This morning started nice enough with Valker making breakfast and sending me on my way. Took 70 to 60. Nice 2 lanes, 75 speed limit but it was raining pretty steady but not heavy. By the time I hit Amarillo the rain was lightening up and at the New Mexico border it stopped entirely. The first gear Killamanjaro jacket is waterproof and the heated gear did its job perfectly well. I was snug as a bug in a rug.
Had a stop in Tucumcari NM nice little town. I know Kendall and Des have had rides there and I can see why they like the area. Kendall and I exchanged emails as I had been interested in meeting him but it won’t happen this trip Around Albuquerque it started getting windy but warmer which was fine with me as I was tired of being cold already so I turned off the electrics.
Gassed up west of town, checked in with Stacy in the office and called Bonnie and finished the hard boiled eggs and a v8 that Kim gave me and hit the road The winds were picking up and my mileage dropped to 22-23 mpg going 82. But we all know Valk Speedo runs high so it was probably a bit under 80 actually. I took just under 5 gallons for 112 miles which is not so great.
I planned to get gas at Gallup but 40 miles before town I hit a dust storm could hardly see and the wind was awesome. Then my fog lights stopped working and my 4 ways also were not working,. I suspect sand in the cancel switch on the left handlebar and a fuse, will have BIG BF look at it when I hit Phoenix. Bike was running fine otherwise. Radio fine, Speedo fine (if the alternator is failing those will fail) and power was perfect.
Then coming into town of Gallup on a sweeping left hander I got hit with a wind gust well over 50. (I think it was 60+ as I have felt winds that high before) mph and almost dumped the bike.
I was on the Mick o pegs (which are spring loaded foot pegs which let your legs stretch lower to the ground, its like sitting on a barstool and it takes the pressure off your hips and lower back. )to lower my center of gravity a bit when the left one scraped the ground no big deal, I just lifted my foot off the peg and a moment later a stronger gust hit and then the floorboard dragged as the gust took all my speed away so I gave the bike throttle to try to stand it up and up my dragon flew !
But now the wind was now well beyond my ability to control the bike and I knocked it down to 3rd gear the rest of the way to town waving traffic past me with my left hand then exiting at last into Gallup’s main part of town and taking the 1st right turn into a gas station shaking like a leaf. I saw route 66 was on the other side of an overpass but I could not go over it safely.
As I pondered my predicament along came a nice Native American gentleman. He said boy that must be no fun today where you going. I replied that it seemed I needed to find a place to hunker down for the night and he pointed to a strip of motels on the other side of 40 (actually on route 66)
He told me of a way back on the service road that would let me go under Interstate 40 as it was just not possible to ride over the overpass It was mind blowing wind and dust turned right on 66 and booked a room at 2pm here at the Americas Best Value Motel and got a room in the lee of the wind. So now I have ridden on Route 66 Valker ! Weather channel says high winds till midnight and steady 51 and up right now.
The wind is howling here so I will stay tonight in the room after having dinner next door. I am feeling like I am very lucky to have found the high wind where I did as I would not have anyplace to stop down the road for more than a hundred miles. It takes me a few hours to stop shaking. The lady at the desk says locally the wind is in the 70’s and I believe it.
The good thing (as Bruce-DDT) and I discussed often about being an older wiser rider is that we will get there when we get there and that is as it should be I have no doubt that I would have wrecked if I attempted to continue 200 more miles to Flagstaff in that wind, It seems to me to be about as gusty as the wind in Limon, Colorado back in 2005 and that one (91 mph windspeed clocked where I was hiding the I -50/ I-70 overpass sitting on the bike with my hands squeezing the brake lever and praying) is fodder for some of my favorite bike stories that some of you know already I took lots of pics on the go pro (well I think I did} and will try to get them to Bonnie for uploading You have to know your limitations Hope you all in the northeast have made it thru the nor easter safely. Will plan my route for tomorrow later. My best guess is I will not get to LA Friday Its good that I have 2 extra travel days in my plans, you never know what comes next