Friday, September 28, 2012

Sitting Here, Watching It Rain

When I went out to the garage this morning to take the trash out, I could no longer avoid eye contact with my two motorcycles, Fuzzy and Zooty.  I'd been making empty promises to them for two months now. 

"When are you going to take me out for a ride?  My rotors are rusting, my oil is stagnating, and the gas in my tank is getting stale."  Their pleas were getting quite pitiful.

As I walked the trash down to the curb, I felt the heat and humidity wrap itself around me.  It won't be long now before the better riding weather arrives in South Texas.  But then, as I walked back to the garage and entered the house, I had such a sudden pang of guilt that I went back into the garage, fired up the air compressor, and grabbed my tire gauge.  No point putting this off any longer.  Indeed, it could get costly if I wait any longer and one of them won't start.

Now I was on a mission.   Tires are aired up and the only thing to do now is go back in the house and get my riding gear on. "Whichever bike has the GPS cradle installed gets to go first," I said to myself as, now fully geared up in mesh pants, jacket, boots and helmet, I headed back out to the garage.   That turned out to be the BMW, so off she and I went, down 288 toward Lake Jackson. 

The further south I got, the darker the skies got, until I could easily see the curtain of rain just ahead.  I really didn't want to ride in rain today, so my route was decided for me as I exited onto Highway 35 in Angleton.   There's a very nice Buc-ee's gas station here, so I took advantage of that to fill the gas tank and go inside for the bathroom.  When I came back out, the rain clouds had advanced even closer to more than a mile away to the south.  My thought of riding west on 35 to FM-521 and then north was jettisoned in favor of just getting back onto 288 and heading north and back home. 

It did feel good to get out on one of the bikes.  As I rode along I tried to remember where I'd last taken the BMW.  And then horror struck me as I realized the last time she'd been ridden was in mid-July to the BMW rally in Missouri.  Well, that's just not right!

My intentions were to ride the BMW, get home, and then hop right onto the FZ6 and take her out.  How far south can I get before hitting that advancing wall of rain?  Let's find out! 

Back in the garage, I hopped off the BMW, moved the GPS over to the FZ, then hopped onto the FZ and started her up.  Like the good girl that she is, her inline-four motor sprang to life immediately when I touched the starter button. I rolled onto 288 going south and clearly the storm was heading my way.  Nope!  Not going to make it all the way to Angleton.  The next-best route would be to get off onto FM-1462, go over to Rosharon, and then north on FM-521. 

Can I make it?  Can I make it?  It's going to be close.  As I neared 1462 I was pretty sure I was about to ride right into it.  The tell-tale "white-out" just ahead and off a little to the west of me was a dead giveaway.   I definitely wasn't going to make it without getting wet.  I rode into it as soon as I got onto FM-521.  But it felt very good, cooling me down, and I was out of it within a few miles. 

On up to Highway 6, a stop at the Chevron station to get some of that Techron-laced fuel into my little girl's gas tank, and then back onto 288 for the few remaining miles. 

Apparently I got home none too soon....45 minutes ahead of the rain, to be exact.  The rains are now here!


  1. Ahhh rain. Who knew I'd miss it. We've just had a sprinkle since June. Rumor has it we may get some next Friday.

    Glad you managed to get the girls out for quick rides. I don't mind it if I get caught in the rain but I am always reluctant to start off in the rain. Just think of it as giving the FZ a quick bath.

  2. Had rain here in North Texas also. Changed oil in my son's Ninja 250. It is nice today so I rode to work. Enjoy the cooler weather.