RIDING IN THE RAIN.


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JohnSargent
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE Canadian Edition

Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by JohnSargent » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:36 am



I have been riding for many years and live in Ontario, Canada. We have some of the most beautiful riding areas in Central Ontario and across the top of the Great Lakes. Annually I have a run with my sons on a Charity ride that takes us up to where the Great Lakes meet at Huron and Superior and a short majestic bridge connects our two great countries at Sault Ste. Marie. One of the biggest challenges near the beginning ofJuly is severe and fast weather changes on the north shore of Huron. Well it happened to us and the heavy rains moved in very short area and our driving skills were called upon immediately. We had suited up about 50 km (30 m) before just in case and it happened. The sky was white with rain. It was dangerous to stop as car drivers were acting irrationally, and it was better to push on than to get mowed down on the side of the road. My crew used there previously practiced skills to a tee and we all motored on and drove out of the rain. It was 35 minutes of heroism, throttle and braking skills and frankly some numerous calls on the powers that be to get us through. Why this long lead in? Because in all my years of riding I have never experienced what happened to me and my baby. 1992 GL1500 SE with 145k on her (90,000 m). I had just changed the rubber before the trip and had under 500k (300m) on the tread. The roads were mixed between New pave and corduroy asphalt removal. Although the new pave gave us the slippery surface, the corduroy gave us the wobble. The following day we went on the slow ride (parade) with the event attendees through town and then we’re heading out for the group ride. As we picked up speed and got to the 90 / 50 mph mark, I got to ride the 900 lb surf board known as a Goldwing. The back tire blew with a vengeance and a shotgun blast sound. A major tire failure had happened and I fortunately was able to ride it out safely. The following non-participating auto was fortunately an elderly bike rider saw it happen and blocked quickly approaching rear traffic as he recognized the situation. He stopped as well as a local MC machanic and we inspected the situation. The mechanic told me I was not the first in the area. The rash of blowout was because of new and old pavement. The massive worn hole, on the brand new tire, was from the spinning of the tire with the slowing and accelerating on the uneven pavement and the slipping on the oily new asphalt. 4 distinct wear areas and one massive blow hole.
Moral of the story, be dry but be weary of your stopping accelerating and know that the tire spins and wears as it water planes very quickly. My solution? Over to the dark side and a Perreli car racing tire on the back. I love it an no signs of wear at 10,000 k. Ride safe...



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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:12 am

That's fascinating! I had never heard of that before, but it makes perfect sense - with the tire repeatedly accelerating in water plane and then skidding back down to road speed as it hit pavement, it would wear the rubber off pronto. I'll have to make a point of examining my tires after riding in heavy rain from now on.

I have had two encounters with tremendous rain in recent history.

The first was when riding up from Florida (Kissimmee) to Cleveland. My original plan was to ride back over two days, after having done the trip down nonstop a few days earlier. However the weather (thunderstorms along most of the route) had me delay my return, hoping the weather would improve - it didn't.

So Sunday came along, I had to be at home for work on Monday, so at 5:00 am I set off hoping to beat some storms showing on the radar. They caught up with me about 15 minutes in, and I quickly stopped and pulled on the rain gear. I had that rain gear on for the rest of that 20 hour ride.

I ended up riding up through extremely flat Florida on I-95, in complete darkness, absolute pouring rain, with lightning flashing all around me. Visibility was so poor due to the horrendous amount of rain coming down, I couldn't see the lines on the road - I kept a tractor trailer about 1000 feet in front of me and followed his taillights, because that's about all I could see. I also stayed in his tire tracks, as his big wide tires were pushing a lot of the water out of the lane we were both using. I spent about an hour and a half doing this before the rain let up somewhat.

