Frying Eggs On His Helmet, Rudi Motors On

Posted on August 15, 2010


Scottie's Grizzly Bear at Waterton Park, As Promised.

With memories of critters and cooler weather dancing in his sweaty helmet, Rudi set out on day 48 of his ride trying to remember how to keep his cool in the near-record heat wave he rode into yesterday in South Dakota. The locals at breakfast were complaining about both the heat and humidity. Rudi worked up a sweat just loading Bertha up for the day. The weather channel warned about heat indexes above 100 degrees along his planned route down I-29 South through Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Omaha, toward Kansas City.

Jesse and Rudi On The Dalton Highway: See the blue tube around Rudi's shoulder? That is attached to a 70 ounce water bottle in a backpack that provides drinking water as he rides, keeping him hydrated.

How does a motorcyclists keep cool in 100+ degree weather, exposed to the sun and drying wind all day long? It starts with a protective suit with adequate ventilation such as this one on Rudi. It’s hot standing still, but the loose cuffs funnel cooling air up through the suit where it is vented from both armpit zippers and a back zipper. In extreme heat, you fill up your front pockets with ice from the gas station which cools you as it melts. There is an unfortunate side effect from this as we shall see later.

Protective Riding Jacket With Ice Cubes Added

A water-soaked neckerchief designed to hold LOTS of water is tied around Rudi’s neck and cools him as the water evaporates. A bottle of cold water thrown on the old noggin just before putting on the helmet tops off the preparation. But the real key is to stay adequately hydrated during the ride to ward off both mental and physical fatigue: “If you ain’t peein’ every 90-minutes, you ain’t drinkin’ enuf”, says Rudi!

Neckerchief and CamelBack: 50-70 Ounces Consumed Every 90-120 Minutes In Hot Weather Is About Right

Needless to say, this watering down ritual gets lots of laughs from store clerks and customers around the gas pump. Kids love to watch Rudi shiver as the ice water runs down his neck.

So why not just strip down to a T-shirt and doo rag, you ask, like all those Harley riders we see? Personal choice is the only answer, along with helmet laws in most states. But the stripped down style is popular out west where helmet laws are non-existent and Harley’s are the most popular bikes on the road. Rudi has crashed often enough and hard enough to know the consequences, and he doesn’t heal as quickly as he once did either. Just a personal choice and no criticism leveled at my friends who ride Harley’s.

Bertha runs great throughout the heat ordeal, just slightly hotter than her usual self, and Rudi throttles back as the heat of the afternoon settles in to save both Bertha some stress and his knobby tires some wear. They have 1,300 miles to go yet and running 5 mph slower is just fine on a long, hot day.

Homebound Blue Meets Outbound Orange At Sioux Falls Near Top Of Map: Diverge Again Just North Of Kansas City

Bertha crosses her out-going track on I-29 near Sioux Falls, South Dakota and is in familiar country again, after nearly 13,000 miles of the journey. The day is a hot as promised and the duo turns east above Kansas City to avoid I-70 toward St. Louis. They choose Highway 36 for a less-traveled road and a more scenic one.

Remember that ice melting in your jacket pockets trick of Rudi’s. The “Law of Unintended Consequences” gets invoked due to the length of the ride today.

The Dreaded "Monkey Butt Syndrome" (No Animals Were Injured In The Writing Of This Blog ... Except Rudi).

Melting ice doesn’t all turn into cooling vapor. Some remains water and it runs down into your lap and motorcycle seat where it does what pee in a baby’s diaper does … got Desitin?

On the 48th Day, The Only Ill Effect Of Riding Shows Its Ugly Head

Rudi's Mood Reflected Here

Tomorrow is day 49, seven weeks on the road! Saddle sores or not, Rudi still has over 800 miles to go and it’s not getting any cooler as he heads farther south. Home is beckoning.


Environmental Fund Raising Site for Rudi G & Jesse

Please join Rudi & Jesse to help the environment by reading the message below, and taking action on it.

This trip, and this blog, are raising money for our favorite environmental non-profit, Georgia River Network. GRN advocates for, and protects, all rivers in Georgia. We produce videos for them to help raise awareness and money for their projects. If you are enjoying our trip blog, please join us in giving whatever tax deductible amount you can by going to our fund raising site at:

The site is safe and secure and the folks at Georgia River Network make sure your donation has an impact.

Thank you.

Rudi G  & Jesse