A group of us rode down to Myrtle Beach Bike Week again this year. The trip was slightly shortened due to Mother’s Day on Sunday. Here is a shot of us as we prepared to ride home. We are from left to right: Bart, Todd, Ted Cahall (me), Dave, Jeff, and Pradeep.
Todd, Dave and Jeff rode down on Thursday morning. Due to my recent trip out to the USS Truman (plus the rain forecast), I decided to delay a day. Pradeep followed suit and rode down with me on Friday morning as well. Bart met us there by car due to work obligations.
The trip down was beautiful. No rain and no traffic delays. Pradeep did end up duct-taping his saddle bag to his bike when the bolt fell off – but that was worth a laugh and on we went. We only stopped three times on the way down from DC: once in VA at the 295 Richmond bypass, once about 20 miles north of Wilson, NC, and once just outside Dillon SC. It was pretty interesting as Pradeep was on a Ducati Monster riding in a cafe position most of the way. He did not complain at all and was ready to ride around Myrtle Beach when we arrived.
We headed out in a cab to the night spots to see all of the bikes and general entertainment (mostly provided by other people that rode down as well). A good time was had by all and we called it a night to prepare for the ride back on Saturday morning.
We headed out about 10:30AM on Saturday morning on what looked to be a great weather day. I think a few people (Dave and Jeff) even commented that it was the best weather ever for the trip back. About 10 miles north of the 295 bypass by Richmond it started to rain lightly. We all pulled off the road under a bridge overpass. My helmet was covered in rain as was my fairing. Unfortunately I could not see that I had pulled up to the very far side of the shoulder’s pavement. There was a 8 inch drop off and when I went to put my right foot down… Darn – I need longer legs. I gently rested the bike on the guard rail until I could straighten it out. Somewhat embarrassing – but at least there was only a minor paint rub in a very small section of the fairing. It could have been a lot worse.
The fun was not over yet though. As we debated if we needed to don our rain gear or simply wait for the storm to pass over, it started to hail. That was somewhat odd – but since we were under the bridge, we delayed putting on the rain gear. Then it seemed like a small tornado went through. The winds kicked up to about 50 MPH and the rain began hitting us sideways. Being under the bridge had no effect anymore and we all got seriously drenched. I have never seen such a quick and furious downpour. The sideways rain abated after about five minutes and we all looked at each other like the bunch of knuckleheads we knew we were. Had we put on the rain gear we would have been fine…
Fearing another deluge, we decided to don the rain gear and when the rain lightened to almost a stop, we proceeded on. Within a few miles the streets were completely dry. Too bad we were wearing soaked blue jeans under a rubber suit in what was now hot, humid weather. Now that makes a fun ride!
It was getting somewhat late, so we we stopped at Mickey D’s for the second time of the day (yes – this was a real “man” trip) and changed back out of the rubber rain gear in hopes of drying off on the remainder of the trip.
We split off somewhere south of 495 so Dave, Todd, and Jeff could take the back roads home. I road with Pradeep up 495 over to 267 and split off from him at the Reston exit. It threatened rain a few more times but we did make it back without another shower. Another safe trip down to South Carolina and back. The photo below is the other shot we have of the group. Photos from the 2008 trip are on Webshots.