I dream of the summer, I dream of those long lazy days, the dry roads and the warm sunny days but then reality hits home. Summer is really annoying, really, really annoying. What is wrong with summer, surely summer is the season of our motorcycling dreams? Let me explain…
I have already written about wasps and yellow jackets but they are only part of my moans. The things that really get me frustrated are in fact linked to the very same things I look forward to.
The warm summer days are the main reason motorcyclists’ love the summer but when those warm days become hot days the love affair becomes a little bit strained. As the temperature rises into the 80°’s life begins to become uncomfortable and there is little we can do about it. With the increase in temperature come the holidays and increasing amounts of traffic on our favorite “scenic” roads. This traffic now contains a large proportion of families doing their touristy bit. Maybe they have stopped for lunch and dad has had a couple of beers, the kids are bored, the better half is annoyed about their moaning and is taking it out on dad, affecting his concentration and therefore his road awareness… In these situations accidents can, and do happen, so the protective clothing that we all wear is even more important than ever before.
This clothing is by its very nature about as far removed from a pair of swimming sorts or a bikini as it is possible to be and it is the latter that would be the choice of clothing for most people on a hot summer’s day. As you sit there in traffic, insulated in your full face crash helmet, wearing a black leather jacket, I am a traditionalist, and strong leather boots and gloves, the sun beating down, heat rising up from the asphalt and the internal combustion engine between your legs, you really can begin to sympathize with the turkey in the oven at Thanksgiving and maybe, just maybe, wish that it would cloud over and, pardon me for this blasphemy, rain a bit just to cool you down a touch.
Of course, we ride bikes and sitting in traffic never lasts that long, soon the open road and some twisties beckon and all that overheated nonsense is forgotten, to be replaced by a new concern, is the temperature high enough to start melting the asphalt? There is nothing quite so interesting as heading into your favorite corner and seeing a band of molten tarmac across the apex. Of course, being a responsible rider you were aware of this possibility and so adjusted your speed accordingly, so there was no brown pants moment for you, but isn’t it so annoying that we have to slow down because the weather is good?*
And so you ride on, the sweat and discomfort mounts and if you are wearing leather trousers you know exactly how you felt when you were a baby with nappy rash, but that is not the worst of it, because when you arrive at your destination be it home or wherever, when you unzip your jacket, everyone else knows you have arrived as well. But that is the last thing on your mind, getting out of those leather trousers is much more important and much more difficult. I don’t know why but the mixture of heat, sweat and leather has much the same effect as superglue, but luckily you are a biker and well able to beg help from fellow human being to get your trousers off.
*It is just possible that parts of this sentence may not be true!