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Wondering Whether to Weather the Weather?

Everyone has their ‘sweet spot’ temperature range, my sweet spot is anywhere from 10-16c. I love a cooler day. Yes, even in the summer I’m hoping for that chilly ocean breeze and a patch of shade. Others thrive on hot days, and perhaps some don’t have a preference one way or the other.

What most of us have in common is we’ve never exclaimed: “Yay! This is a great time to go practice” when faced with a downpour. We might get caught in the rain, or have to ride in the rain, but who looks forward to it?

Conversely, few of us won’t ride on hot and sunny days. A clear blue sky and beautiful sunshine have a way of picking up everyone’s spirits. As riders, we do have to be aware that hot days can mean lots of sweating as we try to cool down, and that dehydration can quickly affect our riding.

Wet weather does have a superpower over dry weather. Learning new skills, and being able to practice them in the wet will quickly make you a better rider. It pushes you to get out of your comfort zone and learn what you and your bike can do in less ideal situations.

Take a look at our course schedule, and you may notice a pattern. We offer two days at the end of April, and two days at the beginning of July. It goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of our April course (but I said it anyway).

Rumour has it, Vancouver Island gets a lot of rain in the Spring. Sure, it can feel like that - so I asked Google.

We ran our April 2022 courses on the 29th & 30th. Friday was 11°C, and a little cloudy but dry. Saturday was also about 11, and the ground was damp in the morning, but the riders stayed dry.

Friday, July 2nd was exceptionally hot and humid. Temperatures peaked at 31°. As the official TractionWerks Pit Wrangler, I was running around in the pits most of the day, drinking electrolytes, and trying not to hog the misting fan. Students were sharing their shaded tents with new friends, enjoying the air-conditioned theory classes, and drinking plenty of water. While they were loving their time out on the track, some struggled to remain focused and hydrated.

The weather on Saturday was the complete opposite.

We’re prepared for practically anything when it comes to a TractionWerks weekend, but Saturday was unexpected. The forecast called for a cooler day with overcast skies and a chance of showers. Instead, the skies opened up and dumped rain on us ALL DAY LONG. Not ideal, but we West Coast riders can handle it.

On the rainier days, there are some long faces at check-in. I get it…it’s not what they pictured their day would be. But by the end of the first session, the same people are smiling, comparing their on-track skills with fellow students. They can be overheard admitting that it’s not so bad being there in rain. They’ve learned just how much they can do with their bike in wet conditions, and it’s way more than they thought they could do! After the course, the riders who had been there for both days marvelled at how much more valuable the wet weather training was overall.

So does it really matter what the weather will be? No, it just changes the flavour a bit.

One thing is for certain. If there’s anything you cannot count on, it’s the weather. It’s a mixed bag regardless of what month it is. Not sure which dates to choose for your TractionWerks cornering course? We highly recommend whichever one is soonest. There’s no point in delaying your future awesomeness any longer.

A happy, tired, and damp group from our surprise wet day in July

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