Mark this date on your calendar, note this somewhere so that later on you can reference it and throw it in my face. I don’t know if this is an admission to a fact or a confession, I’ll let you decide. Here goes…..
I have determined that although I will ride anytime, anywhere and as much as possible, I firmly claim that I am a fair weather rider.
There, I said it. Now in my defense, let me say that if it is raining and I’m already on the bike, I will continue to ride. This however marks the turning point from “It’s about the ride” to “It’s about the destination”. I do not like to, want to or continue to ride in the rain. That’s a two reason thing. Reason 1: It’s more dangerous to ride in the rain. Reason 2: I don’t like being uncomfortable while on the bike, which lowers my awareness because I’m uncomfortable, which brings us back to reason #1. Reason #3 and the lesser of the two reasons (yes my counting is off)… it makes the bike a mess.
This is not to say that I haven’t ridden in the rain. Case in point, Americade June 2015 and Americade June 2016. We had a destination, timeline and reservations, ergo, we had no choice. The forecast said it was going to rain unequivocally, 100% chance. It wasn’t raining when we left, but two hours into our 4 hour ride… rain it did. And oddly enough, it always stopped just moments before we arrived. Why?
And of course there have been numerous occasions where I have been caught in the rain en-route to some destination, usually on the way home from work or a long group ride that left me 50 miles from home as the storm front swooped in on me. It’s those rain storms that seem like…. well…. like they were planned, as if the super-villain Thunderhead was watching me and bides his time, until I’m about 15 minutes from home, at which point aforementioned super-villain shouts “Now! Release the Krakken!!”. Here is where a rain storm of biblical proportions will cascade down upon me, forcing me and all the other asshats to slow down from highway speed to a crawl, my eyes desperately seek out an overpass to hide under. No such luck. Then, as planned by Thunderhead, the rain will cease a half a mile from home.
“Success!! Once again I have foiled the plans of dry excursion from another simpleton!” bellows Thunderhead with a wretched, crooked toothed smile. “Time for tea and crumpets!” he snickers.
Screw you Thunderhead!
We all watch the weather and as motorcyclists, we do that to the level of irritation to those around us. We judge our chances of a ride based on the chances of precipitation. For me the cutoff is between 30% & 40%. But I also have to check the radar pattern to see how the potential rain is moving and where the spots are. 30%, I’ll ride. 40%, eh, it’ll be a short ride. 50%, play PUBG.
I have found that as I get older, I do not like discomfort. I mean, I’ll endure it if I have to, but I won’t voluntarily put myself into discomfort. Not that I ever cared for discomfort to begin with, I just didn’t give a crap. Not that I give a crap now, it’s just… ugh. The discomfort reaches out to cold weather riding as well. I have ridden in the cold, as cold as 20 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s no big deal. I bundle up and as long as the road are dry, I go. Now while I have the FirstGear ThermoSuit…..
…it is bulky and a real chore to get in and out of. They use this super-duper weapons grade velcro around the cuffs, ankles and up the front that will stick to anything within 5 feet. It gives you a really great weather tight seal and it’ll keep you warm and dry down to some ungodly temperature around absolute zero. But, you’ll have visions of Ralphie’s brother in “A Christmas Story” laying there like a slug. Again, a discomfort thing.
Tip from Ted boys and girls, if you get this particular thermo suit, and you won’t be disappointed, be sure and put all your needy accessible’s (wallet, keys, money) in one of the thermosuit’s velcro pockets. There is no inner access to your pants should you need to retrieve said items, forcing a partial removal of the suit.
I didn’t nearly do any cold weather riding this past winter. I had opportunities, but I passed out of sheer annoyance of having to bundle up. Just as I have passed on some spring rides because of the dark blobs of green on the radar map ONLY to have nothing fall from the sky at all.
So as I sit here in my home office, Itsy the cat asleep in his bed behind me, I glance out the window beside me at the grey, cloudy sky where, according to “Accuweather”…. >insert rolling of the eyes here<… it is 50%-ing outside, yet nary a drop falls from the sky.
She’ll stay right here until the threat gets below that 40% mark.
Meanwhile, in an undisclosed location, Thunderhead sneers.
“Come out, come out where ever you are. You know you want to and when you do…” his sneer elevates to evil laughter. “…I’ll be right here waiting for you!”
Not today Thunderhead, not today.