Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My first "really rainy" ride with Maria

Temps in the mid 40s to low 60s. Scattered light showers in the morning with heavy rain storms in the afternoon.

The commute into work was done under dry conditions, it had rained overnight but the roads were mostly dry. I even attended a meeting, mid-morning, at a separate office location and the sun shone briefly on me and Maria as we rode to that location.

By noon however, the skies had darkened and light rain had started falling on the Denver Tech Center where I work. No problem I said to myself, I've got my riding pants and rainproof liners with me!

Kept an eye on the radar throughout the rest of the afternoon as I wrapped things up. Around 1440 or so, I saw a gap in between rain formations approaching the area of town I had to traverse to get home. So I geared up, overpants over jeans(no liner), windproof/rainproof liner under my riding jacket and off I went.

The white dot south of the word Denver lies a bit NW of my commute area, it looked clear didn't it? Not!

I walked outside to light sprinkles and rode out feeling confident on my timing. All I have to say now that I am home is that Mr Radar did not show the rainstorm that I rode into as soon as I was on Arapahoe Road heading west! It started off as light rain which quickly became steady rain and then a heavy cold downpour as I road eastward. Still, not too bad, though I was regretting not having put on the overpants rain liner.

I stopped just north of the intersection of Parker Rd and Arapahoe Rd at the Conoco gas station and put the waterproof cover on my BigMak tankbag to keep the electronics within dry. Did I think to put on the waterproof liner for the overpants? Sure! Did I? No! My jeans underneath already felt wet in the ares where the pants are vented so I decided to heck with it and rode on.

The rest of the way home was in a steady downpour, and typical of Colorado rain, a very cold downpour. I even tried dropping the windshield to its lowest position so it'd help blow rain from my visor and still it was covered in raindrops. It did not impair visibility to a dangerous point but it was annoying. I did turn the heated grips as well and they helped a lot.

Got home safe, with the last five minutes or so feeling quite "moist" in the crotch area of my pants and thighs. Once I stripped off the overpants, saw that most of the water had come in via the vented mesh areas as expected. What I did not expect and on reflection should have, was all the water running down the jacket, and collecting down my pants and pooling on the seat area between me and the tank! I should have put on the liner! : )

Oh well, no harm done, lesson learned and Maria proved herself stable and comfortable in heavy rain. I wiped her down after I got myself dried out and she's ready for the next ride! As I have said to the guys at work, rain doesn't bother me, it's freezing rain that bothers me. This is the heaviest rain I've been in with Maria, before it had been sprinkles to light rain at most. She does just fine in the rain.

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