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If you want to kill a bike rally in a hurry, just spread the word that it is supposed to rain. In all my years in the saddle, I can honestly say that I have never once heard a brother say that he enjoyed riding when that liquid sunshine started coming down. I have, however, known a lot of riders who simply refused to saddle up if there was even a hint of rain in the forecast.

With spring quickly approaching, those of us in the biking community of Florida know that wet weather is on its way and sadly, many will opt for driving a cage rather than taking a chance of getting wet on their bikes.

I say sadly, because the spring time offers some of the most beautiful riding weather of the year and it is a shame that so many will lose an entire season just to stay dry.

It may not be pleasant, riding in the rain, but you can still escape your cage, if you use a little common sense and follow the advice listed below.

Let me first be clear that I am talking about showers and sprinkles, not storms where the rain is running horizontal instead of vertical or the lightening is popping all around.

Have Good Tires

I shouldn’t have to say this because you should always have good tires on your ride, to start with, but I will. Don’t ride on wet roads with slick tires. There are too many bad things that can happen.

Wet roads cost you grip to begin with. The lines on the road and any other smooth surfaces, like manhole covers or railroad tracks, are going to turn to ice rinks.

Clothes for Riding in the Rain

In the spring when rain is likely, keep proper gear in your bags. That means a rain jacket, trousers, boot covers, and a full face helmet.

For my money, Gore-Tex, or some of its clones, is the best gear to have in the Florida rain. It will still breathe so you don’t overheat and will keep you dry. I love my leathers but they will slowly absorb water, get heavy, clammy, very uncomfortable and take forever to dry out.

Watch for Rainbows

When it hasn’t rained in a few days or more; dirt, oil and other grime will lay dry on the road. As soon as the pavement starts getting wet this accumulated scum will start to float and change normally safe roads to black ice conditions.

If the road in front of you looks like it has rainbow running across, slow down and be prepared to lose traction.

Easy on the Brakes

When the roads are wet, use your rear brakes more than you normally would. Remember that if slide your front-end you are done. Allow yourself more room to stop so you can stay light on the brakes and avoid skidding.

Rainy season in Florida doesn’t mean that you have to park your ride and climb into a cage. It just means that you have to exercise a little caution and use a little common sense. The advice above may not make riding a motorcycle in the rain a pleasant experience, but it will make it more than tolerable and reasonably safe.