First ride in the rain

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In February, Jason got me a 1981 Honda CX500 Custom. I named her Molly and rode her instead of Georgia, which was too small to pass big trucks on the highway. Molly had some electrical issues, but I fixed them. It also seemed that one of her forks might have been bent, and she veered off a bit to one side.

Before getting Molly inspected, we had her tires changed and had the mechanic look at the forks. Sure enough, the left fork was bent. Of course we had to get the forks changed asap.

To make a long story short, after learning that Molly had been put together with parts from at least 4 different bikes– including three different models– getting replacements became a two-and-a-half month-long search and wait.

I put the front end together myself. The triple tree, forks and axle came from an 82 Custom in Texas. The caliper came from an 82 Custom in the Midwest.

Finally, today, after receiving the last part– an air hose for the air-assisted front forks– I got to ride. It was a dark and cloudy day today, but Jason and I had places to go. So, off we went.

Just minutes into the ride, it started to rain. I was a little nervous, because it was the first time I ever rode my own bike while it rained. I had ridden before on wet pavement, but not while drops were falling. It had also been over two months since riding, so it took some time to get my motorcycle legs back. On top of that, I didn’t put the front fender back on. I liked how it looked without it, and well, I didn’t think I’d ride in the rain.

Alas, with all the excitement of receiving the last part, riding Molly was imperative.

The water naturally came up off the front tire like a geyser. I must have ridden over an oil slick, because at one point the geyser splashed brownish water on my helmet. And, since the headlamp had been bent from a previous rider’s crash, a little water got inside where all the wires are connected. Fortunately, nothing seemed to short. If anything I think the water helped keep the poorly connected blinkers working.

Fortunately, it was a short intermittent summer rain and traffic was light. The heat dried up the streets pretty quickly, so it wasn’t too scary. I liked it actually– riding in the rain, that is. Except next time, I’ll have the fender on.

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