Hello there, I wanted to write a quick summary of a ride that I made yesterday. The idea behind this ride was to test some rain gear with the big picture being preparation for a trip to Alaska that I would like to make this summer. So, this is sort of a ride report/equipment test. The Trip Anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area knows that it was pretty wet yesterday so it turned out to be a good day to get wet. I live in Oakland, CA. When I woke-up, I saw that the weather looked like rain so I was happy (being a Southern California native, I dislike rain! ). That said, I had to get past my activation energy which is definitely higher when the weather is gloomy out so I packed up my gear and headed to Cole Coffee for a chocolate croissant and a Peruvian Organic Fair Trade drip coffee. I sat outside having my breakfast and just as I was about to finish my croissant, I felt a few drops rain. Perfect. I geared up, hopped on the bike (I'm 5'7", 30" inseam and 125 pounds so it is a hop, maybe more of a jump) and took off heading north because the radar showed more activity up in that direction. I crossed the Richmond Bridge in rain and just after Novato, headed west on San Antonio Road to Point Reyes. We've got a major, active earthquake fault running through the region which makes for some interesting terrain and geology. I'm sorry but I didn't get many photos because it was raining and, quite frankly, I was enjoying the ride. After reaching Point Reyes Station, I headed north on the 1 which hugs Tomales Bay before heading inland a little bit and then zig-zagging its way back to the coast at Bodega Bay. Are you still imagining this? A short while after passing Bodega Bay, I stopped to take a quick photo. Because it was blowing rain, although light, it was a quick snapshot that I took without even taking my helmet off. The waves were beautiful. If I could surf, I could imagine riding those breaks but since I can't, I left it to my imagination. I didn't see anyone surfing out there so maybe it doesn't make sense to surf in those conditions. Who knows? I digress. A little further up the road, I stopped in Gualala to fill up with some pizza. You've got to be a little careful when rolling into small towns on a Sunday because many shops can be closed but I found a little mom and pop's store to patronize and was happy about that. The family who was eating at the table next to me wondered what in the world I was doing. I told them that I was preparing for a trip to Alaska and that seemed to substantiate my apparent insanity. They told me to ride safely. After my quick lunch, I headed a little further up the road to the 128 and headed west through some beautiful redwood forests and later groves of oaks. I really wanted to stop but to be honest, I was afraid to stop in gravel because I could barely reach the ground. I need a little more practice on dry, flat land before attempting something as crazy as stopping on gravel. I took the 128 to the 101 and road it all the way back. The big bonus was that it practically rained the entire time with some pretty heavy rain in the Cloverdale area. I probably stood on the pegs for a good 10%-15% of the time to try to maximize rain exposure. The Bike I just purchased this 2007 BMW R1200GS Adventure for my planned Alaska trip. Obviously, it's a capable machine for this kind of riding and once I got it off the kickstand and got it moving, it was clear to me that it's well-suited for this. I did run into some trouble, however. I noticed that the left side case leaks some water. It wasn't much but it wasn't dry like the others. Perhaps I got the cable stuck so it didn't make a good seal? I didn't look carefully enough. I would really like to use the topcase to carry my camera gear less my tripod. My current thinking is that I'll fill it up with some foam and cut away sections so that I can get my lenses and such in there. I haven't figured out a good system yet for taking the camera in/out in that situation though a solution would likely be pretty simple. Anyway, wet foam will not be my camera's friend. Other than the wet side case and my fear of stopping, the bike is wonderful even in rain. The Pumpkin Obviously, I'm not much into fashion (or I'm into bad fashion big time) but this is what I had going on this trip. Shoei X-Twelve with Fog City Pro Shield - The helmet was soaked and I had to deal with some fogging but not nearly as bad without the shield. Unfortunately, I would wind up with water droplets on the inside of the shield which made it difficult to see. I think next time I'll try spraying some Rain-X on there to see if that helps. Aerostich Roadcrafter - The Roadcrafter always results in wet crotch if it's raining out. Aside from swapping out the zippers for something like what's found on scuba diving drysuits, I don't know if there is a cure. Please enlighten me if you know of anything. Sidi boots (forgot model but has sympatex and they're old) - My feet get wet win these boots if it rains. They get so wet that I can ring my socks out and have enough nasty water to drink. Aerostich Emergency Boot Raincovers - These worked surprisingly well! At the end of the day, only the bottom of my feet were damp. There certainly wasn't enough water in the socks to drink and there was no way to squeeze even a drop out. I think these are winners but I don't know how long they'll last. The GSA footpegs are going to kill them and the waterproofing material may not last long but we'll see. Frogg Toggs rain suit - I still wound up getting wet but not nearly as bad as riding without the rain suit. See image below. Leatt Club II neck brace - In a way, the neck brace helps keep water from getting in at your neck, I think. I thought that it would be pretty wet but this morning, it was dry. Duofold Expedition Weight thermal underwear - Most of the day, it was around 44 degrees F and I never had to turn on my Aerostich Kanetsu heated vest even though I did get wet. The Results Front Side Back Side Clearly, the front side resulted in more water penetration but that makes sense. I can't remember the last time I've seen my back side. One Last Tidbit In the first image, you'll see that I have my sleeping bag strapped to the back. It's a Modular Sleep System that is distributed to the military. I bought it because I like the concept: Gore-Tex bivy sack, two sleeping bags, and a compression sack to hold it all. I snapped both sleeping bags inside the bivy which in turn I put in the compression sack and then strapped it on the bike for the ride. I was curious to see if the sleeping bag would get wet. When rolling the sleeping bags up, I started on the open end, i.e. the head and worked my way to the feet trying to minimize the chance that water would penetrate the bivy. Shortly after taking the photos above, I opened up the sleeping bag, took off all my clothes and crawled into the sleeping bag. (I read the posting rules so I know not to include those photos.) It was perfectly dry. There were some beads of water on the bivy sack near the feet but those came right off with a little shake. So there you have it. All in all, I was happy with the overall performance. I think adding consecutive rainy days will compromise the setup especially if I'm out camping. I'm not a big camper so I will have to see about camping in the rain and seeing if I can at least partially dry this gear overnight in that situation. I suspect that's tricky without burning down the tent with me in it. Thanks for reading!