The following is an excerpt from The Guide to Protecting North Carolina Motorcyclists & Their Families penned by Ben Cochran and motorcycle riding guru James R. Davis. Since this week has given us so much rain, we figured it would be a timely post for our blog. The following is tips are #105-113 in the book which features 179 riding tips by Mr. Davis. You can request a free copy of the book by clicking here.
Riding in wet weather: Some lessons learned
My riding partner, Cash, and I just completed an eight-day tour. Seven of those days were glorious, but for one full day we experienced rain or drizzle, at high altitude, and in severe cold. Here are the lessons we learned during that one day.
105. When it is drizzling (no depth of standing water on the roadway), we were perfectly happy to ride at or near speed limits. Traction was NOT a problem, but visibility often was.
106. When you are riding at 65 MPH and an 18-wheeler is doing 65+ MPH in the opposite direction with light rain, you can be sure that that 18-wheeler is kicking up a MAJOR rooster-tail. That wall of water is approaching you at 130 MPH! When you hit it, your visibility will be momentarily reduced to ZERO.
107. That same 18-wheeler when passing is going to do more than drop your visibility to zero. That 130 MPH mass of turbulence that you run into WILL abruptly slow your bike down!
108. Because rain, drizzle and mud will collect on your windscreen and on your face shield, you will not be able to see through those layers of water. So, you must look over your windscreen until conditions change.
109. Altitude and cold are synonymous. If it’s raining and cold, then if your direction is to a higher elevation, you are best advised to STOP for the night. If your direction is to a lower elevation, you are probably best off continuing your ride.
110. No matter how well-clothed you are, no matter how many layers, if your hands get too cold, you will not be able to safely handle your motorcycle.
111. Keeping your CHEST warm will greatly help in keeping your hands warm! Your body protects its chest cavity (core) by restricting circulation from your extremities (hands and feet).
112. Cramps can be eliminated almost instantly by the consumption of GATORADE! We always carry water, and now, when riding in cold weather or high altitudes, we also carry GATORADE.
113. You should always carry a set of rain gear with you even if you don’t or won’t ride in the rain! It was so cold coming down from the high altitude of Colorado Springs that Cash was forced to wear at least the pants of her rain gear (over everything else) in order to keep her legs warm. It worked wonderfully for her!
It is always important to protect ourselves with motorcycle insurance.