Sunday, August 23, 2009

Water crossing 2

I don't have any photographs or video to document this wet excursion, but yesterday I got caught in a fierce downpour while returning home on my motorcycle du jour (Honda DN-01).

I had gone down to the Mirage offices late in the morning to grab a bicycle and go for a ride. It was a hot, muggy day, and while the weather widget on my iPhone was predicting thunderstorms, there was not much in the way of heavy cloud cover to support that prediction. I finished my ride, ate a late lunch, took a little nap in my office, and around 5:30 decided to head home. It was already raining when I got outside, so I dragged out my rain gear and got suited up. In the few minutes that it took to do this, the rain increased greatly -- I hesitate to say exponentially, because I don't think that is literally true, but it sort of felt that way. Within minutes of taking off on the bike, I had to ride through the first of several semi-flooded areas, this one a dip in a road which went under a railroad bridge. The water there was pretty deep -- it came up over my footpegs -- and I had a few moments of trepidation, worrying that it might be deep enough to cause the bike to shut down. But the Honda plowed right through. It's always weird to produce a visible WAKE when riding a motorcycle on the street.

The next mile or so up King Street was somewhat nightmarish, as the traffic was fairly heavy and there were at least three long sections in which deep water had pooled. The storm -- which was still continuing -- had dumped enough water in such a short amount of time that the drainage systems had been temporarily overwhelmed, leaving standing water several inches deep all over the road, and giant puddles eight to ten inches deep in places. Under different circumstances (i.e. no other traffic, and on a different bike like my new dual-sport BMW 650), it might have been fun. But just then it was the classic "white knuckle" ride, made even more so by a number of clueless cage drivers who were acting like it was a normal day and not slowing down at all.

Fortunately, the bike performed admirably and made it through each flooded section, and although I did get wetter than I planned, I did make it home with no damage. -- PL

9 comments:

~ tOkKa said...

-->> ..hmm , a bike doesn't become flooded once you pass through these standing water pools ?!

Don't other drivers splash you ( especially the reckless ones ..) as the pass by and present high risks ?!

I imagine this ride is rather frightening in some regards. Least to me it sounds a little bit scary. oi !!

GreenWillow said...

Ack! Scary! Really glad you made it home without incident. I assume this was a downpour related to Hurricane Bill?

PL said...

"~ tOkKa said...
-->> ..hmm , a bike doesn't become flooded once you pass through these standing water pools ?!

Don't other drivers splash you ( especially the reckless ones ..) as the pass by and present high risks ?! "

I think there are basically two ways a motorcycle engine can be stopped by water of this nature -- if the water gets into the electrical system and shorts it out, or if it gets into the air cleaner and fouls up the fuel/air mixture.

Fortunately, most modern vehicles, motorcycles especially, have very good insulation of their electrical systems, and on most bikes the air intakes are mounted pretty high up. Still, there's always a chance there might be a flaw in there somewhere, and when you're plowing through a foot-deep hundred foot-long "puddle", with other vehicles following you, it can be nerve-wracking. -- PL

PL said...

"GreenWillow said...
Ack! Scary! Really glad you made it home without incident. I assume this was a downpour related to Hurricane Bill?"

I think it might have been, but I'm not sure. We're about 100 miles inland, and I'm unclear on whether the effects reached this far. -- PL

agliarept said...

I am really glad you made it safely back home. def scary with the rain and being on a motorcycle.

The Merc w/ the Mouse said...

hi Peter, I am a very big fan of your work. I was wondering if there were any freelance opportunities in marketing visual development, etc at Mirage. I would greatly appreciate your viewing of my blogspot, on which I have several turtles pieces... I apologize in using this venue, I just didn't know how else to contact you. Thanks,

http://mattkummer.blogspot.com/

PL said...

"The Merc w/ the Mouse said...

hi Peter, I am a very big fan of your work. I was wondering if there were any freelance opportunities in marketing visual development, etc at Mirage. I would greatly appreciate your viewing of my blogspot, on which I have several turtles pieces... I apologize in using this venue, I just didn't know how else to contact you. Thanks,

http://mattkummer.blogspot.com/"

Matthew, you have some very nice artwork there. Regarding the type of freelance opportunities at Mirage you inquire about, at present there are none. Sorry! -- PL

The Merc w/ the Mouse said...

Bummer. Well if you ever have a use for anything rendered in my animated style, just drop a line. Been admiring the work you guys have done for 20 years now and would love to be a part of the creative process! Thanks for the kind words and keep those killer lines comin'!

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