took a ride two weeks ago to attend a memorial service for a fellow rider. actually, he was more of a mentor to me. although he may not have known that since i just kind of adopted him as a mentor.
i met him six years ago when i was training to become an instructor and he was one of the trainers. i learned a lot from him during the training and even more in the following years. his evaluations while i was teaching were always an opportunity for me to learn more, to improve. he also gave me the courage to try new techniques or something different while i was teaching, as long as it was safe, effective and efficient. sometimes what i tried didn't work out quite the way i expected (worse). instead of hearing negative comments, he would ask if i learned anything - even if it was only not to try that again.
even after his passing, i am still learning from him... on the ride out to the memorial, it started to lightly rain. normally i wouldn't have stopped but i decided since i was going to a service, i should at least arrive dry. i pulled off at an underpass to put on my rain jacket, opened my saddlebag only to find no rain suit. i decided that i would at least zip the outer shell onto my jacket. it isn't waterproof but it would help keep some of the wetness away. after fighting with the zippers, getting the jacket on, i look down the road ahead and see the sun shining and the rain has stopped. i decide to remove the shell and take my chances. it was ninety degrees. i figured i would rather be cool and wet rather than hot(ter) and (relatively) dry.
i wasn't so lucky on the ride home. it poured most of the way home and i got soaked. it rained hard enough that i had to slow down to about forty. there were several accidents in the other direction, luckily none in our direction. the only stop i made was for gas. because the temps were still fairly warm, i wasn't cold while riding. i decided against waiting to see if the rain would let up and took off after topping off.
as i was riding the last miles home i was replaying my situation in my head. why was i riding in the rain without my rain suit?? two lessons came out of this. both of which i attribute to my fellow rider. first lesson, if you have saddlebags, you should never ever ride without a rain suit packed away. i always have my rain suit packed, never travel without it. if i ever use the rain suit, i dry it out and pack it back into the saddlebags immediately. second lesson, no matter how sure you are that your rain suit is packed, check one more time before you leave!!
thank you for everything bob. you will be missed...