The nearly non-stop rain affecting much of the U.S. puts a damper on riding.
According to WBUR, Boston just had the rainiest April on record since 1872, with measurable rainfall 21 out of 30 days. May is shaping up to be a repeat performance with no end in sight. A little weather won't stop real riders from hitting the road, right? Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these riders from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Just throw on some rain gear, take it easy, and a bit of rain won't make a ride any less enjoyable for many riders.
I'm not one of them.
Rain, Rain, Go Away:
It's not that I'm worried about safety. You do need to adjust how you ride in the rain to account for reduced traction. Visibility is reduced, both your view of the road ahead as well as other drivers' view of you. Unless you're running racing slicks or worn out street tires and your lights don't work, you'll be fine as long as you leave this extra safety margin.
It's also not that I haven't done it. When you're on a long tour, like my trip to Cape Breton Island, you have to take the hand that nature deals you when it comes to the weather. My first day's ride from Massachusetts to Maine was quite wet. I just put on my rain gear, stayed mostly dry, and dealt with it. The rest of my trip was dry, and it was well worth slogging it out instead of scrubbing the mission. I know from personal experience that hail hurts when you're riding through it at 50 mph, even through a thick leather jacket.
So what do I have against riding in the rain? It's just not fun for me. To me, if it isn't fun, it's simply not worth doing, particularly when I have a perfectly good car with a perfectly good roof that I can take if I need to go somewhere, like work. If my car broke down and all I had was my motorcycle, I'd suck it up and ride, with an extra change of clothes on board just in case my little-used rain gear fails. Call me lazy. Call me a wuss. I just don't feel like it. To stay dry while riding in the rain takes a great deal of extra work. It's worth it to some people and more power to them. Stay safe and enjoy the wet ride.
That doesn't mean that I won't hit the road if there's a 20 percent chance of rain for an hour or two where I plan to ride. I have rain gear, and my Honda PC800 has so much cargo space that I carry it with me at all times, even on bright sunny days. It's like how New Englanders keep a snow brush in the car at all times, even in the middle of August. If a freak storm happens to pop up in the middle of a ride, oh well. I'll suck it up and deal. On a day like the day that I'm writing this, though, when a cold steady rain is falling out of the sky for hours and hours, I'll skip the ride.