Weekly Update

Greetings Riders,

First of all, I would like to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! Hope everyone takes some time to honor this great country on its 242nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. God Bless America!

If you missed the newsletter last week entitled "Bring Tomorrow Into Today", Click Here to View.
I had several replies from those who have ridden to Telluride and taken a day to do a similar trip. Check it out.

It is that time of year when we will soon have to start dodging monsoons, thunderstorms and tornadoes. And with the art of guessing the timing of missing a storm comes the art of knowing when and "if" to put on your rain gear. I was talking to a rider friend of mine yesterday and we were swapping stories of how we have gotten caught in storms without our rain gear, and also when we put it on and it didn't rain, which resulted in riding in our very own rain suit sauna. It is probably more luck than it is an art pick the right answer, but we will all go through it if we ride in the Summer.

That conversation reminded me of an article that I did a few years ago that I think about every time I am riding and see some clouds in the distance of the direction that I am riding. Do I, or don't I? That is question that I have asked too many times and came up with the wrong answer. For those of you that have read this before, it is a good one to refresh your strategy. For the several hundred new readers since this was posted, enjoy!

When do you put on Rain Gear?

Yep, if you ride far enough and long enough, you are going to be caught in a rain storm at some point on your motorcycle. While you can plan around rain on short day trips from home, when you are out on a 10 day trip and you are going from point A to point B that day, it is pretty hard to avoid. As a result, I have heard a lot of rain stories and have a few myself. I will share a few of my observations and then lay down on the couch and share a few of my rain soaked philosophy's.

From what I can tell, there are 3 types of riders and how they deal with the prospects of rain.

1. The rider that will spot a lone cloud floating across the sky 40 miles away that will stop and put his rain gear on.
2. The rider that will see dark clouds and rain coming down 4 miles ahead that will surmise that there is the likelihood of getting wet soon and will pull over and put his rain gear on.
3. And then. . . There is the guy that will see dark black clouds a mile away, smell the rain, see it coming down ahead, notice cars coming toward him with their wipers going, see wet pavement and sprinkles on his windshield that will still figure a way to rationalize how it will only last for a few minutes and he will somehow be able to ride through it and not get wet. (You know who you are)

Unfortunately, I tend to fall into the ill-advised #3 slot when it comes to putting on rain gear. I told you there could be a Dr. Phil moment, so here goes. As most of you know by now, I love to ride. Especially out on the open road going from one destination to the next. My idea of a great day is to eat a Big Breakfast from McDonalds and not eat again till that evening. Once I get rolling, anything that is going to slow me down is an obstacle to my goal of adding more miles. You see, in my world, stopping for gas, bathroom breaks and eating are a huge waste of time and generally just a good way to burn daylight. Putting on rain gear is also a great way to waste time. So for me, the prospects of pulling over and spending 15 minutes wrestling with rain gear is a huge risk of wasting time. What if I go to all that trouble and IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY RAIN! I've wasted precious riding time.

But there are those times that it does rain! Have you ever tried to put on rain gear quickly? It sometimes seems to be the clothing version of a Rubik's Cube. There are so many zippers, Velcro, buttons and snaps on these things, it takes an engineering degree just to get them apart, much less apply them to your body and keep water out. This part really frustrates me. See if you can relate to this story.

Ok, Mrs. C. and I were on a trip last Summer and I was somehow caught in a weak moment and slipped into the #2 category above. I actually stopped BEFORE it started raining. Well, it would be more like number 2.75 as the rain was more like 400 yards away instead of 4 miles. Anyway, we know the rain is emanate and we are on a short time frame to get our gear on. So I unpack my rain gear, that is tightly compressed in the tiny little bag, tear away the Velcro on the legs of the pants to get the zipper far enough up to get my size 13 boot through the opening. I bring back both zippers, put the pants down so I can put my legs through the holes to find that the Velcro has come back across and stuck the pant legs together again, not allowing my boot to go through, leaving it stuck half way in the leg. I can't push it through or pull it out.

Now I am on the side of the road hopping in circles on one leg because I don't want to step on my rain gear and get it dirty from the asphalt. I finally hop over and grab hold of the bike to balance myself and peel back the Velcro from the leg. While I was doing that the other leg had found a nice resting spot on the exhaust pipe, melting a nice big hole in it. So I grab that one off the pipe, and start to put my foot through the leg when a big clap of thunder erupted and the rain started coming down. Now I have the pressure of getting my pants zipped up, Velcro in place while getting pelted with rain.

I quickly grabbed my rain jacket to keep from getting any more wet and found that to store it properly, I had zipped it up and snapped all the buttons. Now I am getting wetter by the second as I try to de-construct my jacket to put it on. While being sufficiently distracted with my rain suit erector set, I had neglected to close the saddle bags and found that the cloud burst that had cut loose moments before and had sufficiently drenched me was now filling up my bags. So I quickly grabbed my rain boots and closed the lids, remembering why I don't like to stop to put on rain gear.

