Even rode my motorcycle in the rain
And you told me not to drive
But I made it home alive
So you said that only proves that I’m insane
-Billy Joel, “You May Be Right”
I like riding in rain, but I love riding in rain on a warm summer night. Not as insane as it sounds, but it definitely expands the element of risk on a motorcycle. Give a bit of time for rain to soak the road, wash away the slippery stuff first, then realize motorcycles don’t melt away in the wet, and tires designed to channel water still grip- even in a lean. Engines keep humming, lights keep lighting, and brakes keep braking on mostly empty roads. The bike may require smoother inputs in less predictable conditions, but wheels keep rolling.
I love riding in rain on a warm summer night. The staccato tapping of rain on helmet and rain gear. The coolness of a thin layer wet on the outside, dry against the skin within. The slight slip of materials against wet controls, body protected by wisp of armor in the elements.
I love riding in rain on a warm summer night. The scatter of streetlights turned to stars by patterns of rain on visor and windscreen. The vertical streaks of raindrops in headlights creating a surreal shower curtain image of approaching surroundings. Colored lights enhanced by tricks of nature and moisture saturated air.
I love riding in rain on a warm summer night. The unforgettable smell of summer rain. The distinctive smell of steam off wet pavement. The funk of sweat seeping from waterproof jacket collar into the helmet. The taste of adrenaline from the lightning smell of ozone.
I love riding in rain on a warm summer night. The calm focus, heightened awareness, and deep dig for seldom used skills accumulated in years of riding. The pure joy of an exceptional ride and the sense of accomplishment arriving safely. The contented feeling of stripping off wet gear to be dried and packed for another ride in challenging weather.
You may be right, I may be crazy- but I love riding in rain on a warm summer night!
Keep Riding Local, Dreaming Global, and rolling safe. See you on the road!