Saturday, August 17, 2013
Motorcycling in the rain
It is cold and rainy here in Atlanta, and so I thought it would be a good idea to get out and ride in the rain. I mean, you'll find yourself riding in the rain sometime, and so you may as well plan it and get used to it. Besides, I don't want to be one of those yuppie fair weather riders.
I was surprised how well the full face helmet shed the rain. After all, there's no windshield wiper - but it doesn't need it (at least, if you're not in a downpour). I was glad for the facemask, which did a great job keeping my face dry. I expect it would have been a less pleasant experience without the full face coverage.
My jacket was a nice surprise. I got it for the kevlar weave and CE rated armor inserts in case I ever got up close and personal with the pavement. It turns out that it also keeps out all the rain, Once again, it wasn't a downpour, but it was a steady rain. Warm and dry is a Very Good Thing indeed.
But my jeans were a different story. After 15 minutes it reminded me of the days when I'd ski in jeans - wet and cold legs. Oh, bother. Fortunately (well, by clever planning) my route took me past the local Cycle Gear store. They had pants to go with my jacket, marked down by 40%. Win. I zipped them into the jacket, and went back out into the elements.
It was like when I went skiing wearing a ski suit. Warm and dry. Plus, it has that kevlar weave, just in case. I need to get some saddle bags for the Honda, so I can carry the pants without having to wear them.
My leather gloves started soaking through, and cold fingers would have been the result if I had kept riding. I expect that I will upgrade to something with kevlar and armor plating. My Tony Lamas are great motorcycle boots when the weather is nice, but were soaking through after 40 minutes or so. I either need to treat them with mink oil (probably a good idea anyway) or look at more weather proof boots. Anyone with recommendations for all weather motorcycle boots, please leave a comment.
I do think I should add some reflective tape on the jacket, just to up the visibility. But once geared up, it was actually fun to ride in the rain. Not a lot of guys on two wheels is part of the allure, if you're warm and dry there's really no reason to get off the bike.