Gotta Scoot

A foray into the world of the 2-wheeled amateur

25 April 2007 Here comes the rain again…

Being a public holiday with fortunately very little for me to do, I had hoped to jump on the scooter today and travel a good hundred kilometres or so to get riding ‘out of my system’ for the week. However, it’s been raining non stop for the past three days and that is remarkably rare in Australia. In fact, I now find it strange to think that a pleasantry like “terrible weather we’re having, isn’t it?” is actually quite politically incorrect over here, given the phenomenal droughts we’ve had for nearly the last ten years. So when I woke up to the gentle pitter-patter on the rusty carport outside my bedroom this morning, I simply had to accept that, on the face of it, I wasn’t going anywhere interesting today.

I’m also mindful of the incredible collective wisdom of the scooter blogging community, where discussions of gale-force winds, snow and rain are taken very seriously as genuinely life-threatening elements. So fortunately I haven’t been stupid enough to succumb to a sense of disregard for the many ‘moods’ of nature.

But when the rain did subside this afternoon, I couldn’t help but jump on the TGB to take it for a (careful) spin around my local neighborhood. Many people that love walking or bicycle riding will attest to the beauty of taking an evening sojourn after heavy rain while smelling and breathing in the freshness of the air. I guess for me though, this trip was more about becoming a little more accustomed to the prospect of having to ride in the rain.

I say “having to” in reference to a conversation with a colleague and experienced rider who told me “you only ride in the rain when you have to, not when you chose to…” and pointed out that a little drizzle could be more deadly than a downpour, given that it might just spread oil in places where riders aren’t expecting to find it (instead of washing the oil away)… not to mention the high gloss paint on pedestrian crossings, where, he added, “you can feel yourself skidding without even trying!”

Nonetheless, there’s still a beauty in riding after a storm and noticing the subtle changes to the world around you. It’s also yet another context in which you become more aware of the nature of things around you: the beauty of graffiti, the fascination one has at the first sight of roadside junk, or the shear size of trees that are older than many of the streets they now line.

 

 

I guess no day is ever wasted unless we close our mind to its infinite possibilities.

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April 25, 2007 - Posted by | General Riding

3 Comments »

  1. Michael, it’s true the rain can bring many hazards, but as a native Seattleite (y’know, where it rains all the time… :-/) I take to heart the idea that if you don’t ride (or do anything else) because it’s raining, you won’t do much of anything. I’m amazed how often people express surprise that I ride in the rain, but it really isn’t such a harrowing experience. The combined weight of me and my bike is around 500 lbs., and the concept of road-hugging weight is a valid one. My tires have plenty of tread, and they’re still nice and rubber-y. The thing to remember about paint stripes, and such potentially slippery surfaces as boilerplate, is not to make sudden braking or steering moves on them. Go straight across them, at a constant speed, and you’ll be okay. Wet pavement means you can see where oil has been dropped, and being less than a meter wide, you have all kinds of lane to work with.

    Seat time is the key. Ride regularly and often, unless the weather is really bad. You may find your definition of really bad will change over time…

    Comment by Orin | April 26, 2007

  2. Thanks for that advice Orin! Yes I imagined that many scooterists out there are a lot more used to the rain than the average Australian. Thanks also for the tips about avoidance of sudden moves.

    Cheers
    M

    Comment by Michael | April 26, 2007

  3. Hi.
    Good design, who make it?

    Comment by naisioxerloro | November 29, 2007


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