The forecast said showers were possible but they would quickly give way to a mix of sun and cloud. Ha! Double Ha! I pulled out of the driveway in pouring rain yesterday morning, dressed in a way I thought was proper. I wore my complete rainsuit over my jeans, shirt, hoodie and leather jacket and attached the neck guard to my helmet for a bit of extra protection.
The rain did not let up. It rained, poured and teemed steadily. Only a handful of hearty souls turned up for the charity ride, Bikers for Brains, and it became clear that going for a soggy 2.5 hour ride in the country with only a half-dozen bikes was not a very good idea. Instead, we decided to pop out to Komoka to the Little Beaver restaurant for a coffee and a bite while the band set up and the owner of Friendly Fare brought in her chili. We took the wettest ride I’ve ever been on to Komoka, led by friend and bike-riding record holder Thane Silliker who doesn’t let a little weather faze him. He actually took a detour down a pretty sideroad because he wanted us to see it!
(Thane Silliker and Andrew Rodgers from ride sponsor Forest City Honda)
Every time I changed a gear, a half-litre of liquid sloshed in my left Harley boot, proving the large gap in definition between water resistent and water-proof. I hadn’t prepared my footwear the way I was taught because I mistakenly thought the weather would clear. I didn’t even care anymore that my face was wet and cold. I told myself that the raindrops pummeling my cheeks were giving me an exfoliation treatment! By the time we reached the restaurant I was soaked from the calves down and ready for something warm.
We lost some riders along the way. No one offered any judgment because, let’s face it, when we got close to my home I engaged in some serious self-talk to keep myself from just hanging a sharp right and heading for certain warmth in my own bathtub! So we were down to four riders who sloshed into the restaurant, causing a bit of a scene. Our humour-challenged waitress did not even grin when I ordered “a pair of dry socks, please.” I did go to the Ladies’ and wring my socks out but it didn’t help a lot since I was putting my wet feet back into wet boots. We warmed up with coffee and tea and took a less scenic route back to the Music Hall in London where the previously “lost” riders were waiting for us after all.
Hurtin’ Merv and the Painkillers were set up, the chili lady had her goods hot and ready for eating and non-riders had joined us by this time. I wrung my socks out again and held them up to the hand dryer, to no avail.
What a wonderful group of people! The support in the room was palpable. We gave away prizes and talked about why we were there and we kept the focus on next year when we will have better weather and more participants. Much of the reason it didn’t turn into a big downer is due to organizer Sharon Whiteside and her husband Jeff. When you meet good people in this life, you need to acknowledge them and these folks are good. Thane was a trooper for coming out and leading the small parade of riders to Komoka and pal Jeff Langford also rode from Thamesford to be a ride marshall but I cut him loose when it was clear there would be no need. There’s nothing anyone could do about the weather; it was the big wildcard in the day’s plans and it decided to work against us. Oh well! We’ll all be back next year and the fair weather riders who didn’t saddle up this year, will join us then.