Adam Butler is the first ever RITZ guest blog contributor. Adam is an expert level roadracer with the Loudon Roadracing Series and is one of my co-instructors for Tony’s Track Days. You can read Adam’s biography here
Let’s see what Adam has to say.
Do you like riding in the rain? I sure do!!
by Adam Butler
If you ride track days on a regular basis chances are that you will find yourself presented with a rainy day. Some of us really find riding in the rain a fun and rewarding experience while others do not embrace the wet conditions as much. Some riders just don’t want to get wet. Others feel intimidated by the reduced traction available and don’t want to take a spill. I can understand the desire to keep your bike shiny and clean. I prefer to take the chance to get out in the wet and work on my traction management. Riding in the rain presents a great opportunity to hone your smooth riding technique.
There are some things that you can do to make your wet time on the track more enjoyable. The number one thing you need is a good frame of mind. If you go out with an open mind and a positive attitude you will have much more fun and success. It’s easy to have a fun, positive attitude in the dry…heck, we all love carving turns on a dry 70 degree day. Having this same outlook in the wet will make your experience much better.
Stay Dry and See
There are some gear related things that you can do to help. Some basic rain gear will help you stay dry. I have a basic Frogg Togg two piece outfit that goes over my leathers.
This will keep me from getting soggy. Some good no fog treatment for your face shield helps you see better. (Ken: FogCity shield inserts are one option)
The last thing is to make sure your tires are in good shape. Any time you are on the track you need to make sure you have good quality tires. Dedicated rain tires are great but you can have a good time on street tires too.
Traction management in the wet all revolves around being smooth. When the conditions are wet there is less traction available. So naturally you will be able to get away with fewer mistakes. I start out slow and easy. I start my ride nice and easy and get a feel for the conditions. Then gradually increase my pace as my comfort level increases. The key is to stay relaxed. For me, that involves keeping a light attitude. I often will chat to myself or sing a little.
So next time it rains at a track day head out and give it a whirl. Just remember to bring your smile with you…. 🙂
To read more about traction management check out these posts:
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