Wet Wet Wet

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It's that time of the year when trees look beautiful and birds look stupid. Yes, boys and girls, the rains are upon us and I'm very happy. Why? Well, simply because riding in the rain is so much fun!

You insert the ignition key and are greeted by a wet seat. After a few futile attempts at wiping the seat dry, you resign yourself to getting on anyway. Gingerly at first, but once on, the wetness always seems less uncomfortable than you'd imagined. You try launching the bike and the rear is immediately out of line and this happens every time you move off from standstill. The spray from the front wheels soaks your feet in seconds, while the rear wheel shoots up a fountain on those behind. There are moments when passing cars and puddles occupy the same space in the time-space continuum, and the result is a muddy biker. Corners that normally wouldn't warrant a second thought suddenly become as tricky as the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca. Front-end slides become as commonplace as fogged-up visors. Having both happen at the same time is something you could call a character-building exercise. But nothing should stop you from trying to go as fast as you can. And 'as fast as you can' is the operative phrase here! Don't try to keep up with an R15 if you're on a Stunner. But don't stop pushing either; the rains are the perfect time to amplify your riding skills.

Sail past braking points with all the grace of a derailed locomotive. Sooner or later you will learn to control the maximum power of your front disc with finesse, whatever the surface. Do whatever it is that you feel like - just don't do it in traffic. Talk to yourself when you're tensing up on the bike. Hearing someone's voice, even if it is your own, helps you to relax which is endlessly helpful when riding in the rains. Do wear proper riding kit at all times. And remember to push your limits, not your luck.