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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Random thoughts on rainy days.

The girlfriend woke softly to the same sounds of rain drumming on the roof that I awoke to moments before.  She placed a warm soft hand on my chest and snuggled her naked body even closer to mine.

"I guess you're not riding today."

I grunted, enjoying her closeness.  Closing my eye and drifting off to the sound of her breathing mixed with the soft random thuds of rain on my roof.

Over the last two days here in West Central Florida we have been battered by the remnants of tropical storm Lee which has made the humidity, which is always high, even higher and the temperatures climb.  Rain continues to threaten to was over us.  The day before yesterday I did not ride into work due to the threat of rain, only to have the afternoon be bone dry.  Yesterday the skies opened and it rained; hard and fast and constant, the wind blowing wild.

It was not a fit night for man or beast to ride in.

Nelson-Rig SR-6000 Rainsuit
I don't have proper rain gear yet.  All I have is a plastic poncho which I think would be more of a hindrance than a help.  I've been lucky in that I've only been caught out in the rain once; I was riding my original Zuma 125 on the back roads of Pasco county when the storm caught up to me.  The rain felt like a pellet gun hitting me at a 40 mile an hour pace, I suppose the rain would feel like a shotgun blast at closer to highway speeds.

Being exposed to the weather is one of the drawbacks of riding.  The sun beats down on you, your going to get wet.  These are givens.   As a new rider I have to balance my comfort with safety.   My full face helmet is great to protect me in case of accident and from wind buffering, but is also heavy and a bit hot.

I wear a "highlighter" yellow jacket (not pictured) which makes me a bit more visible I hope, but also a bit warmer as well.  I admit to wearing short sleeve shirts and even shorts at times for the shorter jaunts I've taken.

The first weekend of October I'll be taking my endorsement class for my motorcycle license.  I'll be required to have the following:

  • Long sleeve shirt or jacket
  • Denim jeans or heavy pants (not excessively baggy, long or with holes or frayed edges)
  • Over the ankle boots covering the ankle bone (not tennis shoes or fashion boots with heels)
  • Full-fingered leather gloves
  • Shatter resistant sunglasses or safety glasses
  • Sunscreen and lip protection

I'll need the boots and gloves.  I was also told a rain suit was in order as well.  Now it comes down to simple research.   The boots are not an issue, I just need to find something comfortable with non slip oil resistant soles that are water resistant.  The gloves are easy as well although I wonder why one pair is $9.99 and another is $199.99.  Is there that big of a difference?

I want a rain suit as well, but again...what is best and affordable?  I would rather pay for quality and have it last than buy cheap.   But I can not justify spending a few hundred dollars on it either.


Gary Baughn said...

I wear a Joe Rocket MC mesh jacket, which is essentially a football jersey with padding built in. It has a dry-tech liner that zips in to keep you dry when it rains. I also have a pair of rain pants to keep my lower half dry. My gloves are leather with carbon fiber knuckles. I just bought a practically new Joe Rocket jacket for my wife for $20 last night. I'd be glad to show you & enlighten you on what to get & what not to get. Let me know.

Gary Baughn said...

BTW, I've been down before on my bike and I know the value of my skin and good protective gear.

David Masse said...

A good mesh jacket can be amazing, even when it's really hot. This summer I got a BMW Airflow jacket that's simply amazing. As soon as you're rolling at 5 mph, it's like wearing an air conditioner. Good gear is expensive, but ultimately is worth every penny. Hang in there, there are sales and I have picked up some amazing gear at decent prices just by being patient and keeping an eye out at the local bike shops.