“And then the rain came.”
Motorcycles and rain…makes you think, doesn’t it? Like a boat without a trailer and Ramen Noodles without that little packet of brown stuff-something’s just not right. Motorcycles, with their lack of all-weather protection, just aren’t for everyone. There is plenty of gear for the rider to wear to help fend off any inclement weather, but that is only going to stop some of the elements. You can bundle up when it’s cold, put on your rain suit if it’s raining, and any combination of heavier or lighter gear as the temperature fluctuates. Sometimes it’s a combination of several weather conditions we deal with at the same time, and that too, is a challenge.
A few years ago, I took a solo ride to Greeley Colorado for a family reunion. The weather man, in his war against motorcycles, was predicting heavy rain on the Friday morning in July I had planned to leave. Normally his ten percent accuracy rating would not bother me, but this time he seemed serious. My morning alarm was a clap of thunder and without too much trouble I could hear the heavy rain as it came down. But we’re riding today, right? Yep.
I had already loaded my motorcycle for the weekend trip, and with just less than 500 miles to get there, I was looking forward to it. I’ve ridden in rain like this before, and I knew getting on the bike that I might get a little wet. My rain suit is on and away I go down the street to the stop sign. Boy, it is raining. For the next 150 miles of interstate the rain would not let up. I’m not uncomfortable riding in this at all, but I think there were a few motorist that were afraid for me. I stopped in Hays Kansas at the Harley-Davidson dealer to take a break and have some coffee. For July in Kansas can be hot, with the rain the temperature was just right.
Any of you that have ever ridden with a rain suit on know that you will still get wet as the rain will creep in around your neck and up your sleeves-and this ride was no different. After thirty minutes or so, I put my rain suit back on and decided to head North to avoid the storm as heading West would have put me in it for several more hours. A few miles up the road the rain suit came off and although a little cloud cover was hanging over me, it had stopped raining.
The rest of the ride was fantastic. Sometimes it takes a storm to put you on the right road-the one you should have been on to begin with. Kind of like “life.” When you’re pushing hard in the direction you think you should be going, and you’re fighting it every step of the way, change your direction.
I ended up taking the back roads through Benkelman Nebraska and Wray Colorado where my folks grew up. We visited these places a lot when I was growing up to see family but I had never been through here on a motorcycle. Kind of appropriate since I was on my way to a family reunion in Greeley. The weatherman was right and I’m glad he was.