Moto Diary #5: First Rain
I had to head uptown after work today to meet some old friends, so I could either take transit, which would take 1 hour and 10 minutes, or I could ride my bike up in late rush hour traffic, which would take... about an hour. I chose the bike.
We had severe thunderstorm warnings earlier in the day along with bouts of crazy heavy rain, and while I was staring out the window at work I was pretty sure I wouldn't be crazy enough to ride through that.
But by the time I left work it had all cleared and was beautiful, sunny, and not too hot. Perfect riding weather! I got home, geared up, and headed out.
Not 2 minutes after exiting the garage it started to trickle again, and then briefly started to pour.
Around town I've been riding with my visor up for more air flow, but as soon as I started moving in that rain, well, it seemed like it wasn't even falling. Just heading horizontally into my face.
Nearly blinded me, but I managed to pull the visor down on the go.
Next reaction: visibility is low with rain on a visor. Especially when you're not going fast enough for the beads of water to streak by. And since this was in Toronto, it definitely wasn't that fast.
Fortunately the rain lasted all of 5 minutes and I could flip it up again.
In the wet conditions I managed my speed and took it slower. Less aggressive acceleration, longer braking times, slow and more upright turns. Traction was alright!
I did learn one other lesson though. When you're on the sidewalk and cars drive through roadside puddles that end up splashing you? Yeah, that happens on a bike too. Got a little splash of road water, right in my face. My right eye got some, but fortunately it didn't have dirt in it and I could just blink it away.
While heading out of the downtown core I was following a van that was going fairly slowly. Just after we got through an intersection, he slowed down rather suddenly and tried to parallel park. I was just coming out of the intersection and didn't want to just brake, so I quickly checked my left mirror and blind spot, before swerving around to the left with just a foot of clearance from the van's bumper. It was all actually pretty slow, but it made me feel a little accomplished.
Anyways, I continued on and met up with my friends without any other incidents.
By the time I was heading home the sun had set (I have 30 minutes to be home after sunset according to M1 rules) so I had my first night ride too. Toronto has so much light pollution that it never really gets that dark.
Traffic was low, the air was cool, and altogether actually really great. Can't wait for my M2 so I can just ride around at night.