When you ride a motorcycle in the Northwest you find out very early that you must make an important decision. That involves whether or not your going to ride in the rain and to what degree. There are a couple of main thoughts around this.
1. You simply don’t ride in the rain. This is going to significantly reduce the amount of time available to ride as we get rain 7-8 months out of the year.
2. You start out in the dry but will ride in the rain in order to get home.
3. You accept where you live and ride year around regardless of the weather Mother Nature throws at us.
It’s interesting this time a year because the first two groups I mentioned start coming out of hibernation while the third group has been riding now for many months. So what makes riding year around possible and why do people choose that path?
I know for myself I started riding year around out of necessity. I found myself in a position where my only mode of transportation was a 2002 GSXR 1K it wasn’t the best commuter bike, but it was what I had and I made it work. At first my biggest challenge was that I didn’t have the right gear. I quickly found that I needed some decent rain gear. So I picked up a rain suit. That worked for awhile but after two or three months my rain suit wasn’t doing what I needed. It was time to look at motorcycle specific gear. There are tons of options out there to chose from based on style, look and price. I wanted an Aerostich but couldn’t justify the cost at that point in my life. So I went with a Joe Rocket Jacket and some used HD rain pants I picked up at a garage sale. These worked much better then my $29.99 rain suit but I know that it wasn’t a long term solution to staying dry. I saved up my money over the next year and ended up getting a Firstgear jacket and pants. This was the like stepping out of the dark ages. Every thing fit pretty good and most importantly it kept me dry most the time no matter what the weather dished out. I wore that outfit for the better part of 10 years. It did me well and I have nothing negative to say about Firstgear. Over those years life took many twists and turns and after a few year I did get another car. However, I found that I preferred to ride. I was an overall happier person when I rode vs drove and made every effort to ride as much as possible. I share all this because something that I stated into naively has turned into a huge passion. My situation has changed quite a bit. I have my dream bike and dream suit but that joy of riding year around is something that some find hard to understand. Non riders don’t understand why I would choose to ride when it’s 48 degrees and raining outside. But for those that have embraced the call to ride daily, those brave souls understand. They understand why there is a bit of joy when riding in bad weather and you receive a curious look from a driver? Why the pitter patter of rain drops on your helmet is a sweet peaceful song. If you haven’t yet taken the step into year around riding I encourage you to start that journey. Just remember gear counts.