Like 1800 miles-ish.
Alright, here we go. The first issue arises:
God damn the Midwest sucks it on the interstate. The only good thing is that the states are small, so it feels like you are making progress as you cross state lines. Until you try to go through Chicago. Why do people want to live with such congestion? Anyway, I sat in 88 degree heat in stop-and-go traffic for an hour and a half. F Chicago. On the northern side, the traffic let up, only to be replaced by a torrential downpour. It was so bad that CARS were stopped under the bridge with me to hide from it. After a few minutes, I felt a sensation on my feet. Do I need to waterproof my boots? No. The damn underside of the bridge is FLOODING, and the water is now shin deep and leaking in. So, out into the douche-fest we go. The only plus side is stanking up your free hotel room (points) at the end of the day with all your wet shit:
Out west the states are all day affairs. They clearly got lazy with making new states. Then, at some point in the wide open of eastern Montana, the soaking committee decided to meet with me again. Only this time, I had miles and miles of open road ahead of me. So I started playing one of those Time/Speed/Distance problems that they used to torture you with in school. "A man on a motorcycle is travelling north at 75 miles per hour. A rainstorm with lightning is approaching from the west at 35 miles per hour. How many minutes will it take for the two to meet?"
Or, better yet, how friggin' fast do I have to go to outrun this shit? I tried 80 for a bit, but that wasn't enough. 85? Nope? 90 looked promising for a while, but the crazy crosswinds from the left had me riding sidesaddle, laying down on my tank, with my left hand on top of the triple to minimize my profile. There was no winning this one. It's bizarre how fast you will exceed the posted speed limit in order to avoid putting on your raingear.
The rain storm was approaching fast now from the west. I could smell the damp soil at this point:
Little rain drops were beginning to burst on my shield. I looked left to see the solid rain sheet about 500 yards out from me. And just like that - *squeak* - it's as if someone just turned off the faucet. I watched in disbelief of the last bit of rain dropped to the ground, like a curtain falling from a rod to the floor. I looked straight up to watch the dark clouds harden up on the bottom, and move off to the east:
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Coming across Indiana, 3 other riders with GS boxers (the BMW engine, not the men's underpants) passed me on the turnpike. That means 4 of the 6 GS riders from Ohio were all on the same road at the same time. Creepy. A little while later, I saw one of them in a long, hot line of cars waiting to move forward to pay his toll at the booth. I eased off the throttle, and worked left to go past him and through the EZ-PASS (or i-PASS or jizz-boxx or any of the myriad of names each state seems to come up with for the same damn thing) lane, only to find his 2 buddies patiently waiting for him (probably sweating their ass off) on the other side. Oh, THAT guy. They brought HIM. PITA guy. $20,000 bike, but too cheap to spring for the EZ-PASS. THAT guy. They are probably still waiting for him somewhere. Left his ID or credit card at home.
That brings us to our first (start humming a cliche TV infomercial jingle here
) PRODUCT REVIEW!
Disclaimer: Sorry THAT guy. You are probably a competent rider, and a fun dude to have around. But you blew it on this one. Read the following product review and see how easy it is to avoid public humiliation on the internet.