Christmas Saddlesore 3,000 Gold Blues...

BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
So, did you hear about the storms that rolled through the country right after Christmas?

Well I was riding in it. All of it.

You see, I wanted to get in one more big ride before the end of the year, and with various doctor appointments and not wanting to be on the roads around new years eve/day, I decided to set out on a 3,130 mile ride on Christmas day (the peace and quiet from my absence was maybe the best gift I've ever given them, lol).

So I started in Middle Tennessee and headed to the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States in Key West. For the return leg, I went back up the F-L-A to Orlando, Pensacola, New Orleans, Jackson, Shreveport, Texarkana, Little Rock, Memphis, and back home. Link to my route

As part of my usual checklists, I scanned the weather and was vaguely aware of "some rain" coming in. I made a quick chart in Excel to remind me of what the weather conditions were expected to be when I arrived at a particular place. I knew that once west of Pensacola, I was going to get dumped on, especially as I got closer to NOLA.

Well, I wasn't disappointed.

In NOLA, the rain came down, though wasn't too bad, but the winds were really whipping up; they even posted that the causeway bridge was now off-limits to anything but cars. Once I got north of the city and onto I-55, things cleared up and I began to dry-out. Cool.

Now I am on I-20 headed to Shreveport. I guess I was about 20-30 miles east of it when the rain hit again, but this time, it was like I felt it would be like to ride a motorcycle under Niagara Falls...just a solid sheet of water. Visibility instantly went to about 6". I had to completely close the visor because the rain was stinging like needles and then the visor quickly fogged up. I had to duck down a bit, open the visor as little as I could stand, and follow in the turbulent path of a semi ahead of me.

Did I mention this was very late at night?

Anyhow, we all know how it sucks to be behind or passing a truck in the rain, but now I was totally dependant on Mr. 18 Wheeler to guide me- his taillights and the occasional road marker light were all I had to go on. No way in hell I was going to pull over on this dark ass road in these conditions and run the risk of being run over by someone with bad driving skills.

So this went on for I don't know...but we finally came up on an exit where there was a Love's truck stop. I practically idled the bike to it from the exit because of the visibility. Once there, I got my near-worthless pinlock visor out of the bag and walked into the Arby's, where I dried everything off and completed the installation.

Back out on the road. The pinlock, as mentioned, was nearly useless, but it allowed me to keep the visor closed for longer periods before having to lift it in order to clear it off.

Before the rains, I was feeling really good about the ride and was trying to finish it in under 48 hours, but from here to Texarkana, I was being physically and mentally assaulted and I had to stop in Texarkana for rest and hoping that the storm would pass. By this time, it was probably about 6:30 am, so I knew that sunrise was coming, so even if the storm was still present, at least I'd have the sun to light up the way.

I found a rest stop and was going to pull the bike under a pavillion and just sleep on one of the picnic tables, but I couldn't get the bike under it and the tables were soaked. The wind was also making any roof a moot point anyhow. I then rode the bike to the main building and parked it under it's more useful roof. I rolled up my Tourmaster jacket to use as a pillow, covered my head with the rain liner from my Olympia jacket (oh yes I forgot to mention- I had to put a rain liner on under a waterproof jacket!), set my alarm for 7:45 and conked out.

Daylight came and I surveyed the damage. All of the clothing I was wearing (heated gear, etc), was pretty effin' wet. The helmet, gloves, balaclava, et al, were soaked. Luckily the hand dryer in the bathroom was actually useful- the blower blew out very hot air at about 100 mph! I was able to use it to dry out the most of my things and it felt pretty good.

BTW, at this point, I didn't even know I was in Texarkana. When I hit Little Rock shortly afterwards, I was like, "huh?!?", then I was like, FUCKYEAHI'MALMOSTHOME!!!"

So the stop in Little Rock was preplanned, and as I pulled out the clipboard in the BMW Sport 3 bag, I noticed it was wet! Shit. I grabbed some paper towels and dried it off so that I could write on the receipt. At this point, I was wet, but the heated gear was working nicely and the Wunderlich bar muffs were doing their job keeping my hand and gloves dry.

Well that didn't last long.

As I hit Brownsville, TN, about 70 miles east of Memphis, at my next fuel stop, there wasn't anything that was dry. The bar muffs themselves were waterlogged and had to be wrung out. The gloves were now completely soaked (I ended up using three pairs of gloves on the trip), everything in the Sport 3 bag was soaked (not wet or damp, but soaked). And if that wasn't enough, the Mississippi State University decal on the left wind deflector was half gone!

