…stretch your limits a bit.
There are times you have to put yourself and your motorcycle in tough situations like, it’s raining!!! Yikes!!! Well, get out there. Ok, so you might have to spend a day cleaning your motorcycle after riding in the rain but the adventure of being out there when everybody else thinks you’re nuts is worth a day of cleaning. The deal is you have to have solid basic skills.
At Motorcycle Coaching 101 we do work in wet weather conditions, well, for a few years it hasn’t rained here in Southern California, but it is now!! Still you have to know how to control your motorcycle in adverse conditions, because if life is treating you well you will be on the road in the middle of nowhere with a big grin on your face and have no idea where you are going to spend the night and then it starts to rain. Now what?
Here is how to plan for the unexpected.
#1…Skill in controlling your motorcycle is the most important thing you can have when riding in adverse conditions. Throttle and brake control and the confidence in how to use them both. It really requires that on a rainy day you go out and at least get a feel for the difference in riding conditions. Traction availability both accerating and braking. Do this cautiously and in a deliberate manner in your own neighborhood on a street you are very familiar with. This where regular practice of these skills becomes so valuable. You have to know how your motorcycle feels all the time wet or dry. And then there’s being aware of everything around you. Give your self lots of room between you and every other vehicle, always be looking for an escape bubble if somebody else isn’t as smart as you. Be careful of the painted lines on the road, wet paint is slipperier than Elephant Snot. Always approach them straight on and not leaned over. When making a turn at an intersection, cross the line THEN start your turn. This is where knowing how to tighten your turn and stay in your lane is important.
These are all skills that you can practice in the dry so you are more and better prepared for when things get ugly. Actually I like riding in the rain…I love seeing the looks of people in cars …”are you nuts??!!”
#2 #2 #2 Proper Gear… Being an Eagle Scout I know the the motto and live by it all the time…Be Prepared. If I am riding in my close by area and it’s a perfect sunny day I choose the gear to wear…including sunblock on my face (yes the sun does come through your face shield) and always a first aid kit (you never know when you’re going to have to help another person) and then away I go. However, if I am traveling I prepare for every condition. Mostly it’s preparing for rain…even when visiting my Coaching partner Les in southern Arizona. Cactus need rain too.
The illustration above is great. Wearing good gear does a lot for your riding experience. If you don’t want to wear all that heavy duty stuff…throw a a pair of saddlebags over the back seat (they aren’t all that expensive and you’ll amazed at how much you use them all the time) and put some of that gear in those. If you want to wear just a pair a jeans on your ride and it starts to rain…a couple of large (yard size) trash bags can keep you pretty much dry. And if for some reason you find yourself in some really cold weather, stop at a gas station or convenience store, buy a few newspapers, go into the restroom and fill your pants up with them…you’d be amazed.
I just gave you a couple of cheap ways to stay kind of warm and kind of dry but honestly get yourself a good Rain Suit. They pack small and are well worth the price, it will even fit in your tank bag.
More than anything, riding in the rain requires confidence in your skills, your motorcycle and your gear. The more confidence you have makes your ride safer and a lot more interesting.
Ride safe, ride far and practice your skills…even in the rain. Then spend 6 hours cleaning your bike..it’s time well spent.