I did my first commute in the rain today. It was a good test for my gear: i was completely dry. It was not a heavy shower, more of a drizzle, but still. I arrived dry at work (and without fog, thanks foggy mask).
I also did not crash. That's good.
However, I did realize how that this new stress, riding under the rain, brought back all of my beginner reflexes that I'm working so hard at getting rid of:
- i was tense, arms locked; was not holding the tank with my legs
- target fixation at painted lines
- completely focused on what's straight in front of me, oblivious to my surroundings
- looking at accidents on the other side of the freeway - as dumb as a car driver I tell you!
I was told by my colleagues that I was crazy to ride under the rain. Not because I was lacking skills but because American drivers do (American colleagues told me that) and are seriously dangerous on the road when it's raining. Well... it's my skills that were lacking today, nobody pulled some crazy stuff on me during that ride.
The stress caused by the rain probably did more good than you think. It keeps you alert and actively looking out for dangers. It's when you relax because of "perfect conditions" that you lose concentration. But you're right in needing to keep your body un-tensed.
Your colleagues are also right. Even here in Seattle, where we have tons of rainy days, drivers still automatically turns to zombies in cars at the first drop.
Well, the way back was much better. I was being a better rider. With an added bonus... night. Actually I enjoyed it, there's something really specific about the atmosphere of a nightly rain that I like. And there's even more traffic jams to avoid than usual, adding more occasions to think "Ha ha! Suckers!" A carpool van did try to enter the carpool lane into me but that's business as usual... I saw it coming well in advance.
It's good that you gained experience riding in the rain. I ride in the rain ( south Florida ) at least 4 days a week. My advice, know where you are going and go early if possible. Since my ride is my only transpostation, I have no choice.
ive rode in the rain once. 2 hour drive in a down pour, with just a leather jacket, gloves and my helmet(made me go get full waterproof gear lol) bike handled great but other drivers scared the hell out of me. i will not do again unless i have to. but my bike is my primary mode of transportation. have a car but its hard going back to a cage after experiencing freedom lol
I haven't ridden in the rain yet, but I believe it should be scary as all hell.
The species known as cagers gets confused when their natural habitat changes and by some miracle water starts falling from the sky. The cagers will then make eratic movements and dangerous decisions to try and see if it will please the gods and stop a flood. These movements can best be described as a sort of dance to see whether they can dodge any drops of water.
Here on the African plains in Cape Town known as highways, this dance can even be seen when it's overcast!!!
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