Wheels Of Grace Magazine

Volume 10, Issue 4

Issue link: http://cp.revolio.com/i/1074597

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Page 28 of 36

28 | WheelsOfGrace.com | Issue 44 For most motorcycle riders the first time riding in the rain is normally not intentional. We take off on an all day ride when the sun is shining and by afternoon we realize we're going to get our first taste of wet asphalt, like it or not. Riding a motorcycle in the rain has a natural progression for some riders. Many never ride in the rain the first year they're up on two wheels. They're timid about it the second year, feeling more confident by the third, and by the fourth year they're asking the question - "What Rain?" Whether you get caught in an unexpected rain or you are an experienced motorcycle rain rider going out in spite of the rain, there are a few things you should remember and watch out for. Of course you need to follow the common sense rules whenever you are on a wet road; slow down, leave more space between you and the vehicle in front of you, allow yourself more time to stop, and take turns much slower. Relax, tensing up will cause your reflexes to slow down and also take you out of your normal riding rhythm. And most importantly stay focused... it is easy to lose focus on the road when there is water hitting you in the face and your clothing is getting soaked, but none of that is as important as staying focused on the road. Here's a list of critical rain hazards to watch for whether it's your first time riding in the rain, or you ride your motorcycle in the rain often. Painted Lines - Crosswalks can be slippery and unsafe for motorcyclists, particularly if you're turning and crossing the lines at an angle. Slow down more than usual and try to keep a constant speed - slowing or accelerating can cause the rear tire to break loose. Lane Dividers can be dangerous in wet conditions. The biggest issue is when you are switching lanes to pass someone. Accelerating while crossing a lane divider can cause the rear tire to break loose, so cross the lane divider at a constant speed and then accelerate once in the new lane. Diamonds in the HOV lanes. These can be very nasty when you lean into one. The diamond is shaped so you will just slide across it and continue to slide along it. However you should not be riding in the center of the lane anyway, especially if it is wet. Any painted line or surface is a hazard, and until the DOT addresses the issue and comes up with a less slippery texture, you're the one in control of your destiny. Surface Textures - Many commercial and residential parking areas are paved with very slick concrete surfaces. Your wet entry into the gas station, local mall or condo complex can put you on the ground in a second. Again, ride slow and straight up and don't let the concrete bite you. The area around gas pumps is notoriously slippery from people spilling gas and oil. Be sure to approach and leave the gas pumps very cautiously. Rubber - How about that rubber they use around railroad tracks to decrease the sound as cars drive over them? Forget those little circles on the surface, these provide zero traction to you as you cross. Slow and straight up. Railroad tracks have a way of popping up on you just after a turn by RoadCaptain SAFE Motorcycle Riding IN THE RAIN 28 WheelsOfGrace.com Issue 44

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