Posted by: Jessie | December 27, 2009

Winter Trip, Day 1


I got myself a heated jacket for Christmas.  I took it for a test ride yesterday, and boy, was it warm!  Too warm, even.  So this makes that Deal’s Gap trip in the winter a possibility!  I couldn’t resist.  I had all the gear.  I had to go.  We made hotel reservations last night and got a great rate.  I was nervous but excited.  What if I get there and then the bike doesn’t start?  What if it falls over in the parking lot and I can’t pick it up?  Silly me.  I’ll be ok.  Igottago!

This morning was cold, and I was having second thoughts.  I haven’t gone on a trip by myself in years and years.  And we’re supposed to be at Eric’s Aunt Carol’s today.  But the hotel reservations were non-refundable.  And I would probably not forgive myself if I didn’t go. 

There’s a biker saying “Sometimes it takes a whole tank of gas to clear my head.”  With all the pressure that has been building up from work, I definitely needed the chance to clear my head.  So I pried myself out of bed and got on the road. 

I put on my Olympia mesh pants with the insulated waterproof/windproof liner and knee armor

Next, the First Gear electric jacket liner

Next, the windproof Killimanjaro jacket and a balaclava

Helmet on, gloves on, liner pluged in... Ready to GO!

When I left this morning it was 37 degrees.  I didn’t care.  I was toasty warm with my electric jacket.  Too toasty even.  I had to stop to turn it down so that I didn’t overheat. 

I made frequent stops, at least every hour, to avoid getting too tired or too cold.  My gas light came on at 120 miles.  I think I can get 200 miles on a tank of gas, but the engine started to stutter at 140 miles.  Luckily there was a gas station within a few miles.  It was a little tiny RV park deep in the heart of Kentucky.  They only had Regular gas.  No premium.  No pay at the pump, either.  One of the ladies behind the counter asked me if I was on a motorcycle.  I told her I was and the other lady exclaimed “Goodness!  On a day like this???”  I explained about my electric jacket liner.  They were amazed.  They had never heard of such a thing.

I made a stop to stretch my legs.  By the time I got back to my bike a guy named Dwayne had stopped his car and was waiting to see who was riding on such a chilly day.  I told him about my electric liner and he was amazed.  He wanted to know where he could get such a thing.  I told him about the internet, but he didn’t know anything about that, but his brother-in-law works at a bike shop. 

I guess Dwayne had never met a woman who would ride her motorcycle by herself on a cold day.  He kept asking me to sit in his car and talk to him.  I declined.  He asked me if I had a number, and I told him “Nope, sorry.”  He looked like he didn’t believe me so I told him “Well, I do, but my husband won’t let me give it out.”  What I was really thinking was “Please go away and let me check my oil without any “help.””  I guess he got it after I mentioned my husband.  He drove away. 

So I added half a quart of oil (wuzupwidat?  My bike is drinking oil??) and rode away.  For some reason my heated jacket wasn’t giving off any heat.  Bummer.  It couldn’t be broken already!  Man!  I gave it some more miles to heat up.  Nothin.  I checked to see if it was plugged in.  It wasn’t.  Whew.  Fortunately it was up to 47 degrees and my non-electric gear was enough to keep me from getting cold. 

I was surprised to realize that I was only about half an hour away from Knoxville.  My GPS kept threatening to run out of batteries, but we made it ok.  (My GPS currently has Elfred the Elf voice, and he has quite a personality.  He even makes his own comments that you would never expect to hear from a GPS.)



  1. […] Pictures of me in all of this gear are posted here. […]

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