The second one I detailed as part of my trip report to pick up my new trailer that I posted back in 2012: New trailer - trip report
At about 2:30, I entered the Canaan Valley and started up the mountain, the windy road I had been so looking forward to. However, I noticed some menacing looking black clouds high up the mountain side, and hoped I was going to be able to circumvent them. No such luck. As I started up the side of the mountain, it started pouring rain. I stayed reasonably dry as long as I kept moving, although I noticed virtually every other motorcycle (Harleys, of course) cowering under gas station shelters or under trees, lest their precious bikes see a drop of rain. :) The rain started getting more intense, and it started with lightning and thunder as well. Out of nowhere, the rain became a deluge, heavier than I had ever ridden in. Of course, just as this rain started, I hit the most challenging part of the route, covered in 180-degree switchbacks as the road zig-zagged up the mountain side. I figured the rain couldn't last at that intensity for very long...and I was right: it got worse. Several times I thought; "it can't get worse than this" - and then it did. My forward visibility was steadily decreasing, and I was seriously thinking about pulling over. However, I knew that the weather was moving northwest, and pulling over only meant it would move past me, and I'd then have to ride through it again. Not only that - there was nowhere for me to pull over. I had a rock face on one side, and guardrail on the other. With the trailer behind me, there was no room for me to just pull over, without the danger of being hit from behind. Several times I came upon small enclaves on the side of the road for you to pull into, but the visibility was so bad, I couldn't see these until I was right upon them, and by then there was no way I could turn into them. I figured as long as I could make out the yellow center line through my windshield, I could make it through. I tried standing up on my footpegs and just taking the brunt of the water on my helmet faceshield, but I could see even less that way. I got to the top of the mountain, running in second gear, about 20 mph, with my hazard lights going. At this point the rain was so heavy that I had absolutely zero forward visibility, and the lightning was flashing almost constantly. I was using my GPS to determine when I was about to come upon a curve or another switchback, and I was looking down and to the left, watching the yellow center line on the road next to me to ensure I was staying in my lane. I was just hoping I didn't come up on another car or other obstruction, because I wouldn't be able to see it.

There was SO much water coming out of the sky, I didn't know it was possible for this volume of rain to come down - it felt like there was more water than air. I was absolutely soaked through by this point. This was extremely tough to do, tremendous stress - like flying an airplane on instruments through a storm, but ten times harder - and with only one instrument (my GPS). I was now descending the far side of the mountain, going through switchback after switchback. While looking forward, I came up on a slight curve that my GPS didn't depict, and felt the right trailer wheel go off the road. I looked to the left to see the center line and in horror saw that I was far right in my lane, and about to go into the rock wall. I swerved gently left (no sudden moves, there was SO much water on the ground) back into my lane. At this point I thought, "I have reached the limit of my riding abilities; this is not going to end well." I couldn't stop, I couldn't keep going. Well, I had to keep going, it was my only option. Another 30 seconds of this hell, and I noticed a light in the sky in front of me - the clouds were starting to clear. Almost instantly, the rain started to let up. 60 seconds later, the rain had stopped entirely, and two minutes later I was in bright sunshine again - sopping wet. 25 years of riding motorcycles, and this was without a question the most difficult, most challenging thing I have ever done on two wheels. I'd prefer to never have to do it again!

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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:13 am

If you're new to riding in the rain, you also might want to read this post: Tips for riding in the rain

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DenverWinger
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by DenverWinger » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:41 pm

Lightning can be scary, especially in the Rockies!

About 20 yrs ago it was on the news, a motorcycle rider heading westbound on US36 between Denver and Boulder was hit by lightning and crashed. They said the driver was killed instantly by the lightning strike (which blew a 1 ft diameter hole in the concrete) and as such hitting the center divider wall was purely academic!

There have been times stopped on a high mountain pass where you start feeling your hair starting to stand on end, even on a fairly sunny day. Static charges are sniffing around for an easy place to go, and you don't want to be selected. Need to crouch low or get somewhere that there's something higher than you nearby... :o
They say 98% of all Hardleys ever made are still on the road..... The other 2% made it home. :lol:
(I stole this from somebody on another GW site...) :roll:

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Sharon2665
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by Sharon2665 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:07 pm

I prefer to wear my full face helmet when it rains. Have tried just a full helmet with shields down but still get rain drops that will splatter up into my face and sometimes get my glasses wet. With the full face shield that does not happen. Plus as it gets colder in the rain I also stay warmer. Main problem I have is having to look through my face shield AND the tall GW windshield! Makes it a bear to see where I’m going in a hard rain. Any suggestions on a shorter windshield I can see over. Would love to get one before our long trip this summer. Plus I just like the unimpeded View better also. That plexiglass just distorts to much.

