The late great comedic actor; Robin Williams in one of his finest roles…Good Morning Vietnam…spoke the memorable words, “It’s gonna be hot and wet! That’s nice if you’re with a lady, but it ain’t no good if you’re in the jungle.”
For those of us who ride our motorbikes…we yearn for these days when the sun in shining and the roads are dry…but there is a limit, and then it goes down hill rather rapidly. Yes, the hot sun makes ordinary people do very strange things and us riding types are no different. I mean, who in their right mind would get on their bike and ride in 30 degree heat whilst wrapped head to toe in leather, plastics or composites.
Now, I know many would consider the safety aspects etc…yes yes yes…’All the gear all the time’ etc, but let’s face it, the last thing you want to do is get on your ride and sweat out gallons, arrive at the other end like a shrivelled prune and still expect to be having a good time. No wonder, so many riders ditch the heavy CBRN suits in favour of deck shorts, t shirts and open face helmets.
Of course they run the risk of calamity if they fall or get knocked off their rides, but hey…the sun is shining and it’s hot…so give them a break!
Now, I could be flippant about this or I could launch into a diatribe about the benefits of being covered up…or just man up and accept you’re going to get hot and sticky beneath your clothing…but I won’t. As far as I am concerned everyone should have the right to make up their own minds about how they should be protected when riding…but don’t expect too much sympathy if it does go awry…and believe me…when it does go Pete Tong, the victims will indeed play the victim card too, it’s only natural.
I think part of me actually relishes getting hot and bothered…and a little bit pissed off when it gets a bit too hot to handle too. I make a rod for my own back mind you! I’ll wear my jacket but can’t be arsed to take out the waterproof and thermal lining…because I know either early in the morning or late at night when I’m riding…the temperature will drop and I’ll be freezing…relatively speaking of course.
So, I future proof myself! I know I’ll be warm when it’s cold but I’ll be annoyingly moist in all the wrong areas during the times in-between. I would love to claim that it’s a charming look for the ladies, but we all know that would be a farcical lie. Any clothing other than tactical black just shows your wet patches…so you’re even hotter than if you were wearing light coloured clothes, your helmet is a soggy bucket and flies started hanging around your arse crack as…well, we won’t go there either!
We all have this American dream of riding down the road with just your everyday cloth and pumps, with the wind through your hair or streamlining over your bald head and winding on the throttle with carefree abandon, trying to kindle an outlaw spirit. However, let’s face it…most of us grid runners will tend to get covered up because we feel we must, don the skull buckets because it’s the law and it kind of makes sense…but the nearest I’ll get to be being an outlaw biker will be to put the wrong kind of plastic in the recycling bin at home…or only pay for an hour on the parking meter at the supermarket when really I’ll chance an hour and a half because I simply cannot resist stopping by a Costa for a skinny caramel cooler…yummy!
Everyday is a good day to ride and any kind of weather is fine by me too…but I’m not going to try to pull the wool over your eyes by claiming I enjoy any conditions…I just get on with it. Torrential rain in the winter…is a bitch! Everything leaks and especially where it’s not supposed too, but nothing that a hot shower and a drip dry won’t cure. The sight of the sun beating down doesn’t make me go all giddy with excitement either…the giddiness comes from losing 5 kg in body weight, dehydrated and having an imbalance of essential minerals…all from an hour’s ride.
So when the sun finally decides to piss off and the rain starts to piss down again, then I’ll be a happy man. Cooler and hopefully still dodging the rain drops as I go…but a hell of a lot more comfortable too although my god like tan may suffer for it. Anyway tomorrow is another day, more roads to roam, more highways to hot as hell destinations and more beads of sweat to mop from my brow…and more stinking arm pits! An enduring image I’m sure you’ll agree.