Flat land, flat tire…
Back to riding today after our extra day yesterday in Colorado Springs. Hays, KS is the destination and after a quick breakfast we hit the road. I think I witnessed the fastest consumption of a breakfast ever this morning by the H-D photographer, Victor. One minute. Crazy.
We’ve had what I’ll call an unbelievable ride so far. Fun people, great scenery, some heat, some cool, but no rain and overall great weather. Haven’t even touched the rain suit. No bikes issues either. Many (perhaps most) of my peers leading rides from other cities haven’t been so lucky. Rain, cold, and a tropical storm have impacted many rides. Well, it looked like our luck was about to end. The weather forecast for the day didn’t look great.
The clouds were dark, swirling and fast moving when we stopped at our first gas stop. After some debate, we put the rain suits on. My experience has always been that if I don’t put the suit on, the rain comes fast and hard. Clearly I’m not a meteorologist, but I’m guessing with the land as flat as it is around here (really not much to see), the weather systems move quickly.
While I was worrying about the weather, Dan (our ride manager) had the opportunity to sleep part of the way to Hayes. That wasn’t in the plan. His nap was in a tow truck. Dan’s bike developed a flat rear tire 120 miles out from Hayes. Always fun at 75 m.p.h., he safely navigated the bike to the shoulder. While the group waited for a tow truck (courtesy of the H.O.G. roadside assistance program) Rod took a quick nap and Eric read a book. Rod was just about to hydrate some brush on the side of the road when a State Trooper stopped to check in on them. It would have been amusing if he was mid-stream when the Trooper pulled up.
When we finally made it to Doerflers’ H-D, the place was hopping. The weather had cleared and we escaped without a single drop of rain. Shannon from the dealership did a great job pulling together a fun event. They had some motorcycle rodeo activities, a great band, good food and lots of people, including many from their H.O.G. chapter. They also helped us out with a new tire for Dan’s bike. Sean, a H-D ride leader who started in Liberal, KS, also met us at the dealership today.
One of the guys in our group tried arranging dinner tonight. He convinced a young lady from the hotel to drive us to the local brew pub (thanks Stacy!). However, we got a tour of Hayes in a hotel shuttle but no dinner. Important note to dinner planners everywhere – check if the restaurant you are going to is still open before heading out with a van full of hungry and thirsty people.