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 it's wet & dark... 
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Test Rider

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:48 am
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Location: Alpine::twisties in n out
Post it's wet & dark...
For me, there's usually no better substitute for learning, than doing.

Being a novice, yet daily bike commuter on swing shift hrs, it was inevitable that I was going to get caught in the rain someday - or night. So looking at the sky before heading out to work this afternoon, it was a good possibility for a wet midnight ride home later. Possibility turned into certainty at around 11:45pm. Raindrops came at midnight as I fired up Vader, popped a couple of Jolly Ranchers in my mouth, and ventured out into the dark, wet night. Forty-five minutes later and I'm saying a prayer of thanks in front of my garage as I shut her down for the night. Home safe.

Here are some observations from my fledgling perspective. Those with more experience are welcome to add their own bits of wisdom:

1. CARS DON'T CARE. It's unbelievable how almost nobody adjusts their (already bad) driving habits to match the conditions. I had to change lanes so many times just to get tailgaters off my butt in any given lane. And I was still at or just above speed limit. (60's).

2. BE PREPARED. I'd bought waterproof/rain gear during the summer when it was on sale and had done a couple of rides with them on, so I felt warm, dry n comfy in 'em. This helped me to...

3. STAY RELAXED. Alert but relaxed kept me from making sudden movements which would surely take me down. There's also a thousand tiny corrections I made due to lack of normal friction on the wet pavement. Death grip on the handlebars is exactly that.

4. THE MONSTER HANDLES GREAT! I was surprised at how well Vader handled in the rain. Made me realize that inclement conditions are taken into consideration when these beautiful machines are designed. Kept it in lower gears than usual to avoid 'spinning' the wheels.

5. ANTICIPATE. More than the usual. I would try to recognize any potentially sticky situations and would try to position myself out of them beforehand. Anticipation was especially critical in the turns, since I didn't do a whole lotta leaning as I am accustomed to doing in the turns.

So there it is. My overly detailed road report. Maybe next time I should just check weather.com and take the suburban... nah.

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leif ++ '07 m695
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Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:26 am
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I would add to not put in any abrupt steering inputs. Additionally that would also include any serious throttle inputs.

First rains are notorious in Vegas for bringing oils to the surface of the road. Stay out of the middle of the lane.

Glad you got home safely. Kyle, Matt and I too got caught in the rain and Matt faired very well for his first time riding in the rain.

~A

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:06 am
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in otherwords, be SMOOTH.

if you don't have to ride in the rain, don't. It's tough enough commuting with cager's on the road anyway.

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:51 am
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sParKy! wrote:
if you don't have to ride in the rain, don't. It's tough enough commuting with cager's on the road anyway.


+1


My bikes NEVER see rain....they are allergic to it.

:grin:

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:48 am
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Great Post....


If I can avoid the rain, I will...

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:40 pm
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although, it might be fun to see what it's like on track with rain tyres...

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:51 pm
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I forgot to mention that 'Rain-X' on the face shield is a must. Without it, especially in heavy fog or drizzle, count on using your manual windshield wiper.

Jay summed it up - SMOOTH. And achieving 'smooth' involves a myriad of factors learned, practiced, and mastered. Watching MotoGP raced in the rain is mind boggling to me.

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leif ++ '07 m695
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Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:17 pm
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yeah, the motoGP stuff in the rain is amazing!!!

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:38 pm
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sParKy! wrote:
although, it might be fun to see what it's like on track with rain tyres...


:Oo: INSANE :Oo:

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:08 pm
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thats my biggest complaint is the face shield, I practiaclly was blinded one day, actually the only day I actually rode in really heavy rain I couldn't see, and my neck and throat area got all soaking wet pushing water down my shirt ,...it kinda suck'd, i don't ride in the rain anymore :grin: :roll: :grin:

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Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:56 pm
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Quote:
my neck and throat area got all soaking wet pushing water down my shirt


I often borrow from sport to another... In this case, I had my polypropylene, longsleeved, hooded rashguard (surfing) on as underarmour. This allows me to stay warm (even IF wet), keep my layers thin for comfort & mobility, allow a neck/throat seal, and lock in the heat in my head. Works better than a do-rag since the back of my neck is completely covered.

In cooler weather, I also wear a reversible fleece/nylon vest under my outer shell - which is leather when dry and rainproof textile when wet. My pants are waterproof textile with armor and padding, which I wear on my daily commute.

I've also worn my padded mountain biking lycra as underarmour for longer rides. Again, comfort & mobility. Lessee, what else... CamelBack for hydration, the Rain-x idea came from treating my snowboard goggles which ALWAYS seemed to fog-up, and a leatherman tool with hex-key set stashed under the seat...just in case.

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Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:24 pm
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Wet riding sucks. I rode today (was late for a meeting so I couldn't take the cage), 34 miles in the heavy mist. I wasn't really prepared for it as I hadn't checked the weather, and I was pretty soaked when I got to the office. Come to think of it, as I never plan to ride in the wet I probably couldn't have done anything to "prepare" anyway.

Pretty sucky.

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Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:07 pm
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Right there with ya G. I didn't hear the weather report, but I left this morning after 9 and hit heavy mist in RB, then it opened up a bit more in Poway. It sucked. I was soaked by the time I arrived in SD.
Not to mention, splitting lanes in the rain is scary. Not to mention I rode the damaged bike down so that I could drop it off at MotoForza on my way back up. Wasn't to confident this morning.

btw - I learned today that one shouldn't use your glove to wipe the water off of an iridium shield. Don't know why, but for some reason it removed whatever the outter layer is on the shield and left it 'scarred'. It was hard to see out of it after that.

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Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:58 pm
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Even worse - lane splitting in the rain when you're late for a meeting.

And my stuff will still wet riding home so I froze my arse off. Weather sucks.

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Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:10 pm
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I was expecting post about something else :grin:

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Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:43 am
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