When the sun is shining, you can’t fit enough motorcycle rides into your week.
On a sunny day, everything goes more smoothly.
You arrive at your destination sun-warmed, relaxed, and grinning like an idiot. No car drivers tried to kill you. No trucks splashed buckets of cold muddy water all over you.
All is well.
The bike gleams happily by the kerb.
You smile right back at her, sip your coffee, and chat to your man.
On days like this, riding a motorcycle is the best idea ever.
But not every day is so perfect.
Riders and pillions are always at the complete mercy of the Weather Gods. These gods are totally whimsical. They like to shake things up for fun.
And here in New Zealand, the weather can change in mere minutes.
It doesn’t matter what season it is.
In this country, motorcycle rides can be wet, dry, hot, cold, windy, still, foggy, clear – all on the same afternoon.
Warning: Wet motorcycle rides can reveal your inner princess
The first few times I got drenched to the skin sitting on the back of the bike, it ruined my whole day.
(And Pat’s, of course. You’d better believe it.)
Instantly, I was part princess, part spoiled 3 year old.
I sulked. I pouted. I wanted to go home.
How completely ridiculous.
Talk about missing the whole point of riding!
It’s an adventure. We’re not eating cucumber sandwiches with white gloves here.
So now, when it rains, I control my urge to squeal and stamp my little pink shoes. I pull on my Big Girl Panties, and deal with the facts of life when riding a motorcycle.
One of these is the weather. There’s nothing I can do about it, and becoming a pouty princess doesn’t fix it either.
We’re riding a motorcycle, not travelling by horse-drawn carriage
I got another chance to practice my new grownup approach just the other day.
It was late morning, sunny and still. Pat and I looked at the sky, looked at each other and chorused: RIDE!
Pat rolled our lovely touring Thunderbird out of the garage, and we climbed aboard.
Roaring through the green hills of rural New Zealand, everything was perfect. The engine purred along under us, hawks soared overhead, and we were headed for our favourite little café in the middle of nowhere.
These are the magical moments that two-up motorcycle riding offers – you’ve zoomed together through a portal into another world.
Arriving at our biker-friendly café, we piled our riding gear up on the grass, and sat on a wooden bench under the apple tree. We were free agents, snacking in the sunshine, and life was good.
It was only when we were gearing up again for the ride home that I glanced up at the enormous open sky. Hmm. It had turned from bright blue to charcoal grey. That could only mean one thing, and we were 2 hours from home.
Sure enough, 10 minutes down the road, the rain began. Just a light spattering at first, but soon it was pelting down. By the look of that dark bruised sky, it wasn’t about to stop anytime soon.
I sighed and hunkered down behind Pat.
But I was grinning like a maniac.
A princess would’ve called for her horse-drawn carriage.
Because this was fun.
Once I would’ve scowled at the wet landscape, and waited for the cold droplets to start dripping into my royal gloves.
I would’ve focused on the fact that my expensive riding jeans were getting covered in mud.
But in my post-princess phase, I could laugh and say: whatever.
Yep, it was raining. We didn’t have wet weather gear. We were in the process of getting thoroughly soaked.
So what? That’s not fatal.
When you’re hell bent on enjoying yourself instead of sulking when everything’s not perfect, riding in the rain is just plain thrilling.
I don’t want to miss any motorcycle rides – rain or shine!
Now I’ve ditched my glittering crown, I love seeing the raindrops splash on my visor.
I love seeing the landscape change colour in the different light. It’s a dramatic live show brought directly to me by nature.
If I wanted to be perfectly comfortable and protected from every drop of rain, I could’ve just settled back on my golden throne in my palace.
Why on earth would I do that, when I could be having a motorcycling riding adventure with my favorite man?