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On Thursday, April 11, I rode from Wilmington, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC to attend a one day conference held the following Friday. This is about a 1.2 hour ride one way so no biggie.

While Thursday's weather was nothing short of superb, I knew there was a chance of rain on Friday. However, the news reports had the rain starting that night and ending by afternoon and being clear that night. The conference didn't end until 5pm so by all accounts the rain should be long gone and the Sun shining and roads dry before I needed to mount up the iron horse. The Sheraton hotel had an enclosed parking garage so no worries about my baby being in the bad rain all day.

The conference was pretty good. Learned a lot about current trends in Medical Billing and the new offerings of our clearinghouse, RealMed. While we did have thunderstorms the previous night, I saw pretty serious hints of sunlight by 1pm so I thought I was good to go despite how windy it looked outside.

By 4pm, the clouds were back and they were serious looking. I checked the weather on my phone and the those weather bastards changed their clear forecast for evening to RAIN!

Here are the details you need to know:

* I ride a 2009 Road King Classic.

* I had no rain gear with me.

* I was wearing a half helmet and Wiley X rider's sunglasses.

* My clothes consisted of my short sleeve polo shirt, my leather vest, pants, and Harley downshift boots.

* I also had about $6,000.00 of electronics on me (M6500 laptop, Lumina 920 cellphone). My laptop is large with a 17 inch screen. It will not fit in my saddle bags.

I decided to cut out at 4:30 in hopes of beating the rain. My number one concern was my laptop. That thing was $5,500 brand new and I could not afford to lose the data on it. I had backups at home and all that, but still, the idea of having to spend the money and wait 2 weeks for a new laptop to come in from Dell was not appealing. I approached the front desk in the lobby of the hotel and asked the clerk for a plastic trash bag. He gave me a weird look but got it for me. I wrapped up my laptop in the plastic trash bag then stuffed it into my back pack and then headed for my bike in the parking garage.

I got about a mile from the hotel and that's when the bottom fell out. The rain came down HARD. However, driving in the rain with no rain gear surprisingly wasn't as bad as I thought. I was able to maintain the speed limit and go with the flow of traffic. My Wiley-X's did a FANTASTIC job of protecting my eyes and not getting watered up. As for the rest of my face (remember, half helm), any ex-girlfriend I've had will tell you it's tough enough to take a little rain at 60mph. Sure, I got soaked and my boots were full of water, but otherwise I was good. I was still worried about my electronics, but surely being wrapped in plastic would protect them.

Some things I learned or did to make the trip safer or better:

* Double your stopping distance. Wet roads can be slick. The last thing you want do is slide through an intersection with a red light.

* Keep back. Way back. Cars, and especially big trucks, will have a wake of water splashing up behind them. Stay back further to keep that water, and the dirt it contains, from slamming you. This also greatly improves your stopping range in the event someone in front slams on breaks.

* If you need to pass someone, slide on over to position 1 in the passing lane. Cars, and especially big trucks, throw a lot of water out to the side.

Despite all my attention to safety, one bad thing did happen. Because I had a half helm, water was hitting my face. And some of it went up my nose. I don't want to open my mouth for fear of what might fly in or because some rain drop may swing in and go down the wrong pipe and choke me. So now I can't breath. So, I turned my head to the right, used my left hand to hold my left nostril, tilted my head up, and at 60mph I blew my nose. I did the same thing for the other nostril just turning my head the other way.

And I totally pissed off the guy in his car behind me. Never mind the rain, I guess he didn't like the idea of a few huge globs of snot hitting his windshield.

Other than that, the trip went on without incident. By the time I was two thirds of the way home, the rain stopped and the sun came out just as pretty as you'd ever seen. When I got home, I peeled off my wet clothes and put them in the washing machine, put my boots in front of a fan, and hung up my vest. Then took a hot shower. I checked out my laptop and cell phone and both worked fine (I'm using that same laptop to type this).

All and all, not bad.

JamesNT

P.S. My sincerest apologies to the members of the forum for this article not mentioning any girls with gigantic boobs.
 

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VA Fender Bender
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Wow that turned into an adventure! Glad all turned out well. I keep rain gear in my saddle bag but the half helmet could still be an issue.
 

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Señor Member
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Did the computer make it. Glad you did. Thanks for the good tips.
 

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Señor Member
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Wow that turned into an adventure! Glad all turned out well. I keep rain gear in my saddle bag but the half helmet could still be an issue.
Me too. Rain gear lives in the saddle bag year round. Provides a nice extra layer when under dressed and stuck in the cold.
 

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THE Yuppie Outlaw
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10,081 Posts
Ah the joys of riding in the rain.

I am surprised your laptop won't fit in the bags. I can force my laptop in the messenger bag in the saddlebags. Mine is a 17" Toshiba, but it's a widescreen format so maybe the height dimension is shorter. Also, maybe you're not fond of jamming and forcing things into your RKC. Lmao. I tend to get a little persuasive with it.

At any rate, I am glad you are home safe. Now go polish all that chrome.




Sent from Motorcycle.com App
 

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I hate riding in the rain. As many times as I have had to do it, my sphincter stays in coal-diamond conversion mode the whole time.
 

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Try'n to behave
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5,523 Posts
Glad ya made it ok. You and the electronics.

Invest in a dry bag if your going to travel with electronics and there is ANY chance of rain. Almost any outdoor store sells them in the canoe/kayak section and they're not that expensive.
 

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Harley Rider
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I hate it when that happens. The Mrs. bought me a nice rain suit for Christmas. Funny thing is, I haven't been caught by rain since i got it. Go figure.
 

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Mississippi Cajun
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24,004 Posts
I am no fan of wet riding, but I carry rain gear wherever I go. Also glad my little laptop fits nicely in the saddlebag along with a lot of other nice to have when needed stuff.
 

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Addicted Since 2010
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Señor Member
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I don't mind riding in rain if its not cold. I do slow way down so that its a peaceful experience.
 

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Slave to the grind
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YOU WORE A BACKPACK?!?!?! Oh man, some people are gonna freak out now! lol

Been stuck in the rain plenty myself. Rain on a hot day can be nice though. Hurts like hell if riding w/out the windshield. Now that I carry rain gear, I've not been cought in the rain since I rolled it up and put it in the bag.
 
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