Friday, September 6, 2013

Three Words Describe Today, WET, WET, WET!!!

Dear Family & Friends,,

In England a day of good weather is to be appreciated, two days of good weather are not likely, and three days of good weather is a miracle.. Four days in a row of good weather.... IMPOSSIBLE!! Today was the forth day.
We got up expecting an easy 2 hour ride to Coventry. As we left the hotel I was totally surprised because it was COLD and drizzly.. Since the weather report did not say rain today I figured it was just some early morning moisture and would quickly burn off.
As we approached our motorcycles Duane's motorcycle had a flat tire.. This happens but it is not fun. Duane adeptly repaired it on his own and we were on our way
Our first ride was only about 20 minutes to a cafe someone had recommend to us. It is called the Squire Cafe,, or nicknamed The Milk Bar... We were told it was a major motorcycle hang out and on any day there were hundreds of motorcycles there.
Well after about ten minutes of riding the slight drizzle turned into a MAJOR down pour. By the time we got there we were soaking wet. As we parked our motorcycles in the parking lot I looked around to count all the motorcyclist there... counting our two motorcycles there were two motorcycles there... I guess smart motorcyclist don't ride in the pouring rain!
We went in and ordered breakfast and talked to a few of the locals and the owner. The place was great and I really wish we could have come on a dry weekend. It was full of all my favorites... Motorcycle memorabilia everywhere, pool tables, a motorcycle repair shop, and amazingly a full size ice skating rink!! ( For those of you that don't know me I was a very avid and fairly good speed skater in my youth). If I lived in this area I would hang out there every day!
When it was time to leave there was a local policeman there having breakfast so I asked him how to get back to the freeway.. He told me to turn right out of the lot and go back a couple of miles to the first village and it would be sign posted... After wandering around lost for about half an hour I turned on my GPS (it started working again for some magical reason). We followed the GPS directions for about 20 minutes and suddenly we were riding right past the cafe we had just left but in the other direction. About a 1/4 mile past it was the sign for the freeway. Either the policeman did not know his area or he was yanking our chain!
By now the rain was really coming down hard and it was blowing hard too. Miserable riding conditions. Honestly if we did not have a room paid for tonight in Coventry we would have just pulled over and stayed where ever we could, but since that was not an option we rode for two hours in some of the worst riding conditions I have ever ridden in, blowing hard rain..  Even with my waterproof riding gear the water started blowing into seams and cracks and soon we were both soaked to the core and cold... The M1 freeway we had to ride on is a major traffic route in England it was full of big trucks blowing water and mist everywhere making it even more difficult to see. I am sure the only thing that totally protected me was my lucky Berkeley scarf my daughter Hannah gave me when she was a student there.I wear it when I am riding for warmth and protection. I treasure that gift!
We did eventually make it Coventry were we checked into our room and promptly hung out all our clothes to dry! I don't think we are going anywhere else today. We are going to stay warm and dry and eat in the hotel.
The rest of the weekend should be fun and easy. Tomorrow we are going to the National British Motorcycle museum which is close to here. Sunday we are going to Warwick Castle which is one of the oldest castles still standing in England. As a bonus Sunday they are having a large Jaguar car show there and vintage airplane air show! Sunday evening we are riding down to visit an old friend of mine, Nick Finburgh. Should be fun to get caught up.  I have known him since he was about 5 years old.  He is now married with two children and runs his own vintage car engine building business. Where does the time go??

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