Saturday, February 13, 2010

What's a little rain?

Things were a bit wet on Friday. Ok. Quite wet. So there was no question I was going to ride. Katie just shook her head and gave me this knowing smile. Kind of like you give to someone that you know is crazy but you don't know if they know it. A smile that says,

"You poor soul. You don't know how sick you are. On the other hand, I kind of envy you."

Maybe I should provide just a little more background. Ladies love tough outlaws and Katie's no exception. She doesn't think I'm crazy for riding in bad weather. What she finds crazy is the contrast. See, when the weather is as nasty as it can get, I will unfailingly ride and look forward to it. When the weather is nicer, I am finding myself a bit more ambivalent about riding these days. Not that I don't love riding in the sunshine, but for some unexplained reason I tend to waffle a bit more about it.

I took a photo of a sign at a Nike store last year and showed it to Katie. She thought it described me but with a twist. Here's the sign.

Katie says the twist is that I don't need to make other people look bad to feel better about myself. In fact, I do a lot to help other folks experience personal growth. It's one of the things I really love about being a professional motorcycle trainer, for example. Especially with more experienced riders. I find great satisfaction knowing that a rider is better off when they leave a class than when they arrived. This blog is an extension of that kind of thing, I suppose.

Just today Katie and I went to the mall to see some orchids on display. While we were there I noticed this guy kept looking over my way. Long story short, he came over and greeted me. He was one of my students from several years ago. This guy had taken a couple of long motorcycle trips since then. He told me that he still hears my voice coaching him as he rides. I like that kind of feedback.

I can't tell you why I am how I am. Maybe it's the need to establish credibility. How much respect would you give a teacher if you knew they didn't actually live what they were teaching? How well can a teacher guide their students if they don't have a wealth of experience themselves to draw from? I don't want to be looked up to without earning it.

Maybe it's my firmly held belief that we should either walk the talk or quit talking. I don't think I suffer from insecurity at all. Whatever the reasons, I always welcome the chance to pit myself against adverse riding conditions. Thus my riding on a really wet day.

How wet was it? Take a look.

The G11's swivel screen is great for taking self portraits. Have to hurry, though. Not sure how waterproof it is! There's already water on the lense.

I use Nikwax wash-in waterproofing products on my gear. Looks like it's still holding up.

What was the old Honda versus Kawasaki sportbike ad? Something like, "Even the Ninja knows he must hide from the Hurricane", I believe. Thus, it seemed prudent to come inside and dry out. I had to make a few phone calls, anyway.

Isn't it interesting that we can make our own little oasis with a few simple things? I think we serious riders are a pretty self sufficient lot. We make do with a lot less baggage than most. I also notice that there was still water on the G11 lense!

I discovered that my tank bag zipper now leaks in heavy rain. If you look just past the cell phone you'll see a pile of papers under my reading glasses. They ended up a bit wet. Not a biggie except for this one.

This is a factory machining template that I needed for my next stop. You can see how some of the ink ran and some red ink from another paper bled through. Fortunately, the information I needed was in two different places on the template so it all worked out.

While I was at the table a fellow instructor came by. Not having ridden, please note. That's ok. Scott spent a lot of years as an Oregon State Police motor officer. His dedication to riding and his skills are second to very few. What was interesting is that Scott told me he'd seen the bike in the parking lot. He wasn't at all surprised to see me riding in this weather. Pretty high compliment!

Unlike Thursday, yesterday never dried out. That's the way it goes, sometimes, eh? It's still riding!

Miles and smiles,



SonjaM said...

I am impressed by the way you describe riding in the rain. It actually sounds like you are still having fun. Save riding!

Richard Machida said...

Better rain than snow! I can't wait until spring.

Chuck Pefley said...

Nice account! You'll find your G-11 to be ok in mildly wet conditions, though waterproof it is definitely not. My G-10 has had it's share of moisture and has survived.

Steve Williams said...

Great post Dan about riding in the rain. And a nice, information self portrait. Before long you will be using the self-timer to make more dramatic tableaus....

While I don't consider myself very competitive I do relate to the notion that I ride in adverse conditions to satisfy myself. I have generally felt good about riding in the rain.

My G9 has had a lot of water on it over the years. I wipe it off, especially the parts that retract back into the camera. And so far no ill effects.

I will advise checking the tightness of the screws in the body though. I have had two vibrate out from riding in the Vespa. Not sure how many I can lose before the camera falls apart...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

bluekat said...

Gotta love that Nikwax. I used some on my cycling rain jacket ... and haven't ridden in the rain since. Funny, I thought it would make the jacket waterproof. Instead it just made the rain go away.

Doesn't look like it worked that way for you though. :)

My G11 has also gotten a little wet on a bike ride, and came out unscathed. They seem to be fairly rugged little cameras.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad (Dan):

I would love nothing more than a forecast for 5 days of solid rain. I wouldn't ride in it... But I would dance naked in it, at at the top of my driveway. It is 23ยบ at the moment, with a forecast for 4 to 6 inches of snow tonight, and additiona accumulation tomorrow.

I do not ride in the rain purposely... But have no problem with getting caught in it occasionally. Great post today.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

What's a little rain? Well, here at this time of year, it's snow! We got three inches in Denver yesterday, but its all gone now from the roads....

I am reviewing a new variation on a face mask for cold weather activities...more later but it might help with the fogging issues you had.

Gary France said...

Hi Dan,

I see what you mean. You don't like the rain either. After seeing the picture of you in the rain, I feel bad about complaining about my bucket now!



Young Dai said...

I can't believe that the forcast in Oregon for tomorrow is nearly 15f warmer than London UK ! That is so not fair.

If you don't ride in the wet in the UK then you pretty well wouldn't ride at all, especially with the series of lousy summers UK has 'enjoyed' over the past couple of years. That's not to boast, that's just as things are.

The wet weather has an ability to find holes in your technique even before it finds the gaps in your kit.

I have a tight S bend less than a mile from where I live, I can do it easily at the posted 30mph speed in the dry come spring and summer time, but in the wet, on stone cold tyres, much less enjoyable even when slower.

What's the phrase : "There is no such things as bad weather, just a poor choice of clothing" ?