And my tankbag was completely full of water.




At this point, I didn't really care because I was like 3-4 hours from home. I knew that, barring an accident or breakdown, I would meet the time standard for a Saddlesore 3,000 Gold (54 hours), so I just sucked it up and headed out.

And this is when my heated gear said no mas. And I am not just talking about the heated shirt, pants, and socks, but also the heated grips and seat! Well, at least I couldn't feel anything (meaning, I couldn't feel anything heating up).

When I tried to activate the heated clothing, the battery would go from 14.0v down to 12.5v, and that's with only one thing on. Not good.

Before leaving Brownsville, I had removed the bar muffs since they were now useless, and I put on this new pair of Joe Rocket gloves that I still hadn't tested. I figured, well, this is as good as it gets for test conditions! They actually worked pretty good- I could feel the dampness of the gloves, but that was because they weren't insulated, but I never felt my hands get wet.

Now here's the funny thing- these are not touch-screen compatible, but I'm telling you, they got so wet on the outside that they did! But now that they are dry again, they aren't.

My S8, covered in an Otterbox Defender case, told me that moisture was detected in the USB charging port...which was sealed under a rubber cover!

Anyhow, I finished the ride on familiar roads, frozen and wet, but in one piece. I get home and began to unload the bike, and this is when I was able to take stock of things.

Not a single item was dry anymore. Things that were in the Sport 3 bag that were in their own bags were also waterlogged. My wallet may not survive, since leather and water hate each other (UPDATE: it lives!). The tank bag filled-up again. The BMW bag had about an inch of water in it. Receipts, stored in a ziplock bag, were extremely damp and sticking to one another.

Earlier in the ride, the collapsable canteens I had in my side case sprung pinhole leaks and soaked my toolbag. They had to be ditched.

But none of this shocked me as much as what I found on Saturday (a couple of days after I got home)- as I was putting away the items that had dried, I went to put the key fob in the right storage cubby and discovered that it WAS FULL OF WATER!

No. Shit. I mean, FULL. OF. WATER.

Now I've ridden long distances in the rain before and nothing like this has ever happened. I am at a complete loss as to what the hell happened?

But I can't rest because I have to do another 12,000 mile service on it AND get ready for another ride on the 13th.

I love this shit!

Post Script 1: So, as I mentioned, I was on pace to complete the ride in under 48 hours, which would've qualified me for the BBG 3000. But as it turned out, I finished in just under 53. Ugh.

Post Script 2: Don't even get me started about the financial raping my wallet took on the FL toll roads.

Post Script 3: I've decided to add some captions to my photos...

a: Key West and Feeling Fine
b: Iron Butt Hotel. I laid my head between that wall and front tire. Fun Fact: some Iron Butt Hotels have waterbeds! :)
c: Brownsville. At this point I realized I should've packed a dive suit.
d: Must've went through a bad neighborhood, lol.
e: I can't quite put my finger on it, but something seems out of joint here...


Last edited:

BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
Impressive you almost pulled off the BBG 3k in those conditions! Not to mention, the Christmas traffic... All in all, well done!
Thank you much. I might frame this certificate and put it on the wall instead of in a sheet protector in the book! :)

But now I feel the need to try it again (the BBG 3000)! Maybe the weather conditions will be more favorable this time around, like a hurricane or tornado! LOL

BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
BTW, I contacted the dealer and let them know what I found. He suggested spraying it down with a garden hose to see if it leaks again. I just washed the bike the other day and no new water got in. I suggested to him that in order to replicate the conditions I was in, I would need a fire truck blasting away. He said he'd get back to me. LOL

Also BTW, as I remove the Tupperware from the lady as part of the 12K service, I've noticed a lot of water in and around the right stowage compartment underneath. Also appears the seal where the audio/USB cables go in may have failed (ya think?), so some silicone will be needed.

Scott Parish

Premier Member
Nicely done under challenging circumstances. I don't mind riding in the rain, riding on a windy day, or riding at night. However, when you put all three together - it makes for some puckering experiences. The mental concentration required to continue riding through those conditions are extremely fatiguing. No wonder you were able to quickly fall asleep when you stopped. Definitely a good call to stop when you did and get some rest while waiting for daylight. And I thought my Christmas was tough because I had to go outside and clear my gutters when it started to rain. Congratulations.