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TWOWHEELCOWBOY
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by TWOWHEELCOWBOY » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:16 pm

Hi Everyone, riding in the Rain is when riders need to use extra Caution, give your self 3 times the following, and stoping distance. Be ever so gentle on the Brakes and Throttle. If possible pull over in a SAFE place NOT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD as there has been riders hit and some killed sitting on the side of roads. I wear FIRST GEAR KILIMANJARO Jacket & Pants they have good armor, keep you warm and very dry. Also wear BMW Motorrad Boot ( I know, I know I said the B word, if Honda sold boots I'd own them LOL) Helmet ARAI full face all the time. And last but not least, I use a product call RAIN COAT to coast my windshield, and face shield. It is Lexan safe and you can even coast eye glasses. After applying the wind blows the rain off almost as effective as having wipers. When it's pouring this product is a must. I've been through all kinds of Rain storms, Hail, Wing, and bad lightning. When I think back on the chances I've taken I think it would of been a better choice to Pay for a another night at the hotel and wait till the Weather clears. If you can't and have to, WEAR ALL THE GEAR, SLOW DOWN and be safe.
Sorry Pics are upside down, don't know whats going on there tried several times, if you click on pic will show correctly.
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I thank Jesus for everyday I can still throw a leg over and ride :)
TWO WHEEL COWBOY

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Jump Wings
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by Jump Wings » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:19 pm

Several years ago my wife and I rode from Hilbert, WI to Superior, about 350 mile. I had a Yamaha XS750 at the time. We drove back in the rain. I decided to take the back roads and avoid the highway. Things got real interesting around Kaukauna, near Appleton, When a dump truck overloaded with cabbage pull out from a field just ahead of us. While wiping my visor with my chamois fingered glove I also had to dodge wet heads of cabbage. That was one thing I hadn't anticipated.
Mike

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rachester67
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by rachester67 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:57 pm

have been wearing frogg toggs for several years and have stayed pretty dry. Have a Tulsa extra tall windshield and just got caught in a nice down pour a couple of weeks ago. Going to have to put something on the top of the windshield to keep the water from rolling over the top and down the inside of windshield. I'm fine until that starts happening. always keep a microfiber up front in the glovebox and use it to wipe away the water on the inside. Problem with this rain storm was it was very heavy and so much was coming over the top that it quickly saturated my poor little cloth. Just as I made the decision to pull off and put on the rain gear we hit a stop in the traffic movement because of a crash down the road and of course I got soaked then. decided what the hell just kept going had wrung the water out of the towel while stopped. 10 minutes after the stop and it quit raining. Temps were in the upper 60's from the earlier 90's so it actually felt pretty good.

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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by Soupcat 1920 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:03 am

I agree with the listed slippery items listed for driving in the rain but didn’t see any metal items such as grated and manhole covers( may have missed them As I tend to skim as I read). I always try to avoid them in the rain.

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Alan_Hepburn
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:35 pm

One thing nobody thinks about in the rain: Botts Dots. Those hard plastic round things that are glued down to the road surface in many places. Years ago I was coming home from work, in the dark, in the rain, and was approaching a stop sign. In our neighborhood they use Botts Dots to mark the road center at intersections. As I came to a stop and was putting my foot down the rear of my bike started to slide to the right for no apparent reason. After picking the bike up off the ground I started looking for a reason why it slid and found it: one of the Botts Dots had come unglued from the road surface and had been flipped over - the hard, plastic dome was facing down, and the black underside was facing up, making it almost invisible. As my rear tire rolled up onto that Dot the rear brake pressure immediately stopped the wheel from spinning, but the hard plastic dot started sliding along the roadway, taking the rear of the bike with it!

