Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Riding in the Rain

This morning, it was clear and sunny. When I went out to the garage, I noticed that I had left the parking lights on the bike on all night. I was pretty surprised that it still started (cranked very slowly but caught immediately). In order to charge the battery, I took the scenic route in to work but even after riding for almost 20 minutes, the battery was still only at 12 volts with the headlight off. I went ahead and shut the bike off and hoped that it would start when it was time to leave at the end of the day. The clear, sunny weather turned to heavy rain by late afternoon. When it was time to leave, I went out to start the bike and it turned over slowly but caught immediately. I think that a charging system upgrade is in my future. At least before I take any long trips. I thought for sure that the ride this morning should have been enough to recharge the battery.

On my trip home, it was raining pretty hard and there was a lot of standing water on the road. All the gear worked well as I arrived home not even damp. The one thing that needs improving is the helmet visor. Not that it leaked or anything like that but it kept fogging up. I had to ride with the visor cracked open. There is just one small openable vent in the chin and another small fixed vent at the rear of the helmet. I have never tried any of the anti-fog treatments but maybe it's time. I also would like to find something like Rain-X that I can use on the windshield. I've read that Rain-X isn't recommended for plastic windshields. I think I remember that there were products designed for small airplane windshields but I don't remember the brand. The one other piece of gear that I think need replacement are my boots. I think that they will get pretty wet and soggy if I had to ride all day in the rain. They are simply work boots that I got for the riding class two years ago. The First Gear pants and jacket seem to work pretty well but I haven't ridden for more than an hour in the rain so I don't know how well it would work in a long ride. It really was a nice day to ride in spite of what others said at work today...

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