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Old 10-12-2007, 09:02 PM   #21
vnsfxr
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit12
W

Being a frugal minded rider, I decided I should take a road trip to Beale AFB, near Marysville, to pick up a set of Pilots sunglasses from military clothing sales.

Ray
Ray,

Do you need a reflective vest or anything special if you are not active duty to ride on base???

Retired USAF member needs to know (me).

Thanks
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:45 AM   #22
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnsfxr
Ray,

Do you need a reflective vest or anything special if you are not active duty to ride on base???

Retired USAF member needs to know (me).

Thanks

The rules are a little fuzzy where retiree's are concerned so alot of times, it depends on the gate guard. I've ridden into Beale and I've gone in with the vest off and had no trouble. Then again I had another guard tell me I needed one and told me he'd let me on base only if I promised to go and get one, so I have a blue one I bought at clothing sales last summer. Others have just checked my ID and let me go. A guard at Dover told me I needed a vest and I told him the Teknics jacket I was wearing had reflective stripes made into the sleeves and the back. I'd say to be on the safe side, pack a lightweight mesh vest with reflective stripes on it as a just in case. I didn't worry about it yesterday since my Tourmaster rain jacket is bright yellow and has reflective material made into it.

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They do require the usual safety gear, helmets, gloves, eye protection, etc. The rules for active duty are a lot stricter. You gotta have the MSF BRC to get a base sticker, have to wear long pants, jacket, over ankle boots, gloves, helmet with eye protection, and the reflective vest all the time. Dosen't matter if you're on or off base, on or off duty. Gotta wear the whole shebang. Thing is, if you're involved in an accident and you're not wearing all the gear the AF requires of active duty personnel, they can say your injuries are not service connected and they won't pay the medical bill. Give a whole new meaning to ATGATT.

For what its worth, I understand retirees don't even have to get base decals anymore. Just show your ID and you're allowed in. Beale, Travis and Andrews have civilian security forces manning the gates. Last time I was at Dover in January, they had Army folks manning the gates, so go figure.

Ray
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:09 PM   #23
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

How timely a thread.

This week I took a fishing trip I promised a friend for four years we'd take.

There was no family car available so it was by bike or not at all. Wednesday it rained. Not too bad, really. I didn't have to suit up because there was a light mist in the foothills on my way to Dorrington above Calaveras Big Trees. My heavy jeans were only lightly damp. I didn't bring my leather pants because of all the fishing gear, and besides, there's nothing more useless and cold than wet leather. Lesson Number 173.

The road was wet, though. Painted surfaces were really worth paying attention to and avoiding. Light throttle and higher gears, smoothness, all the things posted here came into play. There's nothing you can do to dry the roads, and there's nothing you can do to gain time except get going faster but face "going down", and that, friends, is an option I don't wish to choose. So I just began to enjoy the foothills and clouds playing back and forth, vying for the best fall scenery view. It was great. We fished the Stan on Wednesday and the Carson Thursday.

At first I was going to miss doubling Ebbetts Pass by bike (we were in a comfy 4X4), but the sand on the road on the backside convinced me otherwise. I felt a little sorry for a fellow on an 1150 (1200?) ST boxer who was gingerly making his way over, but then saw a fellow on a KTM having a hoot of a time swinging his rear tire out (!) on the stuff. By the way the Carson River this time of year is a beautiful, serene place to be.

Friday coming home after a misty day fishing on the Stanislas River, I contended with more rain. I had to suit up and pay even more attention to slick surfaces. HWY 49 offered some interesting nasty little surprises.

Some thoughts:
  • Defog for sure. But if your visor still fogs, open it a crack and let it vent!
  • My one piece (old but still very effective) Fieldsheer suit was the business. Warm, dry, comfy.
  • Don't overdress when inside a rainsuit: You can develop quite a bit of steam and sweat that the suit contains and then sends up through your collar to fog your helmet. Once you take your suit off after it stops raining you can be unpleasantly surprised in discovering your regular clothes are damp, and you still have some miles to ride. Cold! Not to mention smelly. Knowing about this from past experience, all I needed was a light sweater, my normal jacket, and the suit. Nice comfort.
  • Long johns are nice. Even in mild cold rain, your legs get cold even if they are dry under the suit.
  • Good gloves are essential. Even if you have grip warmers, "wet and warm" is no fun and you can lose throttle grip from inside the glove.
  • Dry feet are not only nice but they are warm and you keep your feeling intact. Essential for long cold rides.
My ride home was at night. Highway 49 had some paving patches done on it between Angel's Camp and San Andreas. These were very slick in the wet and the wheels lost contact at speed-- there was a nasty bit of hydroplaning. It lasted 2 tenths of a second, but it certainly gave me something to think about.

Lots of mountain roads have patch strips like this on one side-- or both sides-- of the lane. Your only option to avoid them is ride the center of the lane. It's counterintuitive because that's the place you normally avoid because there's oil drippings you want to avoid there. But on the open road after a good soaking, the chance of oil being there is far less than there being a chance that the newer road patch is smoother and has standing water there that you can't see in the dark. Lesson Number 876.

