Thursday, February 24, 2011

Riding in the Rain

Another weekend, another Freewheeler's ride.  The weather man kept repeating rain in the forecast, but this is southern Arizona. You never believe the weather man when rain is involved.  It's just a fairy tale they keep selling to help you forget about the dust in your throat.  And as Sunday morning rolled around..lo and behold another sunny morning.  So I threw on a warm jacket, kissed the wife, and out the door I went.  Unlike previous Freewheeler rides, this was a mystery run.  Meaning I had no idea where the group was headed except for the fact we'd be back in town by 4pm.  Not many photos of this trip, so take your time on the ones I did take.:)

We met at one of our usual breakfast spots, Sunny Side Up Cafe.  I had an egg burrito and coffee.  We spent a little too much time chatting, and the hostess had to ask us to leave since there was a huge line of people wanting to eat.  We quickly grabbed our stuff and made a quick get away.  I grabbed a shot of a Harley heritage soft tail that belonged to one of our riders.  Really nice looking bike.  Not sure about the tassels though.  No bike of mine will ever have tassels.

We headed up state hwy 79, then cut back towards I-10 and took the frontage road past Picacho Peak and north into Eloy.  We stopped for gas and use of bathrooms.  Then we were off again.  Up until this point we'd been dodging any nasty looking clouds.  But as we headed northwest out of Eloy, straight in our path, was a dark mean looking cloud. I confess I was a little upset with the fact that of all the directions we could be headed, our road led directly to doom.  Up until this point I'd been able to keep the Bonnie out of any serious rain.  Now she'd be de-flowered.  The showroom sparkle would be gone forever.  She'd never be the same.  I tend to stress out about a lot of stuff.  Anyway just as the sprinkles started to fall we pulled into the Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf Resort.

I had never heard of the place, but apparently it had been built in 1959 by the then San Francisco Giants owner to be used as a spring training camp.  It looked pretty sharp.  Maybe the wife and I will ride out some summer night and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.:)  Anyway, we had lunch in their dining room.  I should have ordered the chili.  It looked really really good.  Don't you hate it when you know you ordered the wrong thing, before you even start eating?

As a side note, apparently the Portland Timbers soccer team was using the resort as their spring training location.  A lot of their players were coming in and out of the dining area wearing their spiffy green outfits.

As we left the resort, I wish I had taken a picture of the bike.  It was still sprinkling, and water was beading up on the tank in a neat pattern.  I had grabbed a bunch of paper towels from the bathroom to wipe off my seat.  Reminder for next trip, take a small hand towel along for drying off the seat so we don't have to steal towels.

We headed south into the Tohono O'odham reservation.  The road made a small loop before heading back towards I-10.  It seemed to get colder as the ride went on, and we would go into and out of small rain pockets.  The highlight of the trip was when the sun was at our back and the road headed up into some small hills.  There was a small rainbow right in front of us that framed the road.  I don't have any pictures of it but I grabbed the section of road from Google maps.  Just picture cloudy skies and a rainbow going right over the road.  It's one of those fleeting moments in life that are there and then gone.  You either experience them or you don't.

From here we jumped onto I-10 and high tailed it back to Tucson.  We would continue to hit small pockets of rain.  My first experience of riding in rain at 75Mph.  Not heavy rain, but pretty heavy for me.  I snapped a picture of the bike once I got back home.  I'll be doing some detailing this weekend.  Another 220 miles added to the bike and now I'm over 3000 total. 


  1. Wiping the drops off your seat is so precious! :P

    Congratulations on braving the rain. Now you're one of the hardcore nutballs.

  2. Haha:) Thanks! I guess I'm going to have to get used to the fact it's not always going to be sunny every ride. Thanks for the comment!