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Home Ren's Biking Blog

I Hate Nice Weather

Blog Date - 25 March 2015

Oh look, sunshine!

After far too many months of freezing my fingers to the point where they don't move any more. After being so wet I might as well have been swimming in my bike gear. After dropping in to the local biker hang outs to find I'm all alone because "it's too cold/wet/windy/icy/salty". After all that winter throws at a motorcyclist you think I'd be thankful for some pleasant sunshine, dry roads and mild temperatures. 

An empty road on a corner surrounded by trees and sunshine
Yeah...this is what summer is all about, surely?

You'd think I'd be happy to carve a line through a bend rather than gingerly slither across the diesel slicks. You'd think it would be nice to remove my over-over jacket so I can move my arms again. You'd think it would be good to see other bikers out enjoying the clement weather. And it is! But the improving conditions bring a whole new set of problems.

My biggest gripe is the sudden increase in traffic. When it's horrible I have the country lanes to myself but I have to ride them slowly and carefully. When it's dry and I hope to press on a little I find I'm stuck behind a long line of cars filled with families taking the children to see that green stuff outside the city. If I am lucky enough to find the one quiet country lane then you can be assured Hooligan Harry on his GSCBZXYZ RRRRR 1000 will also have found it and is using it to pretend he's Rossi or Marquez. I didn't enjoy my last high speed interaction with another motorcyclist and I don't want a rerun. The nice weather brings out the bikers, both good and bad.

A line of cars and lorries in a traffic jam on a warm summer's day
Yip...it's summer alright...

After fighting my way through the fair-weather riders and fair-weather day trippers I might stop at my local biker hang out again. It's nice to see so many motorcycles out but I want to scream at the top of my lungs "WHERE WERE YOU WHEN IT WAS RAINING!!!" Of course the queue for refreshments is now as long as the traffic queues, it can take half an hour just to get a cup of tea. There might be nowhere to sit either. Eeeee, it weren't like this a week ago was it.

So that's it. In winter I dream of summer as being myself and maybe a couple of friends riding happily along a countryside road, all smiles and laughter, all warm and dry, all filled with "Joie de vivre". In reality it just means queues and nutjob wannabe motorcycle racers trying to take you out. Here's to another great summer. Humbug!

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Reader's Comments

Fairweatherbiker said :-
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hello Fairweatherbiker. What puzzles you, do tell :-)
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Fairweatherbiker said :-
I completely agree with what you say , that is in your first paragraph. I can also think of more reasons why not to ride in the winter months, darkness, which makes motorcycling more dangerous than riding in daylight due to the fact car drivers have an even less chance of seeing you, ice, which not only can stop vital parts of a motorcycle working for example cables, but catch you out on any road that has not been scattered with salt ( another reason in itself)
The death click when your battery has demised into a state of complete uselessness, usually when you are too far from home.
Have you tried riding when it is snowing? My visor steamed up immediately.
I could write more about riding in bad or cold weather, but it's when the temperature climbs to above 10 degrees centigrade and dries out that I start to enjoy riding! longer, safer! and with more satisfaction
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Ren - The Ed said :-
There is a small minority with a mentality that if you don't ride in winter then you don't really ride at all. I reckon it's entirely up to you if you're going to ride in the worst of the weather or not.

I'm of the mindset that bikes are for riding and not for looking at. So what if the salt makes it rust? It doesn't matter if it gets dirty.

There's a lot of skills to be learned from riding in the cold and the dark, not least of which is a deep respect for the weather and the merits of slowing down. There is for me also a sense of challenge, taking on whatever the British winter can throw at me.

I have ridden in snow. My visor misting up was the least of my worries, staying upright is the biggest problem followed by stupid drivers sliding into me. I must admit even I leave the bike at home if it's snowing.

Cheers!
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John said :-
Yep. I'm starting to get worried about just how often you write what I was thinking.

It's a bit wrong, but I sometimes feel a little smug watching all the fair weather bikers coming out, looking decidedly rusty (unlike my bike which is completely rusty). Mustn't judge. I was in Settle on Bank Holiday Monday, camping with the family, and we were watching some astoundingly poor riding. I found myself thinking, 'I bet the air ambulance makes a trip this way today.' Hope I was wrong.

Like you, I've ridden in the snow. Did again in what little snow we had this year but only because I couldn't borrow the car that day. I wouldn't do it intentionally any more. The level of concentration and patience required is exhausting.

Another great post BTW.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers John. It can be a little scary as those riders who've not turned a wheel in 4, 5 or 6 months suddenly reappear. Even the best riders need a little time to adjust to being back on two wheels.

I guess motorcycling means different things to different folks. I do understand why people don't ride through the winter months, there are times when I'm shaking with cold, dripping wet or even covered in ice that I ask myself why I do this to myself. I'd like to think I'm "dedicated" but if I'm honest it's more likely that I'm stubborn.


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Tony Wilkins said :-
Have to admit I am a fairweather rider. Then again I only ride for fun not necessity. Being a bit new to this game I am a bit wary about grip etc in bad weather.

I recall during the depths of winter, frost on the ground etc. seeing a biker come out of a side road. I was cold in my van with the heater on. I said a little "well done you mad ba*****d" and wished it was me!

Mind you if a certain job comes off I might be commuting daily so the little bike will be put to more use. Ony on nice days you understand :)

Good on you for keeping going in the bad weather. It takes a certain mentality and not a little skill.
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Ren - The Ed said :-
You're right Tony it does take a certain mentality, probably a certifiable mentality. If you don't need to and don't want to ride in the worst of the weather then don't! I just seem to have this masochistic streak. I'd like to think it makes me more of a man but after the coldest of rides my little manhood all but disappears. It takes a hot shower to coax him out again. I call him "chilly willy"
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Henrik said :-
LOL, yes, and how comes we being called "the strong gender", ??, ah, wait, just to humiliate us even more that is, self-pity is the only true pity for sure :-)
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Bob said :-
I entirely agree. I love my 650 single, plodding along down the back lanes and mooching about. BUT come summer and the idiots are out, I go to my local meet, where in February there are 6 or 7 bikes and now in July there are hundreds. They strut about in their romper suits looking down their noses at my old bike. It's at this time of year that I feel the need to go and buy another GSXZCBRRR1000 and show 'em who's boss.
Then I try to remember that I don't care what other people think.. and overtake a few of them on the outside of the hairpin bend at the bottom of the hill :o)
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Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Bob. The last time I rode a GSCBZRYZ RRRRRR 1000 I pretty much pooped me pants. I'm not fast and no amount of power will compensate for that. I reckon my 250's about right if I'm "in the mood".

I too struggle to convince myself that I don't care what other people think. I guess it's just that we're all a bit competitive no matter what. I find it helps to think about the pain and hassle of binning the bike, that soon brings me back to a more relaxing pace.
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