Monday, 26 August 2013

Rainy Days

I may have mentioned this before so excuse me if I have: When I took my first motorcycle training the instructor said the best thing about riding a two-wheeled vehicle was the elements; the worst thing was the elements. This summer I thought of that statement a lot. While we've had some sunny weather this year in Canada the early part of the summer was one of the rainiest on record. Far from India, we joked about monsoons because the rain for a while seemed endless.

So yes, it is glorious to experience the sun and warm winds of a perfect summer day and no, it's not any fun feeling soggy during a long ride. Since we take our two-wheeled vehicles off the road for winter weather, rain is the one aspects of the elements we do have to work with. I have some gear: an old yellow rubber rain jacket and river pants but they are often inadequate after a half hour of driving rain. And when my glasses aren't steamed up, they are covered with blinding drops. I haven't found a visor to be much better.

In parts of the world where riders can enjoy their scooters and motorcycles year round they're better at solving the problem of rainy days. In Vietnam, within moments of the first drops, riders appear on the streets in thin plastic ponchos with hoods and then, within moments of the sun reappearing, they strip off the ponchos without even parking. Sometimes, when they don't have a poncho handy they get creative like this man who simply rode while holding an umbrella over his head.

                                                                                                        Photo Copywright: Debi Goodwin

But others are buying more sophisticated gear. Recently, a friend of mine was visiting China and sent me this picture of a rain coat specifically designed for scooter riders. It covers both the rider and the bike, keeping hands dry to handle the dry controls. Clear plastic on the front allows the front of the scooter to be seen. This fellow has a passenger to give him extra protection, but the gear does come a hood.

                                                                                                Photo Courtesy of: Mary Kirton

It's raining here today and threatens to be a rainy week. I was going on out my scooter today but decided I didn't need to take it. I should buy better rain gear, perhaps adding some boot covers to keep my feet dry. Or I could order the Chinese gear online. But I like my elements pleasant so, for now, I'll just avoid rain when I can.

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