On Saturday, the rain beat down in the Phoenix area for the second day in a row, making it look and feel like Seattle. I hoped it would be a good omen for the Seattle Seahawks football team, here to play in the Super Bowl. However, for me, the rain meant a fun day of riding in the rain and maybe even mud.
The clouds lowered as we rode east out of town, and we seemed to be riding into darkness. I wondered if the white curtain I was seeing was rain or fog. It turned out to be a misty rain, and the dark blue clouds hung low overhead. We exited Hwy. 60 at Florence Junction, and then fueled up 30 miles down the road in Florence. When we left Florence, we took Butte Ave., a shortcut to Florence-Kelvin Hwy.
My thought was that Flo-Kel, an unpaved road, would be sandy, but would have plenty of traction. As we got closer to it, and the road we were on transitioned to dirt, I saw that I was wrong. The mud on the surface was shiny with water, and Hal confirmed my suspicions. “I’m slipping a little,” he said over the intercom. “Me too,” I answered. I could feel it already. It was going to be an interesting ride.
Out on Flo-Kel, we were on pavement for a while. Once we hit the dirt, we found the shiny mud again. Not only that, the rain, which had started out as mist, was now coming down in larger drops. Then we got to a muddy section of road, and we slowed down. The bike started to slide underneath me, so I had to be careful to find the best line. But, as quickly as the mud had started, it was as quickly gone. We found ourselves on crushed granite, which I had thought the whole road would be. We picked up speed.
Then, we came to a long, wide muddy section. Would I have thought Florence-Kelvin Hwy. would look like this after a rainstorm? No. This is what we found ourselves riding in:
It was good “mud riding practice” but I was slipping around, going too fast. I tried to find the best line on the right side near the edge. I got caught in a big rut and went right into the ditch, but it was my own fault for going too fast:
My DR popped right out of there, and we continued. The rain seemed to increase the longer we were out, which was probably why it turned into a mud fest. My bike looked a little less muddy after the rain washed it off a bit:
It was a fun day, and so worth the mud and rain to see the lovely scenery. This is why I go out there on these wonderful rainy days:
Later, we stopped in Gold Canyon for coffee and a sandwich, and enjoyed the beautiful clouds obscuring the Superstition Mountains:
What a great riding day! Tomorrow I’ll be cleaning that bike. 😉