Jul 19, 2015

Riding in the Rain

Been doing lots of riding, just not much posting. Let's see if I can get back into the hang of things again. Maybe even catch up on some previous rides...

Yesterday I head out in the morning to do a QA at one of the colleges. It was sunny, clear and not too hot (for July). The weather forecast for rain was low. But around here, around this time of year, that doesn't mean much. And who really knows what those weather forecasters mean when they say something like 20% chance of rain?

What I do know is that the rain can come in quickly and leave just as quickly. Twenty minutes later and you'd never know it rained. And just because it's raining here doesn't mean it's raining over there.

Last summer I was teaching class. It was one of those days where it'd rain for a few minutes then stop. Then rain. Then stop. I tell the class that I generally don't stop an exercise for rain - unless, of course, it becomes a safety issue. I saw this to encourage them to put on whatever rain gear they have before the exercise begins and they start riding. I've also been teaching long enough that I don't try to guess the weather, I just put my rain suit on anyway.

This particular exercise, the riders are across the range and I call them one at a time. I call the first rider. The do what they're supposed to do and they stop next to me. As I'm giving them some coaching, I notice they're wet. I think to myself that it's been a while since it rained, they should be dry. I call the next rider. They stop next to me, wet as well. I call the third rider. Same thing. They're wet. I'm dry. I look at the opposite end of the range and notice it's raining down there. But my end is dry. And it's not like they're that far away - less than 300 feet.

That's how the weather goes around here.

As I leave my QA and head to the Harley dealer to get my bike inspected, the skies are getting darker and darker. Quickly. I make it to the dealership and get the bike in for inspection before the rain. As I'm doing some shopping, I look out the window and it's pouring. One of those nice North Carolina thunderstorms where we get tons of water dropped in a short amount of time.

The beauty is they pass quickly. My shopping is done, bike inspected and it's time to head home. The rain has pretty much stopped and I decide not to put on the rain suit for the ride home. Heck, the rain has already passed. And even if I did get rained on, I'd be at home when I finished riding, so no harm.

Well, it did rain. Not hard. And not enough to get me totally wet. In fact, I got wetter from the spray other vehicles were throwing up from the road. But as I was riding in the rain, I was reminded of how much I enjoy it.

There's something about the rain hitting your helmet, hitting your windshield, soaking into your boots - the rhythm of the road. I go into my own little world. There's me and there's everyone else. I'm acutely aware of them - seems a lot of people lose their heads when driving in the rain. So I'm extra cautious. The increased time and space, the water all around, the sounds of the rain combine to put me into this moment, A moment I think to myself, you know, I really, really enjoy riding in the rain.