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Campus Scooter News

Rainy Day News

Another Rainy day out there – no other way to describe it. Dreary and pissin’ down rain. Springtime in Michigan..*sigh*…

How do you ride safely in these conditions? First, make the decision whether you really have to be out there and then learn to ride safely.

Here are some tips:

A visor can be both a blessing and a curse in the rain. We at Campus Scooter feel it is an essential thing but you have to keep it clear and fog free. Products such as Rain-X help to bead water so that the wind blows the droplets away without all the rippling and distorting effects. Adjusting your helmet vents and keeping airflow around the visor will prevent fogging and there are many anti-fog products used by motorcyclists and skiers that prevent fogging.
If you wear eyeglasses, use an antifog compound on them since they will often fog under your shield in this type of weather.
Carry a microfiber rag in your pocket so you can wipe your glasses and your visor as required

Making yourself visible:
If you are having trouble seeing, you can bet that most of the other vehicles on the road have the same problem and on a scooter, you have a lot less margin for error in a collision – keeping visible is paramount
Remember – Driver’s often seem to have trouble seeing scooters  even under the best of conditions – as a rider you must be doubly vigilant on the wet, dark, rainy days.
Know where your horn button is and how to use it.
Pay special attention to lane position and avoid blind spots. On days like this, a driver’s blind spots are much larger due to water on the windshields, wiper blade movement, and fogged windows.

Riding speed:
Slow down – your visibility is decreased and your braking distance has increased – this is a no brainer.
Another reason to slow down is that under these conditions your reaction time is often slower
Be smooth on all inputs. Accelerate more cautiously and apply the brakes smoothly to avoid spinning you rear wheel or going into a skid.

Road markings:
Any white or yellow painted road marking becomes a nice shiny hazard for scooter riders on rainy days. The surface of the paint is considerably slicker than the surrounding road surface. Crosswalks usually come immediately before and after a turn. Really watch the crosswalk after the turn and try not to be leaned over when you hit that one. Oh, watch the pedestrian in the black jeans and the MSU hoodie while you are at it.
Try not to make lane changes unless you have to and watch those lines and directional arrows before intersections.
Pay special attention to your lane position and visibility.

Steel Stuff:
Manhole covers – just say no – view them like little round patches of ice. If you have to cross them, be as upright as possible – not leaned.
Ditto for those metal plates they often have in construction zones
Railway tracks – hit them at as close to 90 degrees as possible or they will want to take your wheel for a slide

Puddles:
Nothing more fun than blasting through a puddle and making that big splash…unless that puddle is really an 8 inch deep pothole. Michiganders need not be reminded of this….Better just say no to puddles too.
If you know the road and there is a big puddle that just has your name on it, “Okay..have your fun” but beware of the effects of hydroplaning.

Other slippery stuff:
The first rain after a period of no rain is the worst one for bringing that slippery oil film to the surface. This is particularly prevalent near intersections where cars may stand, idle, and drip oil
Stay away from the center strip of the lane since that is where the oil drips in highest concentration (even though it does run to the low point on the lane during a rainstorm)
The first hour of the rain is often the witching hour – be doubly careful or try not to ride
In general, ride as upright as possible. There will be plenty of beautiful, sunny days to lean, turn, and weave.

Care for your investment:
We know a lot of people do not have the luxury of a nice, dry garage. Please note: as it’s okay for your scooter to get wet, It is not cool to leave it set out in the elements for long periods of time unprotected. For a few bucks ( we have them in stock) you can invest in a cover that is small enough to travel with you and insure a dry seat for your bum on your return.  Trust us…your butt  will thank you.

Happy Scootering All.

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