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Riding in the rain isn’t something I choose to do. But sometimes on long day-rides or tours it’s unavoidable.

Before setting out on my Sea-Doo watercraft, I carefully and frequently check the marine forecast and weather radar for the specific riding area. If the probability of precipitation is 40% or more, we either change the time (ride earlier, later, shorter) or location of the ride. If there’s much chance of thunderstorms or we can’t change the ride, we cancel. Still, we get caught occasionally.

If you’re thinking, “What’s the problem with a nice, warm rain?,” you’ve probably never experience rain riding. It’s not the getting wet; it’s what I call the pain of a million pinpricks. Yes, those drops that are so gentle when you’re sitting still, feel like pinpricks on any bare flesh while you’re moving. And the faster you go, the greater the pain. Besides avoiding sunburn, this is another reason I always ride covered (see my blog posting: Riding Protected). Rain can hit unexpectedly at any time. With little bare skin exposed, it doesn’t hurt, except on your bare face…

The face is very vulnerable and rain also makes it harder to see. Wearing a ball cap and glasses or Sea-Doo goggles certainly helps, but the best bet is a facemask. Often worn by anglers in high-speed bass boats, these lightweight, plastic shields slip easily over your face to provide full coverage and have a polycarbonate lens to see through. For 2012, BRP Envinrude sells a good one. Alternatively, a neoprene facemask made for snowmobiling will also work.

With no pain to distract you, riding in the rain can actually be fun, provided you can see well enough and there’s no thunder and lightning. But you’re likely going to get wet. So the big deal is to stay warm. Warm and wet is fine. Cold and wet is miserable. Once again, my long sleeves and pants help to keep me warm by breaking wind contact with my skin. The Sea-Doo Men’s Neoprene Riding Jacket will help hold in body heat. The good news is that most unexpected summer rains dissipate quickly and the sun soon returns to dry you out. Talk to you next time!

For more information about the Intrepid Cottager, visit: http://www.intrepidcottager.com/