Monsoon season in Sri Lanka is a pain in the ass for riders. Mostly since Sri Lanka is lucky enough to have not one but TWO monsoons, which pretty much cover a major part of the year, with a couple of month long breaks in between them; ‘The northeast monsoon (December to March), and the southwest monsoon (June to October)’ according to Wikipedia.
Having decided to ride to work instead of drive, with a good 30 minutes less taken to get to work on the motorcycle compared to the car which gets stuck in traffic, the start of one of the rainy seasons means it’s a gamble every time you leave to or from work. Getting caught to a light drizzle the other day on the way back from work was the deciding factor for wearing a jacket, which I didn't do earlier due the tropical heat that IS Sri Lanka. But of course now not wearing a jacket is not an option.
And this weather also means extra TLC for the Volty and Big Baby, lubing chain etc.. more often. Just got the Volty chain cleaned and re-lubed after a little DIY disaster where I ended up putting some high end sticky lube meant for Big Baby. The chain suffered for a week with noise and loss of power before I got “The Mechanic” (await a future post on “The Mechanic”) to kerosene bathe the chain and re-lube with oil. It’s wonderful when a DIY attempt works out, but when it goes wrong, forget about it….
Anyway back to the weather; the usual thing you’d do when you get caught to some sudden precipitation while on a ride is to pull into the nearest bit of shade, maybe under the eve of some random shop and wait it out. This is the one time that our four wheel counterpart’s wiz by, pointing and laughing at the poor stranded and wet…
There are of course assortments of raincoats ranging from the silly looking to the functional, with some an added danger of getting it entwined in some other moving traffic and pulling you along with it.
But such is the life of a rider in SL, with rain, sun and vehicle fumes being part and parcel of the freedom of the ride. It’s very difficult to not sound like you are ranting when writing about riding motorcycles in Sri Lanka. I try very hard not to sound like I’m always complaining on my posts, because I actually love riding around our little island. But all the little eccentricities of the Sri Lankan roads, and more importantly of their users, can come off sounding like a bit of a ranting session when put down in writing.