I’ve been careful to ride with the weather so far. When I could have taken a big risk and crossed Toronto in thunder showers, I didn’t. I guess this is what comes of being in your forties and starting to ride; twenty year old me would have been off into the lightning with no experience in the rain or four hundred series highways, through Toronto. There is something to be said about risk taking, but it’s something that happens more in your youth.
I’ve only got a 15 minute ride to work, so I tend to grab the bike whenever the weather is nice. Last week on my way home I rode into some dark clouds which turned out to be hail. At sixty kilometers per hour hail feels kind of like paintball strikes. I got in behind the fairing and windshield and rode through a torrential downpour that left slush on the side of the road and the pavement drenched. I also discovered that wind proof jackets aren’t waterproof (I guess to help with breathing). I got back to my driveway soaked and steaming as the sun came out complete with rainbow.
Taking it easy around a corner, the backend stepped out when I went into second. It was easily tamed by easing off the gas, but boy do bike backends break free easily in the wet!
Whenever something like this happens I try to grok it as completely as I can. I was amazed at how efficient my helmet was at keeping my visor clear, even in heavy precipitation. Vision is much less of a problem than I thought it would be.
As I went back out to pick up my son about ten minutes later, the road had a layer of mist a foot deep as the sun burned the rain off. I could smell the ozone as the storm hit, the vegetation as it got wet, the steam as it burned off the road. Smell is one of the great things about riding.
Back home again, I spent ten minutes wiping off the bike and put it away as another storm rolled in. A good first experience in the wet.