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Before I tell my story, let me be clear about three things:
1. I don’t like to ride in the rain… ever.
2. Until yesterday, I have been pretty much able to avoid riding in the rain.
3. I feel great sympathy when I see a biker on a highway in pouring rain with the water running off their face, and that look on their face that says, “just let me live to ride on a sunny day.”

Had a great morning riding down to Ormond Beach, Florida from Jacksonville to reacquaint with an old friend who I actually found here on the forum. Breakfast, visit to his shop (he works on Goldwings and is a Traxxion authorized installer), exchanged bikes so that I could see what his ride was like. Then we headed over to the massive J&P cycle store to drool over stuff and to the equally massive H-D dealership not to. (As I told my pal Dave, I thought it was ironic that we could buy a Harley Davidson branded doormat to wipe our feet on so as not to soil our footpegs before climbing onto our Goldwings. As we headed for the door, we saw that it was already raining. We waited for fifteen minutes and it let up. Handy item #1 I had with me: Old bath towel to wipe bike down.

We parted ways agreeing to connect up again, perhaps in St. Augustine for dinner with our wives before I jumped onto I-95 headed north.

It began to rain.

I pulled off into a 7-Eleven to park next to the pumps underneath the canopy to wait it out. I figured I needed gas anyways. A peanut butter cookie and a bag of Combos topped it off. Since there was no place to sit inside the store, I center-standed my Goldwing and climbed up to sit. After about a half-hour, with still no let up on the rain, an older couple on a Harley pulled up opposite. Long story short, Earl and Peggy turned out to be the nicest couple you could want to meet. We talked bikes, the problems with GPS to find your way, the upcoming Biketoberfest and life in general. He was in his 70’s and she was a little bit younger. Both had lost spouses after three decades of marriage and then met each other on Classmates.com. While chitchatting with them, I thought to myself, this is what biking is all about.

The rain let up, but only a little so I thought this would be a great time to try out the rain suit I had just bought from Amazon TWO DAYS BEFORE. Correction. I had only bought the Mossi RX1 Rain Jacket two days before. I had purchased the paints three years ago when I took the MSF Safety class (“we ride even if it rains”, the instructor said. Both things were true- it did and we did.) I guess I had never bought a jacket.

Anyways, as I put them on, I immediately realized that the jacket wouldn’t fit over my skid jacket. I would be riding essentially with a windbreaker. Bad idea as far as I’m concerned and if my wife ever found out, she wouldn’t be happy either. I think she prefers me without road rash. Also, no full-face helmet, no waterproof gloves and no boot covers. My new Harley-riding friend thought a face shield would be my next purchase.

As soon as I hit the highway, as the sayng goes, the heavens opened up. I was now that guy on the highway with water pouring off my chin, trying to see through the windshield of my bike. Because I had no gloves with gauntlets, water was being driven up my windsuit sleeves and because I had no boot covers, my shoes were soaked. Otherwise I would rate the suit a B+.

I pulled off again into a McDonalds parking lot. The rain was coming down in buckets. I went into the restaurant to get out of the rain and to call home to let them know I was not riding in the storm (at the moment, anyways). It was still pouring.

I had heard that the Goldwing is designed to be rained on, but I went back outside, pulled out the cover I carried and threw it over the bike so at least the seats and instrumentation wouldn’t completely fill up with water. My wipe-down towel was already soaked and unusable. I grabbed my iPad from the trunk (at least I wouldn’t be bored) and went back into the McDonalds to wait it out.

An hour and a half later, the rain lightened to a drizzle. I called my wife in Jacksonville, 40 miles to the north. She said the sun was shining and the roads were dry there. I packed it in and went out to see what kind of a soggy ride I was going to have. The cover was totally soaked. I rolled it up and jammed it in the saddle bag. I did what I could with the seat and the gauges with the wet towel and took off. I was still concerned about rain preventing me from seeing so I poked around in the trunk and found my wife’s brand-new googles. They would have to do.

In typical Florida weather style, I could see sun and sky ahead and what looked like hurricane conditions above and behind me. As I got to within twenty five miles of Jacksonville, it was indeed sunny and dry. The water began to run off the bike and things began to dry out. By the time I got home, the suit and the bike were both dry. It sure was nice to pull into the garage in one piece.

Since it was so humid out, I brought the bike cover inside and laid it over two spread-apart kitchen chairs to dry out. I told my wife it was either the chairs or bring the bike into the kitchen. She was not amused but I was.

So… the score: Did not feel particularly comfortable riding on the highway in rain. But Florida weather isn’t going to change for me. It does seem to rain most afternoons. I need more practice and only riding in the rain will give me that, I suppose. On the shopping list: boot covers, waterproof gloves and at least a clip on face shield for my helmet. Otherwise, all’s well that ends well.
 

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The rule is you don't start out in the rain. Once underway, however, rules don't apply.
That rule didn't apply in North Carolina.
 

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i think you made the right choice by stopping at the mc donalds, sounds like the rain was comming down too hard for safe travel on a bike
 

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I've been out in many a rainy days. I also agree unless I'm on a mission (like this Tuesday to go to Michigan) I don't head out in the rain. I like to just back down the speed and heavy cornering until the ground dries up. Also don't forget what you were taught when you first started driving or riding, the ground is always the most slippery when they first get wet with all the crap on the roads until it all washes away.
 

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Hey, I agree riding in a rain is not fun but at least your Florida rains are warm. I rode from Washington State to Georgia one summer and was in the rain about 3 out of 5 days. Ya just have to be more careful and grin and bare it when some cage comes by and drowns you in a big wave. Be Safe.
 

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Rain is part of being on the bike and gives me something to grumble about. I have had some rides where I have been soaked to the skin. When you are out on the road for a few days and get wet is no fun because the next day your gear is still wet.
 

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I'm an everyday rider. So rain is part of the deal. I have everything I need - except the boot covers. They have been on back order for a while. The shipper just sent a note that they should be here this week. Of course we won't see another drop of rain for ten years now that I'm getting the covers...

Full face helmet, good gloves, frogg toggs and soon - the boot covers....I do slow down and pay extra attention.
 
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