And then it started to rain......
The sad reality is that the motorcycle riding season in the province of Ontario, Canada is coming to an end despite the fact that it feels like it just started! The chill is in the air, the leaves are changing colour and falling upon the roads and the "s" word is starting to show up in weather forecasts for areas North of Toronto. For those that are wondering the "s" word = snow. Ugh!!!!!!
Today is Thanksgiving Monday in Canada and the forecast was looking quite good. Dry and sunny with a high of approximately 17 degrees Celsius. In the days that followed up to today, many of my friends were planning rides in the hopes that the weekend would be as good as predicted. As the days approached, the forecast continued to change with cooler temperatures and rain starting to appear. So, we waited for Monday. Today
What to wear? Are we going riding? It feels like we are preparing to ski!! Several layers, then chaps, gloves under gloves, boots, leather jackets, full face helmets and we are ready to go. It was agreed that we would meet our friends at 10am at a nearby gas station. When my hubby and I rolled off of the driveway, it was chilly, damp and raining lightly. Hurray!
I was riding Hankster 1.0, my 2017 Honda Rebel 300 modified so that I can ride with 1 hand as a result of a congenital birth defect. My husband was riding his 2016 Yamaha Star 950 Tourer.
Once we arrived at the meeting spot approximately 20 minutes northeast of us, the weather had not changed too much. Still damp and chilly. The light rain had stopped. There were 9 of us in total and the plan was that we were going to take a variety of backroads to our destination known as the Kissing Bridge located in West Montrose, Ontario.
When I had originally looked into this ride a few days earlier, I wondered why anyone wold organize a trip across the border into the U.S. on holiday Monday when it was Thanksgiving in Canada and Columbus Day in the U.S. I had been thinking of Kissing Bridge Ski Resort located in Glenwood, New York because I never heard of THE Kissing Bridge in Ontario. My Homer moment passed after Jason, a fellow rider and friend, educated me about the location. It is only because he did so, that my hubby and I joined the ride. If I had been left to think that the group was going to cross the border, we may have ended up riding with another group of friends in the southwest part of Ontario where I later learned, it was warm, sunny and dry for the majority of the day.
As we started our ride, the sky looked miserable. The roads were wet and there was a mist. The trees would have looked beautiful with a backdrop of blue sky and sunshine but it was not to be. We rode on several backroads when the mist turned from light rain to a downpour. Ugh! Time to stop and put on rain gear. Part of me said why bother? Who needs the fun of standing on the side of the road, in the rain while trying to pull rain pants over boots and leather chaps. A fellow rider shared that if you put plastic bags over your boots, the rain pants would slip on easily. While the suggestion may have worked, there were no plastic bags in sight. As the rain eased, we stood in full rain gear.
Our leader mentioned that despite the rain stopping, rain gear would be beneficial because of the spray coming off the road. He was right!!
As we continued towards our destination, the roads began to dry - I even think that the sun tried to pop through the clouds at one point however it was never successful. We stopped at every Ontario rider's club house, a Tim Horton's located in Elora where we all needed a pit stop. After a brief rest, we rode for another 20 minutes and arrived at what is locally known as The Kissing Bridge.
The West Montrose covered bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Ontario and was designed by John Bear in 1880 to replace an earlier bridge over the Grand River. Built in 1881, the 198-foot bridge was covered to protect the wooden flooring and frame against the elements. It is an amazing structure located right in my backyard and I never knew it existed. It is #allbecauseofamotorcycle that I came to be at this spot on a cloudy damp Monday afternoon with 8 other riders.
We continued on to a local burger joint for lunch after which we headed home. The majority of the ride back was done in mist and fog on damp roads. Despite the conditions, the roads did not disappoint as there were a variety of twists, hills and flats.
Despite the lousy weather, I was fortunate to ride with my husband and friends. We enjoyed each others company and made what might have been a uneventful day turn into something to be thankful for. #allbecauseofamotorcycle, I was outside, bathing fresh air as I controlled my destiny of where I wold roll and what I would see. I thought of nothing but the joy of riding with others.
Of course had I ridden with my other friends, I would have done so in dry, warm and sunny weather however I would not have had an opportunity to kiss my husband at the Kissing Bridge and share this special moment with my fellow riders!