Sunday, 31 January 2010

Departure NYC - Afgang fra New York City


I’m obviously getting old, and far from as hard as I used to be. Last night I actually felt like a terrible pussy when I aborted the driving due to health concerns. It would never happen in the good old days.

When I took the detour from Vermont to NYC it was quite nice weather, and as it’s only 350 miles I didn’t bother to bring all the worst case clothes. This turned out to be not too clever. It became quite cold when I finally left NYC, and temperature just kept dropping. To make matters worse, my electric gloves and chaps were also down.

The first 70 miles went quite ok, but after that it went quickly down with both outdoor- and body temperature. It became longer and longer between each ten mile mark. Dusk fell, and two deer crossed the road ahead of me. I tried to brake, but my knee could not be moved so I had to carefully lean my body to the left and lift the entire leg. The braking was not too efficient to say it that way, but luckily the deer crossed with good clearance.

I pushed on 60 miles from the last stop, and parked again at a gas station about 60 miles from Jerry’s house in Albany, where I was going to stay for the night. I spent a minute on the bike to exercise the legs so they could handle the weight of my body. I managed to get off, but then I could not remove the helmet. It was 30 miles since last I had felt my fingers. A police officer at the gas station was kind enough to take off my helmet.

A little later another police officer came and informed me that he could arrest me for mental disorder; long distance riding in 3 Fahrenheit (-16 centigrade) was waterproof evidence enough. I politely said 'yes please' and hoped to get a warm place and - even more - an excuse for aborting the driving. He got a bit grumpy as he apparently wasn't very happy with coming up with such a good joke.

The first cup of coffee I had to drink with two hands. The shaking was not possible to control, and with two hands I spilled only 30 percent of the coffee instead of probably 70 percent if I had used only one hand. As the feeling in the fingers came back I got this major pain, a bit like sticking yourself with needles. I’ve always liked to suffer a bit for a good cause, but at this point it was just a little too much.

The second cup of coffee was slightly easier to drink, but I still had to use two hands. I was defrosting slowly, and after a half hour and two cups of coffee I could again speak in complete sentences and walk quite normal, now I was only terribly cold and tired.

Quite some people came by and spoke to me. 'God bless you' said a few, but I was not convinced it would help me from freezing the fuck out of the tissue in my thumbs. Another guy warned me about the deer on the Taconic State Parkway, as he had lost a motorcycle friend to a deer just a few miles up the road. Déjà vu all over again.

I had the third coffee and tried to convince myself that the last 60 miles would be easy. But I just couldn’t. I didn’t want to arrive Albany with serious frostbite, or a half deer spread all over the bike because I was too stiff to brake, if I should be lucky enough to see it. I found a motel close by and spent the night feeling old and useless, but at least warm with all ten fingers intact.


Jeg er tydeligvis ved at blive gammel, og langt fra så hårdfør som tidligere. I går aftes følte jeg mig virkelig som en svagpisser, efter at at have afbrudt kørslen af helbredsmæssige grunde. Det var aldrig sket i de gode gamle dage.

Da jeg tog omvejen fra Vermont til New York City var vejret ganske pænt, og da der kun var 500 km derned, tog jeg ikke alt det varme tøj med. Dårlig beslutning. Det var blevet rigtig koldt da jeg forlod NYC, og temperaturen blev ved at falde. Lige så slemt var det at mine elektriske handsker & bukser også var nede.

De første 115 km gik ok, men derefter gik det nedad både med krops- og udendørstemperaturen. Der syntes længere og længere mellem hver 10-mile markør. Tusmørket faldt på, og to rådyr krydsede vejen foran mig. Jeg prøvede at bremse, men kunne ikke bevæge knæet og måtte derfor forsigtigt læne mig til venstre og løfte hele benet. Det blev ikke den mest effektive nedbremsning, men heldigvis nåede dyrene over i god tid.

Jeg stred på indtil 100 km fra forrige stop, og parkerede ved en benzintank ca. 100 km fra Jerry's hus i Albany, hvor jeg skulle overnatte. Jeg brugte et minut på motorcyklen med at massere benene, så de kunne bære min vægt. Jeg formåede at stå af, men kunne ikke fjerne hjelmen. Det var 50 km siden jeg havde kunnet mærke mine fingre. En politimand på tanken var så venlig at tage den af for mig.

Lidt efter dukkede an anden politimand op og oplyste, at han kunne arrestere mig for for psykisk uligevægt, eftersom langturskørsel i -16 grader var vandtæt bevis for min manglende dømmekraft. Jeg sagde pænt ja tak, i håb om at få et varmt sted at være, og have en rimelig undskyldning for at stoppe kørslen. Så blev han muggen over at have lagt op til sådan en god spøg.

