Last Good Ride of the Year – Lake Powell

Mike Jarvis and I loaded our bikes down with RV antifreeze and headed down last Friday to Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell to winterize our houseboat. Believe it or not, I had 12 gallons strapped to my bike, and Mike had 6 gallons. I felt like I had a really fat person riding on back.

The weather going down was pretty good, with some light drizzles going down, enough that we needed to take it slow in the turns. Temps were in the 40’s and 50’s most of the way down. Once at Powell, it was in the 60’s. We did have a few downpours that night.

We got everything winterized. (Two inboard engines, a generator, the lake water lines, the fresh water lines and the toilets)

The next day we headed for home. The ride was quite nice most of the way, until we were west of Price, coming through Spanish Fork Canyon. It poured on us the whole way. We kept our speeds in the 50’s most of the way, ensuring that we didn’t hydroplane. Temps dipped into the 30’s going through the canyon.

We both had headed gear, so we stayed toasty warm. Even though heated gear is pricey, it is the only way to go in cold weather riding.

A couple of tips for riding in the rain:

  • Plan ahead, trying to avoid rainy areas or times for your trip. But if you can’t, then the following items will help.
  • Don’t ride in the rain if you have worn tires. They should have good tread on the tires to bite the road. On my cross-country trip to Florida last year, my back tire was getting pretty worn, and I actually hydroplaned in the rain on my back tire going through Tennessee. Lucky for me, when I released the throttle, the back tire bit the road again, and then wobbled for about 30 yards before I gained control of the bike. Needless to say, that scared the begeebees out of me.
  • Slow down. Keep your speed slow. Highway speeds should be about 5 to 10 miles slower than the speed limit, depending on weather conditions. Higher speeds creates a higher risk of hydroplaning.
  • Keep your turning and moves slow and deliberate. Don’t make any quick turns or moves.
  • Wear bright clothing. When it is raining, other drivers will have a more difficult time seeing you if your clothing blends in with the landscape. Having bright-colored rain gear helps you to be seen.
  • Turn up the lights. Keep your highway bar lights on or your high beam light on. Again, you want people to see you.
  • Have a good rain suit and rain-proof clothing. There is nothing more miserable than riding wet on your motorcycle. It can get pretty bone-chilling when you get wet. Make sure your gloves and boots are water proof. Routinely I spray my riding boots and gloves with a waterproof spray. I also have waterproof boot covers that keep my boots dry, as well as keeping the water out of my ankle areas.

Until the next ride…