Is Riding in the rain Really that dangerous?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by c3eh, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    You aren't looking for absolute brake traction, you just need to know if the road is still greased up or not.

    There is a hell of a big difference and I'd question if you couldn't tell, regardless of footwear. I can tell the difference from my work boots, to my street boots, to my track boots etc etc.

    Where this comes in REALLY handy is when you come out for work and everything is wet, well OK, did it just sprinkle and everything is slick as snot, or did I sleep through a gully-washer and the roads are fine.

    I used to, 45 miles one way. Really, the spring windy season was actually worse (I had to go over the Organ Mountains to get to work) 70mph "downsloped" winds for 5-6 miles makes for a lively commute. Plus you could usually see a monsoon storm coming in the form of flying dirt...like 20 miles in advance.

    Unless they are worse further north?
    #61
  2. duck

    duck Banned

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    Are you f'n series?:rofl

    In this context the term "film" refers to a thin coating and does not imply adhesion nor permanence. e.g. "There's a film of dust on the piano."

    Google search "thin film oil road rain" to see how often it's referred to as a "film" by physicists and others.
    #62
  3. SlipChip

    SlipChip Adventure Commuter

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    If you ride to work in the rain your coworkers will think you are a bit looney. DAMHIK
    #63
  4. Dismount

    Dismount Boring bastard

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    they will also ask you, as water pours off of you in buckets, if you're wet.
    #64
  5. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    I'm completely series (sic)
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  6. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    I used to hang a sign on my desk that said "Yes, it was cold this morning" or "Yeah, when it rains I do indeed get wet"
    #66
  7. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    :lol3
    #67
  8. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Walking into the shop, with water pouring off my suit, my coworkers used to ask "Did you ride in that rain?!" I'd reply "No, its much too dangerous to ride in the rain. I pushed the bike in."

    They don't ask that anymore.
    #68
  9. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    I tell them that the RBR (Ride Between Raindrops) mode isn't functioning, and that's why I'm wet. Otherwise, I'd be dry as a bone. Some of them take a really long time to get it. :D
    #69
  10. MADurstewitz

    MADurstewitz MADMark

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    When asked the same question I said: "No, I put on all of this gear and drove my truck just to screw with you."
    #70
  11. duck

    duck Banned

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    FWIW: I've got some Aerostich ropers that have a squeegy built into the left thumb. I thought it was a bit hokey when I bought the gloves but, much to my surprise, it does work pretty well to keep the visor clear in light rain and/or mist getting kicked up on the freeway.
    #71
  12. bess227

    bess227 Adventurer

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    the thumb wipers are actually quite handy, and cheap.
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  13. Vanishing Point

    Vanishing Point A very sad panda

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    Watch where you put your foot down at stoplights and stop signs. Paint in the road and tar sealant can be slippery when wet and make it easy to drop your bike.
    #73
  14. ParrotheadJeff

    ParrotheadJeff Class A CDL

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    SO TRUE :lol3

    Rain is one of my favorite riding conditions - especially on a hot desert day :deal

    Pretty darn good advice above. Watch out when the rain first starts, be careful of the painted markings, etc. The biggest thing I can add is to be extra careful when stopping at intersections where cars drop oil and especially be careful in left turn spots in center/left turn dividers and raised medians like this one in Las Vegas:

    [​IMG]

    I wasn't thinking one drizzly evening as I entered the left turn lane to go from the eastbound travel on Cheyenne into the parking lot with the gas station and things got slippery in a hurry :eek1 No crash, but I learned a lesson :wink:
    #74
  15. Mr Vimes

    Mr Vimes Been here awhile

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    So will the patients on the psychiatric inpatient ward you work on! :D

    I love riding in the rain. Always do everything smoothly, 50/50 braking, easy throttle, smooth cornering. To be honest we don't get much choice over here, if you waited for a guaranteed dry day you'd never get out.

    Just get good gloves (or a spare pair) as riding with wet hands is just miserable. A good one piece waterproof, waterproof boots or socks are a good idea and be on the look out for oil and diesel at junctions. On a warm day you can normally smell the diesel before you see it. White lines in the centre of the road are a bit dicey when wet so I tend to be real careful when passing. :eek1
    #75
  16. Idle

    Idle Been here awhile

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    I cheat..

    [​IMG]
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  17. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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    Riding in the rain is no big deal. You do have to remember that other vehicle drivers will not be able to see you as well.
    #77
  18. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    OOOOOOOhhhhhhhhh you are going to die!!! :lol3
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  19. BCKRider

    BCKRider Been here awhile

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    I think everything I have to say has been covered. I offer my opinion on what is most important when it comes to riding in the rain:
    GET A PINLOCK VISOR. All the anti-fog treatments I've tried work for a short time at best. I know of few things in riding more miserable than raising your shield a notch to clear the fog and then having rain streaming down both sides of the shield. Major distraction when you need it least. Waxing the outer surface of the shield is also good advice.
    WEAR RAINPROOF GEAR. If you are NOT warm and dry, the discomfort will distract you. Uncomfortable is dangerous. Too much detail to get into here, so just one thought; have the coughs of your riding pants OUTSIDE your boots.
    TRACTION IN THE WET IS HIGHLY VARIABLE. That diesel spill, tar snake, or kicked up sand which would have rung your alarm bell when the road was dry are now invisible. To presume you have 70% or more of dry road traction (even with good tires) discounts these facts of life. My voice of experience here is to take all backroad curves at what will seem stupidly low speeds. You can certainly up the speed when you have a straight piece of road. If there is any question of potholes (which will be very hard to see when they are filled with water) your best bet may be to ride down the middle of the lane.
    BEING VISIBLE. I believe my white helmet, brighter jacket, and enhanced lighting on both ends DOES capture the attention of MOST cagers. But I don't trust these passive protective measures. In dry conditions, I try to remember I am invisible to a certain percentage of other motorists. In the rain, no matter your helmet color or lighting, I think it is best to assume you are invisible to all other motorists.
    FORGET COMMUTING IN THE RAIN. OK, I wouldn't consider commuting on a bike on freeways near any major city in perfect weather. Nor would I live there. If you live in this environment, you still have to make a risk assessment.
    #79
  20. GaryM

    GaryM Huh? What?

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    I have to say it can be done but it has it's own risks and requires different techniques. It seems they have already been covered already but if I had to summarize it for someone I would state the following,
    1. There is a lot more traction than you would think in the rain.
    2. The center of the lane is the worst, especially at lights and stop signs or other places vehicles tend to come to a stop.
    3. Slow down, everywhere. When you get good at it, well, then it is your decision on how fast you can go.
    4. Braking is the trickiest part of it all, you will lock up the rear a few times. Practice locking it up in the rain so you know how it feels and know how to respond when it surprises you on the street.
    5. Everyone on four wheels is still trying to kill you but your ability to avoid them is diminished, give yourself more time and room to avoid them.
    6. It can be miserable riding when cold and wet. Dress accordingly.
    #80