Daily Rider & Ice

It was 28 degrees according to the Time & Temperature clock when I left Kerman this morning. Luckily it was clear and relatively dry. About 6 miles east of town, the temperature had dropped a few degrees and I began to get into some fog. The fog thickened up to about 500 feet visibility and the bike & I were getting wetter & wetter in the fog. I needed to wipe my face shield off every minute or so.

Then came the inevitable results of combining a foggy mist with mid 20s temperatures and a 40-50 mph wind; my faceshield would not wipe off. (A quick look at a NOAA windchill chart later in the day showed the effective temperature to be about 4 degrees.) Some quick and vigorous scraping poked a hole in the ice on my shield big enough to see through. The heated grips on the bike (Wow, do I love the heated grips!) had the palms of my gloves very toasty so rubbing the ice with the palm of the glove got a bit more ice removed. I would imagine that the sight of motorcyclist riding through the fog with one hand covering his face & eyes was a bit strange (and possible memorable) to the drivers going the other way. The way I figure it though, I already couldn't see because of the fog & ice; covering my eyes with my hand wasn't going to make things much worse. (Really, though, this whole scene only lasted 5-10 seconds.) After I got a hole made in the ice, I was able to keep it clear, even though the rest of my visor continued to ice up.

A few more miles up the road and the front of my jacket was white with ice, particularly on my arms, as were my knee caps and the toes of my boots. I had horizontal icicles hanging from the top of my windshield, my handguards, and on the lower crashbars. Thankfully, the fog was not resting on the ground and/or freezing there. Ice & motorcycles do not play well together.

By the time I reached the Fresno City limits, the fog had lifted and it was clear & dry again. Within a few miles, the ice was gone, but it was still cold.

No comments: