WRR52: Dodging Thunderstorms on a Motorcycle

Sometimes you just can’t avoid the rain… Those of us who ride rain or shine know that if we take the bike to work in the morning, we are rolling the dice with mother nature – especially in the summertime when thunderstorms can pop up in the afternoon, regardless of what the weatherman predicted.

I recently found myself in just such a situation. The clock crept closer to 5pm. A peak out the front door yielded an up close and personal view of some very dark clouds coming in. I pulled up the radar, and sure enough, storms were headed this way from the South and the West. I have to head North for the ride home, so I quickly donned my riding gear – a mesh motorcycle jacket, Kevlar lined riding jeans, and summer mesh gloves, and headed out the door. If I ride fast enough, maybe I can beat the storm, I thought. If you do get caught in the storm make sure you have proper rain gear on board.

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Heading up the highway I could see the dark clouds off to the left and behind me in my mirrors. A wall of dark grey reaching down from the sky till it met the ground. Weaving through traffic, I knew it’d be close. Finally within just a few miles of home the roads turned wet. Road grime kicked up all over my once clean bike. My knees were soon wet from the spray of cars driving ahead of me. Then the drops started to fall. Small at first, a light sprinkle. Soon they grew in size to big fat summertime raindrops – thankfully still thin in number.

I tested my traction by giving the bike a fistful of throttle in first gear. Just a small amount of wheelspin to let me know it’s not quite as good as dry pavement, but still a heck of a lot better than it could be. Just a mile or so more to get home, and get home I did. Surprisingly not too soggy, I pulled off my jacket and hung it on the doorknob of the garage where it could dry, ready to face the road and the elements another day.

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