|The Milford Road - fabulous wet or dry|
Ok, I love riding full stop but there seems to be a lot of people that love riding but aren't that keen on the wet stuff. I wondering if it's the same sick mentality that makes me enjoy riding the DL on gravel or take part in endurance rides. It's not that it's a fascination with dangerous activity - I've never parachuted or bungee jumped and don't feel the need to. I have a feeling that I enjoy the focus and concentration that is demanded by riding under more trying conditions.
Riding in the rain is really not that much different from riding in the dry - in reality the same hazards exist: road surfaces can be dangerous and grip variable whether wet or dry and other vehicles, pedestrians and animals are still a danger but obviously water on the road does decrease grip.
All it takes is a good bike with good tyres and a sensible rider (wearing good gear) who understands how to ride to the conditions. Visibility is probably one of the biggest hazards that is more of an issue in foul weather and while you can treat your visor for fogging and to repel water you're still not going to have the same visibility on a clear, dry day.
My riding technique in the wet is also pretty similar to that in the dry. I try to be as smooth as possible, stay off the brakes and pick my line and corner speeds well before the corner. The only thing is that I probably focus on this a lot more than in the dry - I'm really interested in what the road surface looks like up ahead and I'm getting my braking and gear selection done a bit earlier and I don't push things with high corner speeds or huge lean angles. I'm not slow but I'm slower and more cautious, making sure that I'm keeping plenty of time and distance up my sleeve in case I have to react to a new hazard or changing circumstances.
So yes, I think it is the increased focus and concentrating on "better" riding techniques which I enjoy. After all, all riders like nailing a corner just right at the right speed, in the right gear in the dry and it sure is nice to do the same in the wet and not end up getting yourself in trouble. Does riding in the rain help you become a better rider? Who else like riding in the rain or am I truly nutso?
Oh BTW, I forgot to mention the other day but when the GoPro snapped the picture of the rainbow below I had Lou Reed singing in my ears - something about a Perfect Day...not sure he was 100% right but he wasn't far off.