Forecast: Rain

Anna and I were excited in planning for our last two motorcycle trips. The purpose of the trips were for Anna�s job, but I agreed to be chauffer and pilot the bike for adventure�s sake.
The first trip, a few weeks ago, was actually quite short. We were to leave from New Haven, catch the ferry from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson, NY and then continue on to Sayville, NY. That�s a half hour to Bridgeport, a little over an hour on the boat, and then another half hour leg to cross Long Island heading due south. Piece of cake.
We could not have timed it worse. We departed on what turned out to be the wettest day of the year so far. I�m no stranger to riding the motorcycle in the rain, and I have the gear to actually make it somewhat satisfying to be roughing it through inclement weather. In terms of our spirits � or especially Anna�s in this case � it�s one thing to experience a rain shower en route, and it�s another to throw your leg over the wet seat of bike in a downpour. But, that�s exactly what we did.
One of the perks of riding a motorbike onto the B-port/Port Jeff ferry is that they always make room for you and you get to head right up to the head of line up of cars waiting to drive on. I had this feeling that people waiting in their cars thought we were crazy riding the motorcycle on this day. A suspicion that was soon confirmed by a few comments from other ferry-goers as we headed to the ticket office to take a brief 5-minute refuge from the downpour. I couldn�t resist using a Bill Murray "I don�t think the heavy stuff�s gonna come down for quite a while" as my retort. The seafaring portion of the trip was a great chance to dry off. The hot air hand dryers in the restrooms can also function as a laundry dryer.
Unfortunately, the last half hour leg saw the rate of precipitation increase beyond what I had imagined possible for a spring day, and beyond the water repelling capacities of our gear. My riding gloves were the "waterproof" type � a nylon shell, some insulation, and a gore-tex layer in between. Seems that the seams of the gore-tex gave way at some point, and the resulting hull-breach turned my gloves into big wicks that just soaked up the rain hitting them directly as well as the water that ran down the sleeves of my rain jacket. Once this happened, the evaporative effect of highway-speed wind quickly froze my wet hands in the 40-degree weather. Now this was miserable. I was contemplating taking the sponges off my hands altogether, figuring that may actually be warmer. Luckily, there was only a half hour of misery before we arrived in Sayville.
While Anna went off to do her work thing, I headed off to find a McDonald�s or other fast food establishment which you can always count on for having those lovely hot air hand dryers. A quick tour of the area, and no dice. While I had many options for hair salons, nail parlors, and the indigenous coastal art galleries that somehow manage to eke out an existence in beach towns, there was no McDonald�s. Unfortunately, no dose of bad watercolors, wind socks, or driftwood sculptures were going to dry my gloves. Off to Starbucks with their inferior paper towel hand drying system. After having taken off my jacket, rain pants, boot covers and gloves and thrown them on the back of a chair, I got a Grande of hot liquid. By the time I returned from the barista and condiment island, I find pools of water collecting on the floor under each item of clothing. While drip-drying was fine for most of the items, the gloves needed some help as I could feel they were about 3 times their dry-weight. I stepped outside under the awning and gave them a good wringing. The local high school kids hanging out inside took a break from their texting to look at me like I was nuts. This time, while holding the damp, lifeless corpses of my gloves, I felt like they were right.

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