Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Into every life...

My car was in the shop for a month. During that time there was only one choice of transportation; the scoot. Not a bad choice really, but there are times it's a less exciting (or more depending on your perspective) alternative to using a car.

There are things one encounters head on while riding a motorcycle or scooter. Bugs, rocks, cigarette butts (still aflame mind you), and various and sundry other objects and debris. For this reason, I have found a full face helmet with a shield is invaluable.

Then there's rain. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind a little rain, but over the last two months, I have had the dubious pleasure of riding in three distinct heavy thunderstorms. Nothing reminds one quite how alive (and wanting to remain so) one is, like a bolt of lightning so close that the thunder is immediate, when protected by nothing more than a thin layer of water repellent jacket, a helmet and a pair of sodden rain gloves.

There was another discovery I made on one of those adventures; hail hurts! The most recent storm I endured (see video) included these lovely little balls of ice pelting down amidst the heaviest rain in which I've ever ridden. The rain was so heavy, my Frogg Toggs jacket was quickly penetrated by the deluge and rendered completely useless. By the time I arrived at home, my clothing was thoroughly drenched, even my shirt, so I just stripped it all off and threw it in the washing machine. Even so, I felt invigorated! It was one of the most exciting rides of my life!

Getting back to the topic of bugs and other debris, wearing a helmet with a full face shield quickly reveals what kinds of things will hit a rider in the face. The above image shows some insect remains, but can't show the other things that might come flying at a rider. Just this week, a driver in a 5 series BMW decided his lit cigarette butt belonged in my face; my helmet prevented this. I have no issue with people smoking so long as they're polite about it: i.e., don't smoke in doorways I have to walk through, don't blow smoke in my face, and don't throw your cigarette butts at me.

Riding motorcycles and scooters can be great fun, but it can be hazardous too. I've not been riding as long as some, but in my brief time in the saddle, I've found that the pleasures of the ride can be ruined by little turns of events, but proper gear can lessen those effects. Yes, it doesn't solve every problem, and even the best gear has its limits, as my experience with the Frogg Toggs jacket proves, but it makes a difference. In point of fact, my son used the same jacket today in a moderate rain and it worked very well.

So ride safe, take precautions, and have fun. The rain may fall, but you don't have to stop riding.

The following Video is linked above, but here it is:


kz1000st said...

Hopefully none of these things strike you and technology has caught up. I was in a situation where I had to use my motorcycle every day. Rain washed oil and grease away in places you would never expect. Wheel bearings burned up, steering head bearings jammed and electrical connection corroded. Cars are weather proofed, bikes aren't..or weren't. I avoid the rain now because of it now.

Deb said...

I once rode a Ruckus 10 miles in a thunderstorm complete with lightning!

It was beyond exciting and I kept pondering whether those rubber tires were going to insulate me when that bolt struck.

I lucked out, made it home, and then decided I needed some "rain wear" to keep in my scooter.

So now you're saying that Frogg Toggs don't cut it so guess I'll go shopping. LOL

Stay dry!

Paul Smith said...

Jim: ther is still a reality that bikes arent quite as weatherproof as cars; however, my experience with the scooter hasnt been all that bad weather-wise as far as wear and tear goes. It may be that the scoots made in Asia are designed to hold up under more adverse weather conditions, or I may just have been blessed. The wheel bearings are fine and the built in wiring hasn't shown any major signs of corrosion. He muffler is very rusted up, but otherwise it's held up well to my all weather riding.

Paul Smith said...

Deb, I will do a review of my frogg toggs jacket. Don't get the wrong idea, it's quite a good product, but there's only so much one can expect of rain gear.