Day 5 – Temps Warm Up, Heated Jacket Dies
Got another late start today, but this time it’s because I had to get some work done for a client this morning and then go to McDonalds to use their wifi to send it, since the stupid hotel didn’t have WiFi that worked. We also had an email from our iPad app developer (we’re planning to do an iPad magazine from the road, and our app is in the final stages) and we had to download and review his most recent revisions and send him bug notes. By the time we finished doing this and futzing around via McDonalds’ painfully slow WiFi connection, it was noon when we hit the road.
I tried reversing the connection on my Gerbing’s heated jacket liner this morning at Kay’s suggestion, because the electric still wouldn’t stay on consistently. It looked like that did the trick. We rode from Lavonia, GA to Lawrenceville, GA, where Cobia235 suggested we hit Cycle World to pick up some Guardian Angel Bells. (We did.)
While we were en route to Cycle World, we remembered that we’d wanted to stop at the Unclaimed Baggage store, and that it was somewhere in Georgia or Alabama. We looked it up when we stopped, and discovered that it was in Scottsboro, Alabama – which would take us back north again. It was 200 miles from where we were, but we figured we could get there before they closed and we had time to kill before I can pick up my tires in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, anyway. So we grabbed lunch at a nearby Subway and planned to saddle up, but I checked the weather while we were stopped and we had a nasty surprise.
The weather in Scottsboro, Alabama was scheduled to be downright unpleasant. If we rode north, we’d be riding right into a near-freezing thunderstorm. It was supposed to continue to be bad overnight, and maybe turn into a rain/snow mix then with a potential for flurries tomorrow. We can’t ride in snow, and with my Gerbing’s jacket being unreliable yesterday, Kay didn’t think it would be safe to risk riding back into the cold with it. So we nixed the plan to ride to the Unclaimed Baggage store and headed along our original route, which took us past Montgomery, Alabama to Greenville, Alabama.
At some point during this trip, my Gerbing’s jacket cut out again. It was actually a bit warmer today (near 60 degrees, at one point) so it was bearable without the heated liner, but my arms were still chilly and I kept getting the shivers. Periodically I’d start shivering uncontrollably, and I’d have to focus on a part of me that was warm and think warm thoughts and after a few minutes of this, the shivers would go away. This happened 4 or 5 times on today’s ride, but I didn’t mention it to Kay because I knew he’d make us pull over and I wanted to push on.
We stopped for gas and I tried to fix the liner, but no amount of wiggling, connecting and jiggling could get it to stay on. We still had 162 miles to go at that point and I had to do it all without a heated liner. If we’d been further north, we simply wouldn’t have been able to go on. As it was, on the interstate going 70+ MPH, I was chilled, but it was bearable.
Made it to Greenville at around 5:30 local time, but it was well after dark. We gained an extra hour crossing into the Central time zone, but the sun still set at around the same time so effectively the sun set an hour earlier. We still did 316 miles today even with the late start and early sunset, though.
We’re trying to figure out what to do for the next couple of days as it’s only going to take us one day to get to Baton Rouge, and we’ve got two days and two nights to kill. We can’t camp because it’s going to be too cold. I’m lobbying for staying in a cheap-ish hotel I found south of Baton Rouge, which would enable me to get some work done and keep us out of the cold. Kay is unhappy with this idea because it’s spending money for no forward travel. I’m also concerned because the high temp one of these days is 42 degrees – hopefully it’ll be when we’re not riding, since my heated liner has died. Now I wish I had my thermal liner from the Rev’It Sand Jacket – would have been a better insulator than the Gerbing’s is without the heat.