So, if you're riding in the rain and come to an area where there are missing Botts Dots - look for any that might be loose, and upside down, and steer around them, not over them!
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar

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Mh434
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by Mh434 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:27 pm

I try to avoid riding in the rain at all costs. In my part of the world, ALL roads are asphalt, of which a major component is....oil. If it's been dry for several days, at the first sign of rain the road becomes a slick, oil-over-water skating rink. Yesterday, it rained here for the first time in a couple of weeks and, thankfully, I didn't take my bike to work. I followed another motorcycle on my way home from work (a 35 km. commute) and watched as his front tire and rear tire alternately washed out on even the most gradual turns. My heart was in my throat the entire time, expecting to witness a serious crash. Even my car, with excellent rain tires, was twitchy as anything.

Of course, braking was reduced to extreme-hazard levels, as was visibility, since the windshield was coated in an oily film & the wipers were largely ineffective.

Couple that with the fact that the road to my home is extremely twisty, with dense, deer-populated bush, and no shoulders at all, and you have a recipe for disaster when riding in the rain.

I figure that's why I own a cager - to stay alive until it dries out & I can ride the bike again.

BTW, I have experienced serious hypothermia from riding in unavoidable cold and rain. It is truly terrifying - you have absolutely NO fine motor control over the bike's controls, and NO strength to even keep the bike upright when you have to stop (IF you're able to stop!). It took me 6 hours to fully warm up again. Not for the faint of heart... :shock:

rmoss
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by rmoss » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:18 pm

Riding in the rain is no big deal with the proper gear. I wear neilson Riggs gear. I like the coat as it has liner that fits inside the helmet which stops the rain from dripping down your back. Also it sounds funny but when I'm on the interstate I'm in control of how fast I drive and I usually find myself riding faster than the traffic so I don't get stuck in behind slower traffic. when I get to an area that has little traffic i will stay there until traffic starts catching up. The biggest problem I have is I find I sit in a puddle of water on the seat. I wear a 3/4 helmet and I most definitely take off any glasses I have underneath of it as I find it's better. Also I sit as high as I can in the seat so the Wind Blows the rain off my helmet I have driven a thousand plus km in one day and other than a wet ass I stay fairly dry. But I would definetly rather not drive in rain. I find when traveling west I can drive out of the rain but when driving east I'm in it all day long.

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FAT MAN 65
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by FAT MAN 65 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:37 pm

Thanks for the replies. I guess I jumped the gun as always. I thought I was going on a trip this week,so I bought a pair of FROGG TOGGS AT the Honda dealer. About $85.00. Hope they do good.Going week after next. Thanks again.

novatz
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by novatz » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:37 am

Easy (but still not fun) - I have a windshield wiper. The unit is always on the bike but I take the actual blade off for visibility reasons. If it looks like rain, I just insert and go. Has one button that allows a single swipe and a second one that operates like a regular wiper. Specifically made for motorcycles. Would never be without.

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Sharon2665
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by Sharon2665 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:56 pm

So where can you get one of the wiper units and are they hard to install?

dthorntonministries
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by dthorntonministries » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:16 pm

First of all, I don't like riding in the rain, but I'd rather ride in a driving rain than a light shower. At some point, the hard rain will wash the oil off the road and that helps.

In 2009, I was riding with a friend in Arkansas, in October, during CMA's Changing of the Colors Rally. We had been to Mt. Nebo in the morning because we knew it was supposed to be rainy that afternoon. On the way back, through the country, it had been raining for over an hour. We were taking our time, enjoying as much as you can enjoy a rain-ride. I was running about 40-45 mph, and approaching a left bend in the two lane highway, with no shoulders. I was moving toward the center line to take a little curve out of the bend and noticed a car coming toward me. I adjusted my line away from the center just a little bit to give the car some more room. That little adjustment carried me right to the edge of the asphalt. I eased off the throttle and stood the 2000 Wing straight up as it dropped into the grassy shoulder, wet from the rain. That shoulder was about 3 ft. wide and dropped about 30 feet to a creek bottom area. That was a trip I didn't want to make, for sure. I released the throttle and was slowing without using the brakes, through the wet, muddy grass, while watching for a place where I could get back up on the pavement. Suddenly, there was a reflector shining back at me and then I saw it. A huge steel culvert dead ahead. Headfirst into a culvert was another trip I didn't want to make, so I layed the Wing to the left, hoping it would climb onto the pavement. The front wheel did...but the rear wheel didn't. The bike laid over on its left side, but when the left peg dug in it put the rubber back on the road and it stood up and rolled over to the opposite side. It wasn't violent, but just rolled me off onto the pavement. I call it a belly-roll. When I got stood up I realized my left wrist was distorted. I knew I had done some damage to it. My riding partner helped get the wing up and off the roadway. While wondering how we were going to get the crippled Wing back to Iron Mountain campsite, a young man drove up and after a short conversation offered to hold the wing at his house until the next day. Even after the fall, he reported that the bike rode perfectly, although there was a LOT of plastic damage. The '96 SE was totaled because of all the plastic damage.

