just raining but
raining at 4C outside. After about 4 hours of
procrastination we left Pembroke to head south towards
Kingston with the vague hope that the rain would stop and
that we would see the high of 10C promised by The Weather
Half an hour later we were wet. I don't mean damp as most
of our gear is in fact advertised as waterproof. It is
almost funny how even the lightest rain finds its way into
every opening at 120kph. Most of our kit was waterproof,
unfortunatly neither of us had picked up waterproof boots,
or gloves. Had it not been 4C outside, perhaps this would
have been a mild inconvenience, at 4C becoming wet makes a
serious impact upon your level of comfort.
After 6 hours of riding, stopping, riding, stopping and even
having our gear dried in a clothes drier at one restaurant
along the way we finally pulled into Kingston. We located
lodging and promptly hid from the rain and attempted to dry
out our kit.
The next morning we thought we would be smart about the trip
back. After a run to Canadian Tire to pick up a wide
assortment of items including additional waterproofing
materials as well as a number of products intended to
prevent our helmet visors from fogging up we headed back to
the hotel to prepare for the ride back to Ottawa.
At 3C no anti-fog product on the planet will function. At
3C it doesn't matter if you keep your gloves dry. At 3C and
120Kph there must be a -20C windchill. Imagine going skiing
in the rain in -20C weather. For 6 hours.
Needless to say, the ride back into Ottawa was somewhat
stressful. It also caused me to take a much more serious
look at electric heated riding gear like Widder makes.
Things we learned.
- Bring rubber overboots
- Bring waterproof thick insulated gloves
- Sportbikes do not provide any rain protection
- Electric socks are not to be mocked
- Never, EVER, trust a weatherman.
Well back to work. I wish I had photographs to include, it
was certainly an interesting experience that neither of us
will ever repeat.