Monday, October 8, 2007

Riding in the rain

I have some new Power Trip Dakota waterproof overpants to try out so I decided that I had to ride my motorcycle this weekend no matter what the weather had in store for me. I planned to ride North about 30 miles to stop and visit my son and his new wife.

This ride would allow me to take a long stretch of I-5 which I am not avoiding anymore. It has become a personal challenge for me to ride more on the freeway and at freeway speeds. I also wanted to try out the rain gear, and it was most certainly going to rain.

I mentally planned my route, as I usually do, although I am flexible. I would ride up a 4-lane divided highway about 5 miles, then catch I-5 for the remainder of the trip. That stretch of the freeway was corrugated, chopped up, and under construction the last time I was on it. I expected a challenge.

It wasn’t raining when I left, and I wrote it off to another false weather report that the Seattle area is so famous for. I got a few sprinkles on me but the roads all the way to Marysville were dry. As I merged onto I-5 I was amazed to find that they had newly paved the road going North and it was as smooth as ‘buttuh’. At one point the new pavement ended, but it was a fairly easy transition. Traffic was light.

I visited with my son and daughter-in-law a while and then noticed it had started raining pretty hard. I decided to head home, knowing it would be a wet ride.

I went home a different route. I took Highway 9, which I have written about previously. It was a nice straight stretch of 50 mph most of the way. It was raining heavily all the way, and I was feeling kind of smug that I was warm and dry. By the time I was about 5 miles from home, the rain started streaming inside my face shield. It was getting harder to see clearly, and my crotch, legs, and openings of my jacket sleeves were feeling wet. I began to think my rain gear had failed me, and I would need a helmet ‘rain cap’ next time I rode in the rain.

I arrived safely home amid the continuous hard driving rain. I guess the Doppler radar was right after all, this time. As I got off my motorcycle, I started dripping all over the garage floor. Water poured out of my sleeve openings, and my light leather gloves were fully saturated with water. As I peeled each layer of gear off, I noticed that I was actually perfectly dry underneath. The dampness I had felt from my pants was just the cold, but I was dry after all. The helmet vents were still open on top – ooops – and the force of the rain had driven it inside the face shield. I closed all the vents when I got home, so next time I should be dry and I should see clearly. If I had been wearing my new Power Trip Dakota all-weather gloves I would have been dry in the sleeve area because they are a slight gauntlet style, and they are supposedly waterproof. I didn’t wear them because it was 60 degrees out and I thought they would be too warm.

All in all it was a fun trip, and I killed two challenges with one ride. I rode intentionally in the rain, and I took a pretty good stretch of interstate freeway with no problems keeping up with traffic. It was a great day and now I feel calm because I’ve had my riding fix for this weekend. Maybe I’ll ride in the rain to work this week too!


BiL said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm.... butter.

Lotus Flower said...

What an exhilarating experience I can only wish for :-)

Thanks for the visit.


Jesieblogjourney said...

I need half of your courage.