Wonna Be ADVrider
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Sandia Mountains New Mexico
Saturday - November 10, 2012
West Texas Wind Storms, how bad can it be?
David Brown’s Sport Center represents in a large Texas way. This dealership is huge and spotless. I checked in and went to the service shop in another building to get Jo Jo checked in. Everyone there had heard about me and were curious about the trip. There was a lot of talk about trials, they just sold a 300 TXT Gas Gas to a local high school kid and they knew many folks that I have ridden with from the Amarillo and Pampa areas. I saddens me thinking about some of the guys that are now gone, guys my age. I rode over the cottonwoods with folks he and I both knew. When living in Texas for 11 years, we traveled to Pampa at Lake McClellan for the Texas State Series and then the US Central Regional Series. So there were two events a year out here on the cap rock. We rode over dead fall, huge cottonwoods that had died. A few sections on top of the cap rock but mostly air logs and more logs. By the last few sections of the third loop, we finally figured out how to ride the logs, only to soon forget until the next event there 6 months or so later.
One older gentleman was somewhat assisting a mechanic with a non starting Kawasaki side by side. I thought the Kawasaki was his, he seemed to know what questions to ask. He then disappeared and came back and stayed in the service managers office for a while. The cable arrived around 10 AM and they told me I could do it myself and use their tools if I wanted, which is what I did using my own tools. No charge, come by any time and if you need any help we will get you lined out. As I was leaving, the old guy asked me about the Albuquerque economy and I finally asked him what his business was, real estate? His response, hell son I own this place. I had been complimenting his shop and the staff and he said that made him happy to hear praises from a customer. It was a very impressive shop and very laid back like most Texans.
Oh yea, they also sell Klim gear.
Wow, a new Jo Jo for only $6200. It’s such a cute little baby.
David Brown. He is 72 years old, wow. He has been the owner for like 30 years or more.
Mr. Brown then took me to his man cave, his personal shop and his beauties. A 1952 Vincent, worth @ $100K. He rebuilt it himself and this bike was so far ahead of it’s time. Cantilevered front brakes, the rear fender has a hinge that allows you to remove the rear wheel and switch it around. It has a sprocket on both sides of the wheel. This was the father of dual sport bikes. Race it on Saturday night and then go cross country or trials on Sunday, ride it to work on Monday.
Mr. Brown was just a great host, I could have listened to him talk all day but with the wind storm on it’s heels and a long way across New Mexico, I needed to come up with a plan. Again my weather consultant was on the web advising me of the storm, where the precipitation was. I found a row of self storage buildings and one was unlocked so I had a temporary home as I consulted. Ray said the weather my friend, looks terminal. I decided to make the ride to Clovis and see what happens. Riding in the wind is a very proprioceptive, one of eight senses we never ever use. I don't recall reading many adventure reports riding in this kind of wind weather, maybe in Mongolia's steeps?
It is difficult to describe a wind storm like this. I had been exposed on the road for several weeks, I was very acclimated. But the power, the sound and the percussion you felt through the torso and into your legs came constantly from the south. I called the storm the Grim Reaper Wind. It was scary but also a beautiful and a powerful raw element. I tapped my wind screen to my helmet leaving Freona to minimize the silt coming through the edges. When I stopped in Clovis, none of the tape was there. I only made contact with one tumbleweed on the ride from Amarillo and they were abundant and fast. I dodged many and some were the size of Smart Cars. Tumbleweed at 2 o'clock, check. Traffic behind you, clear. Traffic in front, clear. Set up, prepare for evasive action. One large devil bounced off a culvert and became air borne with an intent to fly at me. It never touched the ground as it soured overhead.
Hell son I own this place.
Took refuge from the howl behind a store to make a phone call.
The weather was screaming. I had to put Jo Jo on her kick stand tilting into the wind. I learned this earlier when I got off the bike, set the kick stand and started to walk off as I saw Jo Jo lean, wobble a bit, lean and as I ran to the left side, I was able to grab the mound of crap dry bags on the back and two arm wrestle her back to the kick stand. I will never make that mistake again with a 500 pound bike in a 50 mile per hour wind.
I made it into Clovis wind whipped, discussed the weather again with Ray in Dallas and decided to push on. If I could make Fort Sumner 70 miles away I would be very close to my house. Then it started sleeting and rain. The sound of sleet against the bike and helmet was like the sizzle of a frying pan. It was violent and rude outside.
I got 5 miles out of town and the road was just too slick. At 40 miles per hour I could not keep the bike on the road, I was literally sliding side ways off the the highway. I turned around, defeated. Jo Jo will never be pretty red again thanks to a Eastern New Mexico sand blasting. I found silt in my hair, in my shirts, the interior of the instrument housing was coated in brown buff colored micro sand. I felt like I just spent a day at the beach during a hurricane. It took some effort to get all the sand out of my gloves.
A Saturday night in Clovis, should be awesome.
AteamNM screwed with this post 11-21-2012 at 10:53 AM