Now comes the puzzle of putting on my boot covers. Living in Arizona, the land of 4 inches of rain a year, we just don't get a lot of practice putting on our rain gear. So there are some questions. Is there a right foot and a left foot? There are no labels. Does the Velcro go to the outside of your leg or the inside? Does your rain suit leg go over or under? And oh ya, the monsoon is now in full force while I am trying to figure out the protocol for the boot installation. I get the boot covers on, reposition my rain gear leg over the top, put my helmet on and now ready to roll.

The good news is, after the WWF match with "Hulk Rain Gear" I am back on the road and sufficiently wet under my rain suit, but not taking on any more water, except for the burned hole in my leg. One thing about rain suits are that they are so water tight that they don't breathe very well. They are actually a good wind breaker to keep you warm. Now my body temp is heating up, the moisture can't escape, and I feel like a rolling sauna inside my rain suit. But that's ok, I'm still drier that if I didn't have it on and am now looking pretty smart for stopping when I did. Or was I?

We had traveled about 10 miles down the road, the rain stopped as fast as it started and the sun was starting to shine hot and bright. Now the sauna inside my rain gear was on high and I couldn't wait to get it off. It looks like we might have gone through the rain and there was not much of a threat ahead. Now comes the debate. Do you error on the side of caution leave the rain gear on and look a little funny riding in bright sunshine with rain gear in case that one cloud 30 miles down the road has rain? (See Rider #1) Or do we pull over, take it all off, fold it up, smash it down and try and force it back into the undersized micro bag that it came in knowing that there is a slight chance that we could need it again? That is the big decision knowing that it will be another 15 plus minutes just to do that.

I'm guessing the rain suit debate will continue as long as we have motorcycle riding and rain. I'm sure you have had the same discussions on the side of the road with your riding group. Some will error on the side of no chance of getting wet and some will endure a few rain drops to keep from spending 30 minutes of your riding day putting on and taking off rain gear. I tend to take on a little water to keep from going through the dreaded rain suit exercise, but that theory caught us good in Wyoming last year. We got stuck in the scenario of just a little rain here and there to the point that you were already too wet to put your gear on, so you just gut it out for the next 30 miles thinking you can't get any wetter. Take it from me, you can. We were completely soaked. I even poured water out of my boots after that one. Mrs. C. informed me that we won't be doing that again. I tend to agree.

As you read this, I'm sure you have conjured up a few of your own rain stories from the past. Do you invest the time and effort to put it on, or not? It is a tricky thing trying to out-smart the weather. I struggle with it every time, but am striving for position #2 in my examples above. The problem still remains, I just don't like to stop once I am rolling down the highway.

As the old saying goes, the best view of a thunder storm is in your rear view mirror.

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Please Ride Safe!

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Attention Hat Wearers!

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See my latest DEMO Video with Hat Saver.

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This Weekend

Saturday, July 7th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Bikini Bike Wash. Join Chandler Harley-Davidson on Saturday July 7th for our Bikini Bike Wash from 10am - 2pm. Come get your bike washed by our Harley Girls for FREE! Not only is your Bikini Bike Wash Free, there is also FREE FOOD, Outdoor Games and More! Take advantage of 15% OFF Labor on All Chrome or Black Accessories in service and Genuine H-D Cleaning Supplies! 20% OFF Licensed H-D Cooling Gear in Motorclothes! Chandler HD is located at 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, AZ. 844-942-7539.

Next Weekend

Saturday, July 14th
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Battle of the Sexes Bike Wash.
BATTLE OF THE SEXES BIKE WASH is back at Arrowhead Harley-Davidson! Join Arrowhead H-D on Saturday, July 14th, from 9am to noon for a Bikini Bike Wash from the Harley Girls AND Muscle Motorcycle Wash from the Harley Men! They’ll also have FREE Pizza, FREE Ice Cream & FREE Boot Shining courtesy of Black Sheep. THIS DAY ONLY: A special Service Advisor will be onsite making UNBEATABLE SERVICE DEALS on EVERYTHING! For more information, visit: Arrowhead Harley-Davidson is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr. in Peoria, AZ. 623-247-5542.
Other Events

Enter by July 16th
Law Tigers "Stylin in Sturgis". It is STYLIN-N-STURGIS time again!! This year we are going bigger and better! One lucky winner will receive the Sturgis trip of a lifetime. Could it be YOU? Enter your name to win a chance at at a STURGIS TRIP of a LIFETIME, courtesy of Law Tigers and a few of our friends! To sign up, go to:

September 12-15
Thunder Valley Rally 2018 Presented by Law Tigers.
Reserve your rooms early for the Thunder in the Valley in Cottonwood, AZ happening on September 12-15.
Musical Guests this year:
Friday: Jonny Lang at 9PM.
Saturday: Blackfoot w/Rickey Medlocke at 9PM.

Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Over 7000 LIKES! Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the  page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!

 Great compilation of commercials called "Judge too quickly". Click Here to View.

Video of the Week
Since this is 4th of July. Here are some firework Fails. Click Here.
Click on the Video of the Week graphic to view.
If you would like to sign up for the Weekly Update Click Here.

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,

Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

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