After beating myself up for tearing up the bike, I began to realize I had done some things right. In stead of riding off the pavement and risked sliding down a 30 foot embankment, I straightened the bike up and dropped off standing straight up. I was taking some of the curve out of the bend, to lessen the possibility to sliding off the pavement.(granted, I could have slowed for the curve, and did after I changed my line, but it wasn't enough) Having the calm to just lay the bike over to avoid the culvert, came from many years of off-roading. 60 plus years of saddle time paid off.

Everything considered, I guess I came out ok. I now have a 2000 SE, with almost 150,000 miles. I have another story about it, but,...in another post.
Be blessed, DT

novatz
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by novatz » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:32 pm

I purchased mine at one of the Honda Hoot's in Knoxville, the year after we totaled a bike in a frog chok'n rain in MS. I was the first customer.

That was a few years ago though I have transferred the wiper to different bikes. Can't have a windscreen with the vent - that's where it mounts.

I assume the original owner is still in business - I got a new blade from him two years ago. His name is Kevin Zemel, business name is "Peerclear" out of Cleveland, OH. E-mail is peerclear@aol.com, phone was 440-668-7643.

Love mine, wouldn't be without.

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FAT MAN 65
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by FAT MAN 65 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:13 am

Thanks for all the replies fellows. I've learned a lot from them.Good story DT,glad it turned out like it did. Thanks again.

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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:55 pm

I got lots of time in the rain yesterday! Riding home, a 5 hour ride, of which the first 3 hours was in pretty much constant showers and rain. I got home at midnight, nice and dry. Thank you, Olympia Horizon Rain Gear! :)

dragenrdr
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by dragenrdr » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:33 am

Everyone has a lot of good info, I'd just like to add two things - If you ride two up a lot, keep your rider in mind when riding in the rain. The Goldwings with tall windshields have a slipstream path that will pass most of the rain up and over the driver and drop a massive amount of rain right in the passenger's face. Make sure your rider has (at the least) a full-face shield as protection or they run the chance of nearly drowning in a hard downpour. Secondly, you get a lot of glare when driving in the rain (sunlight reflecting through the raindrops), so try to always have a set of tinted sunglasses to wear during the rain to help visibility - I've had a lot of success with yellow or bronze tinted lenses, like shooter's glasses.

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seabeechief
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Re: RIDING IN THE RAIN.

Post by seabeechief » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:37 pm

Regarding full face helmets and wearing glasses; I wear a Nolan Modular helmet (I have no idea how to remove the chin guard, so it's never been off) and I wear glasses. As all glasses wearers know, putting your curved earpiece glasses on after the helmet is on is a real challenge. The solution for me was to buy some AO Pilot Frames with straight bayonet earpieces. I have my prescription lenses made and installed in the AO frames. The frames are around $100, so you have to decide if the price is worth it for you.....it was for me. These glasses stay on the bike and I just change from curved earpiece to straight earpiece and go down the road. You can get the AO frames online at the AO website.

I also wear Harley Davidson rain gear. As a recovering Harley rider, it was the first rain gear I ever bought and I had to buy the cult stuff....you know how it is. But I recently bought a new set because I like the gear and even though they are a little pricey, it is a quality product. Plus, the satisfaction of wearing Harley gear while riding a Goldwing is priceless.

Ride SAFE!

Chief


Combat Vets Association - San Antonio
Patriot Guard Riders - San Antonio & Austin
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