Tales from the Dorkside - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Tales from the Dorkside

Ok, I read about all those long exciting trips our experienced brethren have undertook and marvel at the photos of their backpacked bikes with the beautiful snow capped mountains in the background and say to myself, ďYeah man!, Thatís what I wanna do!!Ē

But I hadnít ridden in heavy rain yet, canít go off half cocked ya know and I need the experience. Besides, I need to find out if Iím gonna drown or freeze to death, so over my street clothes I don my new nylon jacket and riding pants I bought last winter Ė I think theyíre supposed to be waterproof too. Off I go in search of a thunderstorm which ainít gonna take long these days in Florida. In some direction thereís always going to be a black sky, guaranteed. I soon wish I hadnít been so successful.

First thing I notice is visibility is impossible lookin through dark glasses and rain splattered visor. Besides that, the inside of the visor fogs up when the cold rain hits it. Time to pull over & readjust. Back on the 4-lane hiway, if I move my head from side to side I can see the road, sort of. The next thing I notice is Iím gonna need some waterproof boots, then I notice Iím gonna need some waterproof pants and jacket too cause Iím soaked to the bone below my knees and above my waist even with a windshield. Hey, this rain riding was a lot of fun for about 30 seconds, but itís really, I mean really pouring now and Iím pushin it doin 45, wishin those idiots passing me at 65 would turn their lights on to give me some warning. The best view I got, make that the only good view I got is those rear view mirrors Ė wish I could see forward as well as I can backwards. Itís only 150 miles to the next gas station & shelter, well, make that 6 miles, this is after all only a practice run! But my questions are answered. Iím not gonna drown, I can still breathe, but I am going to freeze to death. And these ear plugs arenít blockin the knockin on my noggin - didnít know rain could be so loud. But by golly I got some more experience now and some good experience cause itís off tomorrow in search of some Frogg Toggs I heard about on this forum.

Now I wonder if I can handle the rain at night? You guys who do those butt busters must know all about that.

Need some more tales, guys.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 10:47 AM
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I pull over and wait it out. I don't need to be many places in a sense of urgency while on my bike. I bring a rain suit and will ride in light rain but that's it for me.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 10:56 AM
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"Now I wonder if I can handle the rain at night?"

I did once for about 10 miles one night. I don't plan doing that again if at all possible!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 10:58 AM
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You reminded me of my first Florida ride in the rain.But it does get easier, no not really easier, you just get used to it. I haven't gone 2 consecutive days in a row without getting rained on in the last 2 months.

You'll figure out real quick what works and what doesn't. A full face helmet is the way to go in heavy rains. A rain suit is a must. Along with rubber boots.

One things for sure, you will get at least damp around the edges! No matter what gear you wear.

Watch out for really deep puddles. I've been through some so deep the water came in the top of my boots. And they go almost half way to my knees!

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 01:17 PM
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Funny story!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 02:52 PM
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Ridden 3000 miles since mid-June. I will not intentionally ride into the rain unless I have no choice (i.e. trip's already started and the rain is between me and my destination). Got caught in it for about 40 miles last month. About the same again just a couple weeks ago. We have Coleman rain suits we got from Walmart, and they work okay. I have yet to hit rain that will completely stop me, but Idaho is not known for its vicious downpours. It's been some reasonably heavy rain, and last year we had to ride though what passes for pretty deep standing water on the road for a bit (maybe a 1/4"). I won't let it stop me, really. Gots places to be.

I've ridden plenty at night, but I don't plan the rides to take us into the night. If we end up riding home in the dark, it's cuz we were lollygagging and dinking around. The temperature drops fast here once the sun goes down, even in the middle of summer. When the daytime temps are hovering near 100, it'll still drop to the low-to-mid 60s by 10 PM somtimes. In the spring and fall it can get downright COLD after the sun goes down.

I have yet to combine rain and darkness. When I plan long rides, I usually arrange it so I can be relaxing somewhere for the night with a beer in hand while the bloodflow gradually returns to my bum.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 03:08 PM
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Hello from southwest Florida. Yup, been there done that. Rain at night is the worst and my advice is to find a safe place and just wait for rain to stop. I also use Rain X on my visor so rain will just slide off easier. Some people said I shouldn't put Rain X but it works for me. If you have a bagger then you can bring your rain gear every ride for insurance.

Ride safe and enjoy!

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 03:22 PM
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Bahahaha, Redfish that was an excellent summation of the issue and one of the funniest I've heard. Also enjoyed the replies.

Florida (in the summer and early fall) can have some mighty cold air blasts coming down out of those thunder heads. If you're wet it can be freezing. A rain jacket will keep you from freezing (and dry from the waist up). They are also a life saver for cold winter rides.

As far as sight, when it gets real heavy that's all you can do is slow down (or pull over), just ain't no way round it. Light rains are a breeze though.

I've never been able to have time to put on rain pants so I don't even carry um. I do carry some water proof boot gaiters that help a bit. They just wrap around the leg over the boot, they're made for snow walkin. I buy cheap $30 rain suits at Leather Up, have been using um for yrs and never a problem. Can't see spending a $100 bucks on some suits I've seen, but that's just me. Besides the lightweight ones take up less space in the bags.

It do get sobering when you feel that cold rain running up off the seat in your underware (lol).
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 04:14 PM
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I ride for pleasure and rain is not it. I'm the one that if I'm in a swimming pool and it starts raining, I'm getting out so I won't get wet.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 04:28 PM
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Decent rain gear is a must. I prefer not to ride in the rain, and I don't generally do a short jaunt in the rain. But on a long trip; it's sometimes unavoidable. If it's supposed to rain non-stop for the next three days, then the only way you're going to get to your destination is to ride through the rain! Been there, done that.

Like anything else, what you put into it is what you get out of it. Rain gear doesn't have to be expensive but it definitely needs to work well. A full face helmet is really handy when it rains. Crack the visor open just a little; it won't fog. Good gloves are a must. Some leather gloves will just seep through and leave you with these purple looking hands from the dyes used in the leather. Get RAIN gloves. Waterproof your boots with mink oil or "pruf paste". Have a change of socks and clothes on the bike (I keep gym shorts and a t-shirt in the bike. If it's a day trip and I didn't pack clothes; at least I'll have SOMETHING clean and dry to change into if I get soaked; which can happen if you get caught in the rain without your rain gear on!)

Tall windshields help too, in keeping the rain off.

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