Motorcycle Lizards Unite! (Part II)

Motorcycle LizardRead Motorcycle Lizards Unite! (PART I)

After a little shut-eye, the dark-grey, dawn light outlines a bunch of Gulf Coast trees doing the limbo to the beat of a tropical downpour.

Checking in with Mr. Weatherman, he gives us an evil howl, “Yo, Lizard Breath! You ain’t going nowhere!”

Regardless, our sleepy lizard-brains calculate that if we ride fast and furious, we can just pass ahead of the most recently projected landfall a few hours west, in Pensacola, and still win this motorcycle race against a raging cyclone.

Good news: Interstate 10 in the Florida Panhandle has lots of trees paralleling the road giving us some wind protection.

Bad news: The rain and winds are off and on, but when they’re on, they make holding a straight line on a motorcycle like riding a bull in a rodeo.

More good news: We finally make it to Pensacola and gas up, a mere 2 hours before the most intense part of Arlene is to make its anticipated landfall.

Bad news: Our earlier tired lizard-brains didn’t include in the calculations that the hurricane doesn’t begin at landfall – that is just the most exciting part. Interpretation: We are gassing up amidst some wildly violent winds and rain that is whipping cats and dogs through the air like shooting animal stars.

Good news/bad news: We are about to hit the most exciting part of the race, passing from Florida into Alabama via the several-mile-long Mobile Bay Bridge. For the studious reader, this also means no trees will be protecting us. Nor hill or dale…or even a beach. We are in for the full-exposure. We are about to become fully immersed within the bathing foment of the black-sky, gale-churning, earth-sea-sky doleful vision of free-flying gumbo.

Does that mean this bridge is where we moon the Gulf beast with our naked lizard butts?

Ummmm…no. This is the part where we park our bikes on the lee side of our Pensacola gas station and finally presume enough humbleness to pray that we will race another day.

But we ain’t no praying, wet lizards!

Hence, a little later while wrestling the elements attempting to keep the motorcycle in one lane, through what seems like an endless car wash with all the sprayers and blow driers blasting us at once, we are struck with a panicky question: “Why the heck is this bridge still open!!!!?”

Too bad we can’t stop and take a photo. But since we are on the verge of being swept up, bike and all, and flown like a kite without a string over the bridge barriers and deposited into Mobile Bay, let’s just say we are too preoccupied for a photo – or any mooning. Nor is there any place to stop, or even turn around, to head back for the lee side of that Pensacola gas station for some impassioned prayer.

Onward through the tempest of Mother Nature’s celestial colonic.

Good news: The bridge is long enough to be entertained by repeated feature-film length “flashes” of one’s life passing before our eyes. Jeez. If ever we make it to the other side of this bridge, I for one, do solemnly swear to live a life dedicated to the good of all mankind!

More good news
: In spite of a wobbly, wind-screaming, bleary-eyed, high-concentration, adrenalin-rush of a bridge crossing, we make it into Alabama.

Unfortunately, no champagne and smiling women highlight our passing.

But within a few hours we are headed north through Louisiana where the sun waves our victory flag amidst a cloudless sky. However ill-advised and poorly conceived this adventure was, all is good as we follow the sunset over the horizon.

Whether humble or not, Lizardmen of the world unite!

6 thoughts on “Motorcycle Lizards Unite! (Part II)

  • oh and for andy s, it was about a year ago and i’m 57 yrs old. but farmed and raised 8 kids in the frozen hell of northern ,mn .so get lots of practice. the oct. before that rode my 82 Goldwing with missus on back on a 3 day lake superior campout. it got down to 27 degrees f. at night in a tent. and then snowed coming home. try holding up 1200 lbs of bike ,woman, etc in the snow with 200 miles to go. no I didn’t drop it . took 2 days to warm up after getting home though

  • can I join? I wanted to look at a bike on craigslist in the next state over. so the missus and I loaded the camping gear from bike into our 91 mazda car. never even thought of looking at weather report. spent the night near Wisconsin border. woke up bright and early floating inside of tent. had a cup and proceeded through torrential downpour to look at bike. it is a 1981 Suzuki gs1000gx another love of my life. bought the damn thing with 9000 miles for 1100 bucks. proceeded to ride it home through what was called on the news as the worst rain and flash flooding Duluth,mn had ever had. I had to ride 100 and some miles south to find a road that wasn’t under 2 ft of water or completely washed away. as it was I rode thru many spots where flooding was to bottom of carbs and I figured any second she’d die on me. but many hours later she purred into my drive at my farm in northern,mn and been ridding every where since. you could probably look online for Duluth flash flood and see pics. I had too have missus run in front of me with lights on as I often couldn’t see road. prospect liz?

  • L.O.L……we have a few hurricanes here in myrtle beach s.c…..never had a lizard run like that though dudes …….love y’all 4 sharin’ it .c.t.

  • Thanks McG and Steve K. I really enjoyed this edition and Steve’s comment. BTW, what were your ages when you did these rides?

  • Good stuff, never been on the route you mentioned. I’ve ridden in wind though where I had to hook my feet under my floorboards so as not to be lifted off my bike. Lucky for me the wind was mostly a tail, left rear corner wind while riding through Wyoming on part of a 2,400 mile, 2 day loop.
    Nice ride, left South Lake Tahoe CA, hit Reno NV, made a right turn, hit Cheyenne WY hwy 25, another right turn, hit Denver CO, another right turn on to hwy 70 for 100 miles more. Stopped @ a friends house, nice couch in front of the wood burning stove, good sleep.
    Day 2, great way to start the day, shower, breakfast, coffee, put on riding gear, 1 kick Harley, hit the Hwy. March snow in the Rocky MTS, bungy cords on tires for snow chains, weird looks from skiers in cars, waves & thumbs up from snowboarders. 11,000 ft pass worst of the snow, on the West side of the Rockys, yippy. Snow’s stopping, good thing most of the bungys are snapped off, use only US made bungys, last longest, Heck, buy only US made everything.
    Almost to Utah on Hwy 50, sun is shining, warm, find a place to take off this long underwear. Hwy 50, the lonliest Hwy in the US, count dead cows on the roadside to pass the time. Someday get a newer bike with a stereo system, yea an 8 track with AM & FM. Yow, hit by a bird @ 80 mph, into my windscreen, blood, guts feathers everywhere, that was interesting. Clean off the windscreen, keep riding, lucky it didn’t hit me. Want to get back to Tahoe before midnight.
    Find a pay phone call home @ the next gas stop let the wife know I’m on the way, she gets nervous if I don’t call atleast 3 times a day. Too bad she doesn’t like these long rides, it’d be nice to have another bike along. 42 hours, Carson City NV, nice, another 30 miles & I’m home. Not bad, 2,400 miles in just over 40 hours, great scenery, ride & meditate while comuning with God, what a Fantastic way to live.
    It’s real nice to read other peoples experiences on long rides too. Thanks for sharing yours with me. I have friends who ask why I do these rides, they don’t understand when I have tried to explain, don’t bother any more. Keep the rubber side down.
    Steve K.

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