Riding in the Rain

by Laura
(Portland, OR)

As I was reading through posts I came across one rider in training that mentioned her 2nd day of class was canceled due to rain. This made me chuckle, because of my own experience with TeamOregon.

The weather here has been horrible this Spring and it rained up until the first day of the class on bikes. Then, it was a glorious 70 degree day and we were all so thankful. The next day....monsoon. It poured rain for 5 hours straight. One of the instructors changed her clothes and put on fresh rain gear at the break. I remember one trainee asking at the beginning if it was safe to train in the rain. The instructor barked, "This is Oregon. If you don't plan on riding in the rain, you might as well go home now and not plan on getting your endorsement!" In the beginning I was apprehensive about making turns on the wet pavement and one of the instructors asked, "Do you see standing water? Do you see oil? Do you see anything else that we've learned about that will cause the bike to slip? No? Then just ride the bike, you'll be fine!". Great coaching. I relaxed immediately and did fine the rest of the very wet day.

At the end of the day we all took our skills test in the rain, and I think most, if not all of us passed...in the rain. Talking to people later we all felt pretty lucky that we had that wet, rainy day under our belts. We realized that other trainees don't always get that experience, and will approach their first rainy riding day with just a bit more apprehension than we will.

Comments for Riding in the Rain

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Jun 21, 2010
by: Robin

I was stupid one day and picked up my daughter from the pool cause we knew the storm was coming. We didn't make it home, shouldn't have left 10 minutes sooner, got caught bad. She's a trooper, but she said? Mom I'm already wet from the pool. Our biggest struggle was the deep water on the road. Always be careful of that. 17" of water was across the end of our lane for about 100 feet. But never got into the air cleaner.

Jun 18, 2010
Riding in the Rain
by: Rocco

Me on my V-star 1100, leathers, a scarf and riding glasses. Husband on his Suzuki, leathers, glasses and a cap. We were riding east from the Royal Gorge into Canyon City. Nowhere to stop. Lightning everywhere. Raining buckets. The water running over the top of my boots. We were traveling at low speeds. The cars behind us never attempted to pass us. They were either smart enough to drive safely in those conditions, or afraid they would have drowned us! I was praying to make it to the bottom of the canyon alive! After what seemed like an hour, we rolled into town taking cover at the first gas station we found. There were around 20 bikes taking cover there. I peeled off my bike, wiped my glasses, flashed my husband a grin and shouted, HELL, LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!!! What a RUSH! Riding the elements. That's what it's all about!

Jun 18, 2010
by: Stephanie (Cincinnati)

Both days of my MSF class was in the pouring rain. I mean pouring down rain. It was scary for me. I actually wiped out just before the test (or as they call it, "celebration of skills") while doing the emergency stopping. I didn't even realize I fell until I was picking myself up off the wet concrete. It was good experience though. I won't be so nervous in the rain now.

And I passed the test! So it was all worth it!

Jun 18, 2010
by: Lynn - SW Florida

We get downpours here a lot in the summer time. I call it the gray wall. The frog toggs work great because they breathe in our hot weather. The only drawback is I burned a hole in the leg on the pipe. I now wear a burngaiter over that leg.

I had a retired Marine drill sargent for my coach at class. He was gruff and to the point but always wanted us to know it was for our own safety. I think the shouting and pointing helped engrave it into my memory.

Jun 18, 2010
by: Anonymous

Don't mind riding in the rain. In fact, hubby and I will go practice gearing up along the road to see how long it would take to put on the boot covers and frogg toggs. I ride to work every day now, rain or shine. But I have to say that the storm I went home in Tuesday was something I wouldn't want to do again. Blinding and the rain on road was deep. My lane in the country had 17" covering it for about 200feet. My 1100 V-star went right through it!

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