Don’t Let the Threat of Rain Keep You From Riding!

Don’t Let the Threat of Rain Keep You From Riding!

Don’t Let the Threat of Rain Keep You From Riding!
Sport Touring Corner

By Norm Kern

As I’m writing this column in early May, I just returned home from a fun, new Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA) rally in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Named after its location in Tuscarawas County and the nearby Muskingum river, the Tusky-Musky rally features a new collection of fun, twisty routes in east central Ohio.

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This was mostly a new riding area for me and I was looking forward to it, but the forecast called for rain. What to do? While bout twenty  “Weather Weenie” riders gave up and stayed home, I attended and rode about 1000 mostly dry miles for the weekend as usual. Here’s how:

Since the Tusky-Musky rally was only 200 miles from home, I originally planned to ride a creative twisty route to get there on Friday, ride a rally route on Saturday and go home Sunday, but the weather called for rain starting Friday mid afternoon.

Thursday was a beautiful, partly cloudy day with temps in the 70s, so I left then, starting at 8am. Arrived at the hotel about 12:30pm, put my luggage in the room and rode one of the shorter rally routes for a great day of about 400 total miles! By the time I got back, others had arrived so we had a nice dinner and social time at the Texas Roadhouse.

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Friday it was cloudy but warm, with scattered showers coming in early afternoon. I looked at the Drive Weather app for area weather  about 50 miles around New Philadelphia. Played with the time slider and saw that our best direction was to go Southeast starting at 8am. We got back from our 200 mile ride at 1pm without a drop of rain. There was a brief shower while I was at lunch but it was over by the time I came back to the hotel.

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Saturday was a little more tricky. The phone radar app showed rain coming from the South and the area weather showed that Northeast would be the best way to go. We had damp pavement off and on but avoided rain until about 2/3 of the way through the 200 mile route. It was light and only lasted about 20 minutes, followed by some intermittent sprinkles. Then we got back to hotel on dry pavement.

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Putting the route into the Drive Weather app for the Sunday ride home, I saw the best time to leave was 8am. Roads were wet at first but dried out and I had sun and partly cloudy skies the last half of the ride home.

That’s lots of fun miles and good times with friends I would have missed if I had stayed home. That’s why when rain is forecast, it’s almost always better to go anyway! Here are a few things to keep in mind if rainy weather is predicted:

  1. It probably won’t rain all the time.
  2. It probably won’t rain in all directions.
  3. Use Drive Weather ( and radar phone apps to choose the best direction and start time to go.
  4. Be flexible in your schedule so you can choose alternate times and trip days for better weather.
  5. Wear quality riding gear that also works well in the rain so that you are always dressed for it. Rain suits are uncomfortable and a hassle to put on.
  6. Choose quality tires that work well in the rain- you won’t mind wet pavement as much and have more fun.
  7. Don’t worry about your bike getting wet and dirty- if you get into that mindset, you will stay home and miss riding opportunities.

On to the next MSTA rally!


Upcoming MSTA rallies:

June 22-26- Canaan Valley Rally, Davis, WV- Head for the Mountains of West  Virginia! Experience some of the best twisty roads to be found anywhere and some of the best adventure riding to be found in the eastern US. Come to Canaan Valley and enjoy those experiences with hundreds of other sport touring and adventure riding enthusiasts along with the amenities that the Canaan Valley Resort has to offer.

July 11 – 14- Big Lynn Lodge Rally, Little Switzerland, NC- This July event has been running since 2011 and it’s a unique, must-attend rally.  located on a mountain ridge right next to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a few miles south of Spruce Pine, North Carolina. It’s one of the most beautiful settings you will find for a place to stay and there are fantastic roads in every direction- some of the best you will ride anywhere, ever.


How to join in the fun for 2024 with MSTA-

  • Go to Facebook and join the MSTA – Motorcycle Sport Touring Association group
  • Go to and join to become a full member
  • Go to to look over the calendar and make your plans to attend a rally.

I hope to see you on the road or at a rally. Please feel free to message me at with your comments and questions.


Connect with local Ohio Motorcycle Sport Touring Association riders at these monthly breakfasts:

Southwest Ohio Breakfast, 9AM, June 15

Village Family Restaurant
144 S. Main St.
Waynesville, OH 45068

Central Ohio Breakfast, 8AM, June 7
Portside Cafe
6515 S High St
Lockbourne, OH 43137