Got up while it was still dark to clear out of the free camping as agreed upon. It's not even raining!! (although it did rain on and off during the night giving me anticipatory reluctance to the morning) Continued down the coast on a pleasant ride until suddenly... The WIND arrived in all it's glory. Its buddy, the RAIN, decided to tag along just for fun.
Now I've ridden in winds before and it's not that big of a deal. In the mid 90's (oh here we go... reminisce time) I rode through some crazy hurricane in N. Carolina that was dropping brick walls and trees in my path. This wasn't much in comparison, but I was in my 20s then and “immortal”. The wind was only frightening through southern Oregon, and once I entered California, things settled down to some drizzle and occasional gusts (okay enough about the weather, it's like I have nothing else to talk [complain?] about).
Quick “Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0” Jacket review: Had it a couple of years. Fits great, comfortable, lots of vents. Waterproof: NO (which is kinda a bummer right now).
Quick “Cortech Flex” Pants review: 1st time riding in them. Fit great, comfortable, good protection. Possible craftsmanship flaws (buckle). Waterproof: NO, not really (also a bummer).
I guess this could be due to excessive wind blowing from all kinds of different directions. But the bottom line is: I did not stay dry. To be fair, I stayed pretty warm and would recommend the pants and jacket combo to anyone (take this with a grain of salt as these are my first “real” riding clothes. It was always just jeans and a sweatshirt before).
Quick AFX FX-39 Helmet review: Had it about 6 months. Fits well, good vents, kept my head dry in the storm. The “bill” vibrates at 55mph+. It sounds like there is a loose washer in there somewhere, but there isn't. Sometimes the wind makes a “snapping” noise making me think the engine on the bike is eating itself! It's noisy and that's something I need to look into. Overall I like it though. Maybe it's the way the windshield is set up on the bike (not stock).
Gratuitous self-portait (to illustrate reviewed gear):
I stopped in Arcata for lunch and coffee (something like 25% of my budget gets spent on coffee) and as I was drying out, the SUN actually came out to brighten my spirits.
After putting in some time on the net in Arcata, I continued south and to my dismay (nay, disappointment) the sun was quickly replaced my more rain. I finally reached the Hwy101/Rt. 1 split and turned right towards Rt. 1 and the coast. What a great road for riding! The first and main thing to grab my attention was the multitude of curves (read: hairpins!). These babies came in the 25, 15 and even 10 mph variety. I haven't seen a road with this many quality curves since I rode the Chiang Mai to Pai Loop (that road is famous for having something like 762 sharp curves in less than 100 miles). Some of the other properties Rt. 1 possessed include: dark, wet, foggy, slippery with wet conifer needles down the center of each lane and the occasional (but not exceptionally rare) skittish large mammal.
Needless to say (but I will:) the experience would have been exponentially better in daylight (not to mention dry, but that's asking a little much). I highly recommend this road if anyone is in the area.
I made my way down Rt. 1 along the coast and finally arrived at Mendodave's house. He very generously to let me sleep in his trailer where I was able to rest and dry out. Thank you Mendodave!!