Rick’s Gentleman’s Express Blog

Motorcycle news and opinion

Safe and Warm

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I wrote this eight years ago when I was editor of the Humber Rider newsletter. It still applies today

A few years ago, a friend of mine set out on a sunny September Sunday morning with two of his riding buddies to see the Syracuse mile dirt-track race. My friend was wearing his leather jacket and packing a sweater and rain gear. His riding buddies were wearing t-shirts and denim jackets. The rain started near Buffalo and settled into a steady downpour. When they stopped so my friend could don his rain gear at the side of the road, he was amazed to learn that his riding buddies hadn’t brought any. Less than half an hour later they all stopped again and it became obvious that the trip was over. The two riding buddies were soaked and shivering. There was nothing to do but turn around and try to dry out and warm up at the first rest stop and wait out the rain.

Wet clothes and a 100 km/h wind chill add up to a rapid case of hypothermia. A drop in core body temperature is not something you can just shrug off. The early symptoms are grogginess and impaired judgement, followed by uncontrolled shaking and numbness in the extremities as the body shuts down. Unconsciousness is not far behind. There is nothing stylish, brave or macho about it. It’s just plain stupid — and completely unnecessary.

Get a good quality motorcycle rainsuit. Use a full coverage helmet or carry a faceshield if you wear an open face helmet. Have a bandanna to help seal up the collar area. Don’t forget Totes-style rubber overshoes or waterproof boots, and waterproof gloves or glove covers. You will need a saddlebag, tankbag or backpack to carry it all, but you will stay warm, dry — and safe.

Written by admin

June 16th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized