Yes, You Can Safely Ride in the Rain!

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by dynamike, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. dynamike

    dynamike Member

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    I’ll ride in the rain. I don’t like it, but a smart rider can do it safely. Here's a common sense approach to riding in the rain. It's actually a blog I wrote a while back for a different website.

    First, when you see any hint of rain, pull over and put your rain suit on. If the cars coming towards you have on their lights and it’s ominously dark ahead, chances are, it’s raining. You can also smell a thunderstorm. It’s hard do describe, but you’ll know it when you smell it.

    Take your time donning your rain suit. There’s no need to rush. Plus, a lot of time, those afternoon thundershowers are fleeting and only last for a little while. I like to pull over under a bridge or somewhere else where I can have some sort of shelter. If I get tired of waiting out the storm, I can hit the road dry. If the storm passes, then my gear and I both stay dry.

    There’s also another very good reason why I like to wait just a little while before I take to the road. That’s because the roadways are their slickest at the beginning of a storm. I’ll explain.

    All vehicles leak or deposit some sort of fluids on the road. Some leak more than others, but inevitably, they all leak. Those fluids concentrate on the road in the center of the lane. The majority of what’s in the center of the lane is oil.

    Oil and water don’t mix. Instead what you get is oil floating on top of water. This oil sheen is super slick. When the oil is on the water and not the asphalt, it is free to move any which way it wants.

    It’s not until the rain has had a chance to wash this oil off the roadways do I want to venture back out. I’ll stay dry in my rain suit. But I’d really like to stay off the ground, too.

    This brings me to my next point. Mud may look like fun, but as I found out on my way to The Little Sturgis Rally and Races last year it’s also not conducive to keeping a bike upright. A little bit of mud may not be a bad thing, but this was deep thick mud. I really should’ve just stayed clear of it and gone through the grass.

    You also want to double or even triple your safe zone in the rain. For example, if you are used to riding a couple of seconds behind the vehicle in front of you, give yourself four.

    Increase your expected braking distance. You never know what might have been washed up that might make you lose the traction you need to make your bike stop.

    Stay away from hard acceleration. Breaking traction may be fun, but you should really try to leave it for when you can know what to expect for when you want your traction back.

    Also, lose the shades. Keep a pair of clear or amber lens glasses for night riding and riding in the rain.

    Keep an eye out on your rear. Just because you can stop short of that light doesn’t mean the car behind you can. I’d rather run a light than get rear ended.

    When done right, you can safely ride in the rain. Am I an expert? No, but I’ve put about 12,000 miles on my bike a year for the past few years, so I would say I might know a thing or two.

    ‘Till next time, ride safe!
     
  2. HD4LIFE

    HD4LIFE Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I hate to get caught out in the rain and would never think about riding my bike if I knew it was going to rain but hey there are just those times when you get stuck. I have used a few of your tips before but I am going to keep the things that I would not have thought of in mind for the next time. Thanks again!
     
  3. offbeat

    offbeat New Member

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    the roads are a little slicker here in the south too because the extra oil in the making. Drivers of cars wreck at the 1st raindrop, I wouldnt dare think to get on my bike with wet roads.
    Great content though!
     
  4. dynamike

    dynamike Member

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    Thanks for the kind words ya'll. Unfortunately, if you're a serious rider (meaning you ride more than just on the weekends to the local waterin' hole) you will get caught n the rain. It's just a fact.
     
  5. 50cent

    50cent Member

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    Great tips, thanks, boy you are right, would be very bad business to get rear-ended while on the bike.I say run'em:D
     
  6. dynamike

    dynamike Member

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    It's actually happened to me before and it was no fun. That's for sure. Dumb bitch that hit me actually had the nerve to call me later at home and start tell me how it wasn't her fault. She hit me at a crosswalk in a residential area. I was stopped to let people cross the street. Man I hate stupid people!
     
  7. Sandy

    Sandy Member

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    nice tips, and not to try and turn the conversation elsewhere, but you have me thinking of something.One day I was driving this real curvey road, the people inhead of me came to dead stop looking at a yardsale.I applied my breaks, I seen them so it was'nt like I slamed them on or anything. This gal behind me was on cellphone and not paying atention and had to slam hers on and steer off the road.Left half her tires on road, and was ticked at me! I had no choice, there was a double solid line, so I could'nt have just went around them or anything.
    So for next few miles she tailgated, then we we turned on main road she really tailgated and went around so close as to try and scare the paint off my car. Then got in front of my and slammed her brakes on. She then caught up to the other 2 that had been in front of me and did them the same way.
     
  8. Camron

    Camron Member

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    I hear ya!Bad enough we got to worry about the rain why we got to worry about stupid people.Makes you wonder what world they live in.Just glad to know most of us have some common sense.
     
  9. firewall

    firewall Member

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    I agree, you can ride and ride smart and safe, it is next to immposible to say you will avoid the rain if you are riding all the time, you are bound to be in the rain and on the road, I guess its something that comes naturally to be extra careful.
     
  10. Shane

    Shane Member

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    I would rather not ride in the rain but mother nature will not listen to me.Thanks for the article you have here you make some great points.Here mother nature is simi predictable but one time I went to FL and man never seen nothing like it.You could tell the vacationers quick, they where the ones running and ducking while the locals just acted like everything was cool.It would stop faster than it started.Tripped me out.