Going down the Moke River grade from Moke Hill at night was an interesting rain experience. There you have oncoming headlights that glare your wet visor just when you need to view the exit of your turns. Whether or not your visor was defogged, you can have this experience.

The best advice I would have is to enter the turn high, stay middling, exit carefully and not too wide that you can't recover some ground if you make a visual mistake, misreading "the line". A revisit to Lesson Number 562.

Hope this all helps.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:35 AM   #24
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit12
They do require the usual safety gear, helmets, gloves, eye protection, etc. The rules for active duty are a lot stricter. You gotta have the MSF BRC to get a base sticker, have to wear long pants, jacket, over ankle boots, gloves, helmet with eye protection, and the reflective vest all the time. Dosen't matter if you're on or off base, on or off duty. Gotta wear the whole shebang. Thing is, if you're involved in an accident and you're not wearing all the gear the AF requires of active duty personnel, they can say your injuries are not service connected and they won't pay the medical bill. Give a whole new meaning to ATGATT.
It shouldn't affect you "old" guys, but a bit of info. The AF has now required the helmet be full-face, no exceptions, to be covered.
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:27 PM   #25
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Well well well, yes a timely post. Friday night they said rain would come, but here in LA that really means nothing and the skies were fine. Phil and I rode out to meet the group in the Valley for bike night... had a great time and got on the road. I was in full leathers, but others were not. All of sudden I noticed a haze in front of my light, thinking it was just foggy/misty stuff, then it got whiter and whiter and I could HEAR the rain hitting my helmet... I've never ridden in the rain, and it was 9 pm!!!! OMG....

Well, just took it slow and carefully, had to take the freeway home and we all just rode in formation and took it easy. I made it just fine, but nonetheless an experience I won't soon forget. Yeah me no likey the rain.... but the cowhide did help keep me dry, can't say the same for Phil, Rick or Jeff...

And for sure didn't like it at night, lights turned into starbursts with reaction to the drops on the shield... yuck.

Aims
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:52 PM   #26
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by CybrDva
Yeah me no likey the rain.... but the cowhide did help keep me dry, can't say the same for Phil, Rick or Jeff...

And for sure didn't like it at night, lights turned into starbursts with reaction to the drops on the shield... yuck.

Aims
I've always said the cow didn't mind getting wet, my jacket won't either.

Anywhere the paint covers is the slickest. The middle of the road where the oil is would be the next-slickest, so I always stay in the driver's wheel track (or passenger's if I'm behind another biker who's in the driver's). Helps them see me too.

As far as rain gear goes, I've never owned any. I live in LA! Although I do remember an incident last year where I could've used some. I was riding up to Hollister (wife's sister lives there) when I got caught in the ONLY rain in the entire state. It was late, I was tired, I was on a windshield-less (and gutless) Heritage Classic in a half-helmet, and it started to freaking rain. Stinging nettles were brushing my cheeks and I was freezing my poor little patootie off.

Thought I, "What the sam-hell is this?" I pulled off, got a drastically overpriced and relatively bug-free motel room, and sank gratefully into a lukewarm bath that felt at the time like it was boiling. Took me an hour to stop shaking.

It sucked.

But other than that, I don't mind getting my shins wet in the little drizzles that happen around here now and then.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:49 PM   #27
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

BTW, WTF.... I love your icon! I want to hug it.
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Old 10-21-2007, 05:18 AM   #28
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

For what it is worth.......Most of what you will read in this thread is just good old fashioned common sense, which we all know isn't necessarily common. Just this morning I rode from Pemberton to Perth (Western Australia) in the rain, on my Hayabusa. I was warmly rugged up but not to the point that I felt like the Michelin Man. In over 40 years of riding a variety of motorcycles throughout New Zealand, Australia and the US of A (PA), the ONE piece of advice that I would like to share is to remain smooth at all times when riding in the rain. NO sudden moves, swerves, stops or acceleration. Once the Michelin HPX's have warmed up, I can still maintain the speed limit in the rain by concentrating on ensuring all of my inputs; that is, steering, braking and cornering are as smooth as I can make them. However, confidence in riding the way I do in the rain has only come about as a result of years of experience and putting the absolute best rubber on to my motorcycle that I can afford. Tyres are very much a personal choice but are one of the biggest factors in safe riding in the rain. The second biggest factor is each person's individual atitude towards riding in the wet. Go out with the best rubber, a positive outlook to the wet ride and apply the concept of smoothness in all of your inputs and your wet weather riding should be very enjoyable.

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Old 10-21-2007, 02:19 PM   #29
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Quote:
Originally Posted by CybrDva
BTW, WTF.... I love your icon! I want to hug it.
If you're referring to Rumpus King's icon, I don't think you know where it's from.


"For the love of God, and all that is holy..."

That said, I still think it's freaking hilarious. We now return you to your normal thread...
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:08 PM   #30
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Re: Riding the slippery slope...RAIN

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
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