The Florida sun is hot, no doubt about it, and on a motorcycle you can get a full dose. Yesterday, I left Atlanta behind and rode down past Macon and onto Valdosta, which is just 16 miles from the Florida border. I didn’t see much that was remarkable which explains my failure to posting comments here last night.
Wind is a major sensory input when riding a bike on long trips. As you can imagine, there is the obvious wind resistance on you and the motorcycle as you go down the highway at the speed limit, which is 70 mph. Without a windshield, the wind resistance pressing on your body would be extremely fatiguing and so the windshield is a necessity (not to mention that it protects you from debris and bug hits). As the air flows over the windshield and around your helmet it can be pretty noisy. Now consider natural wind: suppose there’s a cross wind blowing over the highway. Now you have wind from several directions beating you around and making noise. I’m not talking about enough wind to make steering a problem but enough to fatigue you. And, let’s add in the air stream around other vehicles: a tractor trailer rig is like a ship moving through the water – it has a “bow wave” of air around its front and a “wake” of turbulent air trailing after it. So being passed by a truck causes the motorcycle to pass through the bow wave, enter the “envelope” of air around the truck, and then get bounced around by the turbulent wake. The order is reversed if I pass the truck. In any case, there is a whole let of air in motion and you, the rider, are very aware of it.
To deal with the Florida sun, I’m putting on sun screen hourly and ride most of the time wearing a long-sleeved shirt (L.L. Bean hiking shirts, made of a poly blend, keep you quite cool).
I’m here in Orlando now and will be meeting up tonight with Lynda Revetta, a friend and former dance partner from my Bronco Billy’s C&W dancing days. Quick Quiz: What’s worse than finding your self at a motel filled with rowdy Hells Angels? Answer: I’m staying at a Hilton Garden Inn and have just discovered what appears to be a high population of 8-12 year olds running through the halls on my floor. Lord have mercy: I may have stumbled into some tour group or class trip??