We begin with a simple multiple choice question - If you're going out for a ride you will be:
E. Just right.
A. You live in Arizona
B. You live in Maine
C. You live in Seattle
D. You live in Utah
E. You live in your head
I suppose that in addition to ATGATT and pre-flight checks on the bike, we also cast a weather eye to the skies, check the latest from NOAA and just plain, old, hope-for-the-best.
Lee and I were wending our way up through Vermont and into New Hampshire staying north of the crowds that we attending the Laconia Rally. We rented a cabin at the Twin Mountains KOA and spent some time riding through the White Mountains, circling Mount Washington and filling the coffers of the vendors in North Conway.
On a whim, we decided to make a run up to Canada just to get our passports stamped. The weather, when we awoke promised to be clear and sunny. A check of the weather radar said otherwise.
Indeed the first 30 miles were quite pleasant.
But it didn't take long for the front to arrive and soon we pulled over to put the rain gear on. I enjoy nothing better than hopping around on one foot trying to get my boot through one of the pant legs. Although the cuff is zippered to allow the passage of a riding boot there is nothing that prevents the rubber sole of the boot from sticking to the inside of the pant leg. I have tried rolling the pant legs down and then stepping into the pants and pulling them up. This in itself is relatively easy, but to a passerby it appears that you have dropped your pants and are squatting to answer an urgent call of nature. I have no desire to find myself posted on youtube, blogged, or entered into America's Funniest Home Videos. Well, if I get a percentage of the winnings I might sign a waiver for the latter. Everyone has their price.
A half hour later and we rode from cold drizzle into nice warm air with skies. Lee signalled that we should pullover. We did and he mentioned that he was going to take his rain gear off. I told him no.
"Why not?" he asked.
"Sucker hole." I replied.
"It's a meteorological trap where Mother Nature fools you into thinking it's going to turn nice. It'll last long enough for you to take the rain gear off then ride ten miles only to have to stop and put it back on because it's raining again. So you can take yours off if you want, but I'm leaving mine on."
"Sucker holes? Where did you hear that from?"
"My best friend was the meteorologist on the carrier J.F. Kennedy and when he was stationed at McMurdo in Antarctica. He told me about it years ago when we were hiking a stretch of the Appalachian Trail. It was raining and then turned sunny. I was tempted to take my rain jacket off, but he insisted I leave it on. Fifteen minutes later it was raining again."
After some grumbling, Lee decided to leave the gear on and off we rode heading north for the border. Sure enough; within thirty minutes the sucker hole closed and we were back to riding in a cold drizzle.
Twenty miles later and we reached the intersection for our route to Canada. A highway sign informed us that the road was closed for repairs. We stopped at a general store, got something to drink and pissed and moaned about the road being closed. It didn't do any good. Fifteen minutes of pissing, moaning and bitching and the road was still closed.
We checked the road map and figured out a loop ride that would take us back to the cabin. Other than the drizzle which made the road slick enough that in the curves I clenched my butt tight enough to leave a ridge on the saddle that looked a lot like a profile of the Andes Mountains in Chile.
Back at the cabin we parked the bikes, took off our gear and went inside. Five minutes later the sun came out. Lee sat on the porch with a beer and asked, "Is this another sucker hole?"
"Probably not since we're not on the bikes anymore. But I can damn well guarantee that if we get on the bikes to ride to dinner, it's going to pour."
Later that day we did ride out for dinner. Coming back it rained like hell.