Day’s distance / Total distance – 468 miles / 8,085 miles (odometer)
It was cold this morning, with the temperature starting out at 35. That said, it did warm up very quickly and reached the low 70s in Ogden, UT this afternoon. There were clear skies all day.
To prepare for the expected cold, I added an extra layer, including a second pair of socks, pants as a middle layer over my long base layer and under my protective outer layer, and an additional long sleeve fleece middle layer.
I also had the heated grips and heated seat on low most of the day (high is too much under most conditions).
My bike’s fairing blocks most of the cold air on calm days, but cross winds will blow around it. Much of the day my left shoulder felt colder than the right as a result.
I think one key in these conditions is to keep your skin dry. My ldcomfort base layer works wonders in that regard. If you can keep your skin dry, you can stay warm and comfortable. The stuff is expensive but I’ve been using the same two sets for six years. (Yes, it is time to get new ones – lol.)
I’m afraid I only took one picture today, when I crossed into Wyoming this morning.
Wind was a challenge, especially around the greater Elk Mountain area. The electronic traffic boards above the highway warned of 40 mph gusts.
I felt those gusts despite the motorcycle being less impacted than on previous trips when I was using the top case.
Gusts aside, wind was buffeting me and the bike most of the day, though after Rawlings it was more even and easier to manage.
For non-riders, when a motorcycle is hit with a cross wind, the bike cants into the wind. This means you keep going straight but your leaned over, sometimes leaned over a lot! It takes some getting used to and, for me, is not enjoyable.
High winds also buffet my helmet. After a few hours I end up feeling like I imagine a boxer might feel – just plain beat up around the head and shoulders.
The wind, too, was expected. It’s the midwest, after all. No long distance rider is going to escape wind, rain, cold days or fog for very long. It’s all part of the journey.
The secret is to be prepared.
My route, modified yesterday, now takes me from Ogden, UT all the way to Hermiston, OR in an effort to avoid any possibility of getting caught on the wrong side of any overnight snowfall north of Baker City.
In that vein, a good friend and fellow long distance rider told me about another weather site (and app for your phone) called windy.com. Similar to weatherstreet.com but much more polished.
That site shows the showers and wind I’ll be riding through tomorrow. I captured this screen shot of the Baker City area at 3pm, my expected arrival time in the area.
The blue areas are expected precipitation. Snow showers may occur in the mountains on either side of my route, but you can see temperatures (shown in the image) to be in the 40s and 50s.
Deadman Pass, located between Pendleton and La Grande, will be windy and possibly rainy around 5pm. Total expected rainfall is relatively light at under .07 inches per hour
Tomorrow will easily be the longest ride of this trip, over 550 miles. I’ll get an early start, be layered up for a cold morning and have my Frog Toggs at the ready for expected afternoon showers.
My penultimate day of the trip will be throwing everything nature has at me. Stay tuned!