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Oh Noes, Rain!


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So I'm booked for this coming Mon/Tues in Sonoma, and I looked at the forecast, and the 4 days I was planning to spend up there are exactly the four days it's planning to rain.

 

Never ridded in the rain, so needless to say I'll be a freaked out a bit. But... what should I wear? Should I get something like this:

 

http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/alpinestars-racing-rainsuit

 

Or do people usually just go 'naked' in their leathers? Will there be laughing if I get the above oversuit? I'm very sensitive to peer pressure :-)

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There may not be many other students wearing an oversuit like that (just because they don't own one) - but I don't think anyone will be laughing at you, if they are cold and wet and soggy and you're not!

 

Typically if it is raining HARD, course control will delay until it lightens up, so you don't necessarily need to be prepared for riding in a downpour. But, you might very well be riding in light rain.

 

An oversuit like that will keep you warm and protect your leathers; they work well but they do look a bit funny and can be hard to take on and off quickly. If you have a waterproof jacket that will fit over your leathers, fastens securely, will not rip at high speeds and does not have any strings, snaps or fasteners that will flop around and distract you, course control will probably let you wear that on track over your leathers. (Make sure there is nothing in your pockets!)

 

The coaches at the school have access to oversuits like that but in most cases in light rain we just throw on a jacket over leathers. Or you can do what Cobie does, and just wear a trashbag under leathers like a vest. Doesnt keep the leathers dry but it keeps the wind and water from getting to your underlayer.

 

Also there are rain jackets made for touring that might be more usable in other applications in the future; I have a Tourmaster PVC oversuit that is nice and was not expensive.

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Don't be freaked out about training in the rain. Most riders make more improvement in the rain than in the dry because in the dry they focus more on going fast and less on the drills. In the rain you don't have that go fast distraction so you can focus more on your learning than your speed. You can learn what the traction limits feel like at a slower, less scary speed too. Rain training is awesome, actually, so be fired up for it & enjoy your CSS experience! You'll love it even if it's wet.

 

Benny

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I have said soooo many times, everyone should do a rain day at the track. Feel... because without the bombardment of the senses while going faster and no traffic to worry about, one can listen to the subtleties and feedback you get from the bike, it's quite amazing really.

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I've done several CSS days in the rain and I agree it is very useful traiing (if not entirely fun). I keep thinking I'm going to buy one of those oversuits for rainy days but since CSS comes out to Virginia in May and August its usually warm enough not to be a big deal (the current never-ending winter not withstanding).

 

However, to answer your question, take something if you can (even if it is Cobie's trash bag chic) since the more comfortable you are the more you will focus on your drills. And anyone laughing at you for being comfortable is clearly not worth considering. :)

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I have to say I love riding in the rain at the track. The rain drives away a lot of people who don't want to swap tires. Last rainy day at Barber I had the entire track to myself for the last 3 sessions of the day. I was absolutely amazed at the amount of grip I still had on a slick track. It was a lot of fun trying to find the limits of grip with the tires and it overall increased my confidence in the dry and gave me a lot more confidence in my tires.

 

The rain suit is a good idea but you can get away without one. More important than the rain suit is your under layer. I wore standard lycra underneath my suit and when the rain came my suit acted like an evaporation cooler and made me cold. I changed into another set of under layer that had a fleece later (they were still lycra) and they kept me a lot warmer not allowing as much air through to my skin.

 

Watch out for standing water though. I was staying mostly dry-ish until I went through some standing water at high speed. It felt like I had been sprayed with a fire hose with the water getting into every single opening in my suit and boots and soaking me to the skin instantly.

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  • 2 years later...

Don't be freaked out about training in the rain. Most riders make more improvement in the rain than in the dry because in the dry they focus more on going fast and less on the drills. In the rain you don't have that go fast distraction so you can focus more on your learning than your speed. You can learn what the traction limits feel like at a slower, less scary speed too. Rain training is awesome, actually, so be fired up for it & enjoy your CSS experience! You'll love it even if it's wet.

 

Benny

 

Ancient thread but well said. Good to know this Benny.

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Don't be freaked out about training in the rain. Most riders make more improvement in the rain than in the dry because in the dry they focus more on going fast and less on the drills. In the rain you don't have that go fast distraction so you can focus more on your learning than your speed. You can learn what the traction limits feel like at a slower, less scary speed too. Rain training is awesome, actually, so be fired up for it & enjoy your CSS experience! You'll love it even if it's wet.

 

Benny

I agree, the light showers and one morning damp track did not present an issue at VIR in May. Ended up enjoying that time as well as dry.

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