Den første kop kaffe måtte jeg drikke med begge hænder. Det var umuligt at kontrollere min rysten, men med to hænder spildte jeg kun 30 % af kaffen, mod sandsynligvis 70 % om jeg kun havde brugt én. Efterhånden som jeg fik følelsen i fingrene tilbage gjorde det rigtig nas; lidt som at blive stukket med nåle. Jeg har altid haft det godt med at lide lidt i en god sags tjeneste, men på det her tidspunkt var det en tand for meget.

Den næste kop kaffe var lidt nemmere at drikke, men der skulle stadig bruges to hænder. Jeg tøede langsomt op, og en halv time og de to kopper kaffe senere var jeg i stand til at tale i hele sætninger og gå nogenlunde normalt. Nu var jeg bare ubehageligt kold og træt.

En del mennesker kom over og snakkede med mig. 'Gud velsigne dig', sagde nogle af dem, men jeg var ikke sikker på guddommelig hjælp til at forhindre mig i at få forfrysninger i tommelfingrene. En anden fyr advarede mig mod rådyr på Taconic State Parkway landevejen; han havde mistet en mc-kørende ven på den måde, bare få km længere oppe ad vejen. Déjà vu.

Jeg fik mig en tredje kop kaffe og prøvede at overbevise mig selv om at de sidste 100 km ville være nemme. Men jeg kunne bare ikke. Jeg ville ikke ankomme til Albany med alvorlige forfrysninger, eller et halvt rådyr splattet ud over Nimbussen fordi jeg var for stivfrossen til at bremse, hvis jeg ellers var heldig nok til overhovedet at se dyret først. Jeg fandt et motel tæt på tanken, og brugte natten på at føle mig gammel og overflødig, men trods alt varm og med alle ti fingre intakt.

Tormod


Leaving Vermont a week ago, weather was nice, close to 30 Fahrenheit (0 centigrade). Incredible how things changes. Photo: Sir Machinist Mushlin

Afgang fra Vermont for en uge siden, tæt på frysepunktet. Utroligt som ting kan ændre sig.

(....missing picture....)

Eddie volunteered as my apprentice when I had to do a minor adjustment prior to departure NYC.
Eddie meldte sig frivilligt som min lærling da der skulle justeres en lille bitte smule før jeg tog afsted til New York City.

Irwine and Eddie. Thanks a lot to Erik and the guys at Works Engineering for support and garage space.
Irwine og Eddie. 1000 tak til Erik og fyrene på Works Engineering for støtte og garageplads.


Eddie got the opportunity to wreck my bike so I could take the bus back to Vermont like the "slightly-brighter-than-myself-Klaus Ulvestad" did. Unfortunately he did not succeed on totaling the bike.
Eddie fik chancen for at smadre min motorcykel, så jeg kunne tage bussen tilbage til Vermont, ligesom 'lidt-klogere-end-mig-Klaus-Ulvestad' gjorde det. Desværre lykkedes det ham ikke at totalskade Nimbussen.


There was plenty of pussy in NYC.
Jeg fik masser af mis i New York City.

The morning after the aborted mission. It had become a lot warmer, which unfortunately still meant 10-15 Fahrenheit (-10 to -12 centigrades). The white spot in my eye is ice frozen in my eyelashes. Hooray for the winter.
Morgenen efter den afbrudte tur nordpå. Det var blevet meget varmere, men det var uheldigvis stadig minus 10-12 grader. Den hvide prik i mit øje en en lille isklump i mit øjenbryn. Hurra for vinteren...
Arrival Albany, 16 hours delayed. Pink as a pig in the face. If you leave a small spot in the face uncovered it becomes even more red than the rest of the face, it swells up and feels stiff. I'm actually a bit tired of the winter now after 4-5000 miles in this white inferno. It would probably been better with the heat in hell.
Ankomst i Albany, 16 timer forsinket og lyserød som en gris i ansigtet. Lader man en mindre del af ansigtet være udækket bliver det endnu rødere end resten, svulmer op og bliver stift. Jeg er egentlig lidt træt af vinteren nu, efter at have kørt 7-8.000 km i dette hvide inferno. Varmen nede i Helvede ville antagelig have været at foretrække.

2 Comments:

Blogger Erika said...

It is confirmed. You are indeed crazy! I now wonder if you are waiting until the heat of summer so you can punish yourself with Death Valley. If you are, at least you can keep this memory to cool you off.

http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/yoursafety.htm

Great to hang out with you! Look us up when you swing back through Brooklyn.

Be Safe!
Erika

31 January 2010 at 20:35  
Blogger Kaze said...

The joke to the cop was awesome! His sense of humor musta froze off. Glad you stopped for the coffee! This story is much more interesting without a page that says "Well, the trip ended here, cuz they died on the frozen highway rammed up a deer's ass."
Get home alive and with all your appendages in tact! Haha! Thanks for sharing your ride!

10 February 2010 at 13:05  

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