Patrick posted this as a comment to one of my posts, but because of its length or content, it "broke" my blog - nothing displayed after it. I deleted it and am reposting it here as a normal entry
You made the wise decision on not attending the rally.
The rally in a word was: WET! It was just a 6 hour, 230'ish mile (thus the name Two-Bit) Rally, that went from Morrison CO. to Frisco via Pine->Manitou Springs->Buena Vista->Leadville.
I don't know if it was tenacity, or stupidity, when I made the decision to go ahead and run this. It rained the entire 290+ miles (this included the trip from Frisco back to Morrison).
It started out as a comfortable ride, as I had waterproof gear on, until I got to Fairplay, and realized that my water proof pants had a single spot that was not water proof. The water had pooled on the seat, and had leaked in thru the crotch area of the pants and had gathered in all the loose spots, and when I stood up, all that water went into ... you guessed it ... my water proof boots.
At this point, I was done. The problem was that it was raining hard, and I was just shy of what I thought was the mid point of the trip (I need to learn to read maps better :) ).
Well, being the trooper that I am, I decided to continue to the finish. Not a wise decision, but it was the one that I made.
The ride continued on through Buena Vista (interesting folk live there), and went on up to Leadville. You don't want to speed in Leadville... trust me. Almost all of the 30+ bikers that I saw there were observing the posted limits.
From Leadville, the ride continued on into Frisco via 91. This was probably the worst part of it, as I had to bring the speed back to around 45-50 and even 30 at some points because of water pooling on the highway. The water had found it's way into the liner of my helmet and I was unable to keep warm at all.. Frequent stopping to squeeze the water out of my gloves did not help much, but it was enough :)
When I finally reached Frisco, to meet the very concerned rally organizer and his wife, I had discovered that I had posted dead last in my very first rally, but not by much :)
I was able to get phone service in Frisco, so I called Elizabeth to let her know that I was wet, but alive. I spent a little time getting myself warm, and had considered getting a room to spend the night there as it was still raining. I had a good 60+ miles still to go before I got home, and decided that since I was already soaked through, that I might as well continue on home.
I have to say, that even with the rain issue, I had a blast. I saw at least 200+ bikers that day, and of the ones that I had conversations with, nobody ever complained much about the rain. Comments ranged from "It's a scosh wet" to "Man we really need this rain"! These people are hard core.
I will very definitly do this rally again next year, but will be much better prepaired for weather. Kenosha Pass was very cold. One addition to the bike that I will be making, even though it looks silly on a crusier, is a full police style windscreen. I believe that this is an absolute must when riding in rain.
I'm still a beginning rider, but have learned a lot about riding in the rain. I have also discovered a way to really appreciate what God has given us who live here in Colorado :)
For anybody who would be interested in going on a shorter rally... take a look at TwoBits for more information about this annual rally. Pay special attention to the logo that they are using this year. I know the designer of this, and she is one awesome lady!
Although wet - it *does* sound like a blast. I haven't ridden much for 10 years, so consider myself a "beginner" at this point as well. We weren't really up for the weather or for mountain roads in a group. But we'll probably do it next year!
BTW: Palmer Lake FD is doing a Poker Run on the 22nd and we plan on doing that. We are going with several folks that we know. Should be fun. Our first "organized" outting with a group of bikers. :)