Sunday, September 18, 2011

And Heaven Knows

It rained today and I rode to Church anyway.

After Church a number of folk came up to me and said something akin to: At least it stop raining for you to ride home. Truth was because of the rain I'd stretched my usual forty minute ride to Church into an hour and a half.

Billie waiting patiently for my return.

Today was a perfect day to ride in the rain. There was no wind. There was no thunder or lightning. And, it was a warm steady and persistent rain.

After Church, I went for even a longer ride. I hadn't planned to, but you see it began to rain again. It had warmed up enough that I stopped and replaced my Aerostich lobster claws with a pair of old leather mesh gloves. I've found that this helps keep me from melting inside my rain gear. So, I rode for another two and a half  hours . . . in the rain.

Since Billie and I take the streets little traveled there aren't ever a lot of crazies out in the rain and even fewer on Sunday.

What is it I like so much about riding in the rain? I think for me it is the silence. There is a stillness that settles in around me on days like today. It has its own character. It isn't like the silence that seems to gobble and mute noise that comes with snow. No, the rain silence is more of an including silence, a symphonic silence. It is like a rest in the midst of a measure. There is an anticipation in the rain silence. It is a fragile and elusive silence.

I admit to having a little envy of those folks with sidecar rigs who can ride into the snow silence. I've ridden in the snow when conditions have been right, but those moments are very rare. I'd like to explore this silence of the snow more, but for now I will be happy mapping the silence resting in the midst of the rain.

There is a going with the flow when it rains. And, possibly because traction is a little compromised an increase in my sense of alertness.

Oh well, then again, perhaps my love of riding in the rain goes back to being raised on a farm. When it rained we didn't work. I liked rainy days then, and heaven knows I still do.


  1. I liked this post, it was very enjoyable. I like summer rains and pretty much ride in it quite routinely. The only time I find rain riding to be a grind is during the colder months and you have to wear 40 layers to keep warm. Not such a fan of winter rain. Glad you had a nice ride!

  2. Keith,

    I respect your devotion. I can barely get out of bed on a rainy morning, let alone ride in it. You're a better man than I, Gunga Din.

    I can understand the desire to ride, though, even in the rain. It's not so bad, if you can get moving in the first place, and stay warm and dry.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  3. Dear Keith:

    We each find the solitude of riding in different ways. I can appreciate your liking the subdued pace of the traffic and muted sounds of the road. When I lived in upstate New York, I loved nothing better than to thake the 4x4 out on roads that had yet to see the plow, and eventually meet someone like me out doing the same thing — heading to the diner for a cup of coffee I could have had at home.

    As I have said so many times before, I am not inclined to go out and ride on rainy day... Though I have no difficulty getting back if I am caught out in the rain. It would take a three-day monsoon to reduce the flow of traffic here... And many of these people are dangerous enough (with their cell phones) when the road is dry.

    Fondest regards,

  4. I'm not sure I can say I look forward to riding on the rain but I can say that, for me, it doesn't seem to matter one way or another. There has been plenty of opportunity this summer. It seems wetter than usual but the rain kept the fires down so few complained.

    Right now, the wet leaves are a bit slippery.


  5. Love your spirt mate........

    Enough said.

  6. Good job on your rain riding. There is a sense of peace and accomplishment for riding on days like that. The silence is always welcome.

  7. Dar,
    Cold rainy days definitely not so much fun. But, you hit the nail on the head, staying warm and dry is the key.

    Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

  8. Getting up and going usually isn't a problem for me. Now, my sweetie is another matter. Actually, sleeping in leaves me groggy, out of step, and befuddled for the day.

    Hope you're enjoying Germany. Thanks for the stop by and for leaving a comment.

  9. Jack,
    Traffic doesn't diminish on the major arteries here when it rains. I must say having lived in Chicago and driven often in Detroit back it its day traffic here really isn't much of a big deal at most times. I imagine you deal with much more congestion then here. That said, I travel mostly on third level arteries and traffic is rather light. My problem are school buses, pedestrians, bicyclist, and the occasional garbage truck.

    Thanks for reading and supporting this blog with a comment and your presence.

  10. Richard,
    The leaves are just beginning to fall here. Before long the slippery leaves will be another hazard to watch out for. Every season has its dangers, doesn't it? Oh well.

    Thanks for the comment and the reminder about those damn leaves.

  11. Trobairitz,
    Not only the silence, but the sense of peaceful alertness. Perhaps there is less to look at on rainy does, and more to look out for. I don't know, but my experience of riding is different.

    Thanks for the visit and leaving a comment. Loved the update on you and Max.

  12. Rain is good. :) If you can stay away from the crazy people it is usually quite enjoyable. I agree with you.

    But I don't care of the way Billie is standing next to the dumpster. She looks lonely.

  13. Lori,
    What can I say, Billie parks where no car dare to tread. It's safer. You know there is wine involved in the Services and one just can't be too careful :)

    By the way, Billie was touched by your concern when I shared your comment with her.

  14. Sorry for the off-topic comment, but I think our paths may have crossed this past Saturday. I was stopped at the light for Manchester and Rock Hill when I saw a black Symba flying a banner heading north. Was that you?


  15. Gordon,
    Yup, that would have been me. It was one of those days where I went out to go to the bank around 1030 and somehow didn't get home until 1500. Oh well :)

    Staying off topic: Have you filled that empty space you cleared in your garage yet?

  16. Keith,

    It was good to see you in person, if only in passing.

    Funny you should ask about the free space. I have indeed filled it, if only I could get a break from work and home I would blog about it.

    Someday soon I hope.


  17. Gordon,
    I look forward to that post.

    One day it might be nice to actually meet.

    Take care and next honk at me. I promise to ignore you totally :)