In the bike world most riders fall into one of two camps: fair-weather and all-weather riders. Neither of which are bad to be in as both suit a rider’s lifestyle and convenience (each to their own and all that), but the two pigeon holes aren’t always as black and white.
Traditionally, fair-weather riders are on sports/touring bikes and like to meet their mates at the local biker haunts as soon as the sun comes out in March/April. They are the guys (and gals) who will stare longingly at their pride and joy through the winter, yearning for the snow, sleet and rain to stop. They may not own extreme winter clothing and they see their riding as a thrill-finder. That said, others may use their bikes until the end of Autumn stopping when the winds and rain settle in until the Spring. Those late September mornings, however can be pretty nippy first thing; especially when you factor in the windchill. So can that still be considered fair-weather?!
All-weather riders on the other hand are meant to be the Ronseal of bikers and generally it’s a work thing. For the majority it’s their main mode of transport to get into work, having ditched the train ticket or just become frustrated with sitting in a car in traffic during the summer. Come the winter though some may drift back to the warmth of the car or carriage. Then, there are the couriers. They are a different beast altogether epitomising the meaning of the all-weather rider since their bike isn’t just a means of getting to work… it IS their work.
Until a year ago, I was an all-weather rider going 40 miles to and from work every day, going out in all conditions (except perhaps the white frosty stuff that falls from the sky). These days I work a lot closer to home so don’t need to ride my bike as a means of getting to work, so I reckon I would probably be more in the fair-weather zone these days. My point is that these traditional descriptions of riders aren’t so cut and dried. There are many all-weather commuters that would pull on their leathers for a track day for some fair-weather only riding. But they might ride a beaten up old Suzuki Bandit or Honda scooter everyday while their CBR or GSXR sitting in the garage. Cursing the British weather in January then living life to the limit on a track in Spain in June.
Fact is, us bikers are an odd bunch and certainly don’t like to be put in boxes or have labels put on us. We need to enjoy our freedom on two-wheels whenever or whatever we ride! Take it from me most of those commuters and couriers enjoy carving through the traffic on their bikes and perhaps even get as much of a thrill out of it as they would on an adventure tour to Wales… maybe anyway 😉
What type of rider are you?