This morning I started off writing a post which I was going to name "The romance of the ride" I started it as follows "This weekends weather is shaping up to be rubbish. Cold. Windy. Possible snow in spots. But thats not going to stop me. It might slow me down a bit. But not stop. And so I wonder why? I have every reason to not ride this weekend. To stay home, watch movies, play guitar and stay warm." After that, I was going to talk about how much I wanted to take this ride, about how I saw it as perhaps some form of a "right of passage" Basically I was caught up in a romantic notion that doing this particular ride at this particular time would mean something. What a bloody fool I was. Carrying a notion of "She will be right" I made several errors. I left too late. It was to be a 300 km trip for which I allowed 4 hours. On a decent day, thats entirely doable. On a day like yesterday I should have allowed double the time. I knew the weather was going to be bad, but I did not give that enough thought. I had ridden in the rain before. I had ridden in the cold. I had ridden in the wind. I had ridden in the dark. No problem hey? Idiot me! I was also on unfamiliar roads in amongst all of those combined awful conditions. The headlights of oncoming cars was a major issue to me last night. I ended up with water both inside and outside my visor. I will admit that I scared myself last night. I made it to my destination. Through no skill on my behalf. Well, i did use one skill and that was to brake, and that was to go slower than normal. I didnt drop the bike last night. And that was down to luck. Pure luck. And I am thankful for whatever entity you choose to invoke that I made it here. So. What have I learned? Dont make these poor decisions. I didnt have to travel this weekend. A point made very clearly to me during the week which I chose to brush aside. Allow more time for a ride if the conditions are not ideal and you have to ride. And if the conditions are not ideal leave earlier, allow yourself more daylight. Make sure that you have every piece of gear possible that will help with the ride. I have heated grips on order that hadnt arrived.."no worries....she'll be right". Also make sure you have every advantage going your way before the ride. Eg....treat your visor so you wont fog it. This ride has shaken my confidence. And i see that as a good thing. Whilst riding last night I seriously pondered giving this whole caper up as I was clearly not good enough to do it. Which is me talking rubbish. Once I got some slightly better conditions, and on more familiar or well lit roads, I felt my mood soar again at the fact of riding. As long as I learn my lessons from these mistakes. Oh...one good thing I learned. Maccas hand driers are a great way to warm the hands and dry the gloves and their soap dispensers make a useful visor treatment in a pinch.