Riding in the rain
Every Saturday night, a bar in Berea Ohio has their bike night and last night I made my usual appearance. I sat at a table where I could listen to the band and ogle, everything around me as well as the Harleys that roared in and out of the gates.
After a couple of hours of listening to the band and ogling, I decided to return home, the weather looked dreary and threatening, however the rain hadn’t shown its ugly head. I talked to the rider who parked beside me he was in the process of leaving as well. I mentioned the weather and said “You know if you venture out into the rain on your bike, some people might say you’re not all there, however if you get caught in the rain then it’s only a thing.” I suited up, put on my leather jacket, half helmet, gloves, and goggles. I fired up Matilda and eased her out of the lot. I had not gone 1/2 mile when the rains began. Now when I say rain I mean rain it wasn’t a nice gentle spring shower nor was it a torrential monsoon yet it was raining, hard enough that I could not see more than a hundred yards in front of me.
I hadn’t been on the road more than 3 minutes and I was soaked from the waist down. The rainwater was now running down my legs, my luxurious cotton socks began to wick the water directly to my toes then had the nerve to form puddles, and pools in my boots. I thought I took great care of my boots I would polish and treat them with a well-recognized water treatment. I read the advertisement on the packaging this morning and it mentioned nothing about repelling water while riding a motorcycle at 50 miles an hour in a monsoon.
Since I am a bearded fellow, the rain that collected in my beard and mustache, which incidentally doesn’t taste that bad, ran; down my throat, under my collar, and down my chest into my lap. Just another chilling experience you get from riding in the cold rain.
Here I was heading north in the left lane of state road 276 a six-lane divided highway which joins Interstate 71. I was cruising about 50 miles per hour, when I rolled onto the entrance ramp I checked my mirrors and saw traffic beginning to stack up behind me, some of the more impatient drivers began to pass on the right. I kept my pace steady, the rain began to fall harder, and the drops got bigger. They were splattering, like little insects on my windshield and goggles. I won’t mention the pain caused by those raindrops that pelted the bare skin on my face while I was riding at 50 miles per hour.
Once on I-71, I must admit the other drivers were very respectable and gave me plenty of room and some even slowed as I began changing lanes heading to the right lane, it seemed an eternity, crossing those six lanes. One driver flashed his emergency flashers signaling me to move into his lane. In addition, to all those drivers who were so kind to watch over me I want to thank them sincerely.
Here I was, wet, cold, in traffic and hoping the rain would let up, and with all that and everything else going on I thought of the article I read the night before in the HOG Magazine© “Easy Does It” by Becky Tillman she writes about riding in the rain. No truer words spoken or written were as true as what she wrote I would go through.
Here I was cold, soaked to the bone, in the driving rain. Moreover, resting on the shelf, where I store all my motorcycle gear, all neatly folded and ready for me to stow in the saddlebag, lays my 2-piece high visibility yellow rain-suit. All I can do now is laugh and when I go out this morning to clean all those little water spots off what seems like an acre of vivid black paint and chrome, I will put the rain suit in the saddlebag. Furthermore, the next time I’m caught in the rain I will stop and put them on, and then again, if it is a nice gentle warm summer rain I just might ride on into the sunset and get wet.