Leaned over at a 60 degree angle? I'm not sure it was quite 60 degrees, though riding a motorcycle in crosswinds often feels like it.
New Mexico along the I-25 heading southbound from Raton to Socorro was all crosswinds today, hitting at us from the west as they blew down from the mountains across the plains. My dual compound Michelin Pilot Road 2 tires must have worn down a few millimeters of that softer rubber as I rode leaned over to my right side for all of the 304 miles that Google Maps said we traveled.
The wind can blow at you from one of 360 degrees. So when it blows directly at your back, you figure you're pretty damn lucky. But it seems I've never been that lucky. Still, I'd rather take a headwind than a crosswind.
My Dianese summer riding jacket seemed to be better suited for the winds, allowing the air to pass through so that it didn't create that balloon effect you often see with some riders. My Honda ST1300 has a power windshield, allowing me to adjust the height with a push-button. I could have raised the windshield and created a comfortable little pocket, but I found that the crosswinds caused the bike to rock left and right more, so I kept the windshield down.
As for Sash, she was having a rough time on her Yamaha V-Star 650. She kept trying to keep her head down below the windshield, which seemingly exacerbated the shoulder muscle pains she gets with her fibromyalgia.
Myself, there was sands blowing across the Interstate, blasting me with their pin-prick sprays. At one point, a tumbleweed blew into my bike as I was riding at 80 MPH and exploded into tiny fragments.
So there we were, in the morning, leaving our hotel in Raton, so eager and happy to get back on the road and rip off another 300 miles. And there we were later in the evening in Socorro, pulling into our next hotel, exhausted and walking like ducks.
I was rather proud of Sash, however. I guess somehow I'm not really fascinated in the uber-feminine chicky-bunny kind of woman. I like to know that my girl can withstand the elements of a long day's ride.
Before we arrived at our hotel in Socorro, we stopped at Walking Sands Rest Stop, about 16 miles north of town along the I-25, which apparently had been voted as one of the worst rest stops in the United States by truckers.
Tomorrow, we head west, up over the mountains.
And now for the pics...
|Leaving Raton in the morning, Sash is all happy to take to the road.|
|Sash is still happy after 15 minutes of riding down the I-25 in New Mexico|
|New Mexico between Raton and Las Vegas is wide open country, just like Montana and Wyoming|
|Another shot of Sash along the I-25|
|At this time of year, the grasslands in Northern New Mexico are awash in lavender color|
|The "Sexy Six Burger" at Dick's Restaurant in Las Vegas, NM, it's six different chile peppers mixed into the ground beef.|
|Parked in downtown Las Vegas, NM. That's Dick's Restaurant across the street from us.|
|Unfortunately, rattle snakes are not the only snakes hanging out at Walking Sands Rest Stop|
|Walking Sands Rest Stop, just north of Socorro, NM|