It's good to daydream as the rain falls. Painting your emotions onto the gray campus you are driving through can be surprisingly enjoyable. Drenched in pouring rain, thinking about motorcycling.
Having pulled over to the edge of the road, I gave a small sigh.
The rain, which had been continuing since the morning, got heavier before noon and pummeled the mountain path.
Coated with a generous layer of water, the asphalt gleamed like polished obsidian, reflecting the characteristic silhouette of the MT-03. The blurred outline of the image flickered and shimmered, giving the impression of a beautiful painting.
Although I was planning to pull over, transfixed by the dazzling road surface, I kept on riding, when just then a family car overtook me. Its tail lamps shot through the lashing rain and into the distance in no time at all. Just then, a slight sense of solitude swept across me.
It's been 20 odd years since I began riding a motorbike. At last I had been able to form a manageable relationship with the rain, the rider's natural enemy.
When I was younger, everything I saw on my travels seemed so vivid and helped to create a moving experience. In sharp contrast, once it began to rain, it was as if the world had been turned inside out, and I always felt a bit depressed.
However scenic the journey was, it’s no exaggeration to say it would suddenly feel like the whole trip was a completely redundant experience as soon as I felt the first raindrops. It was this moment that would make or break the touring experience for me.
However, as I get older I am beginning to realize that the real pleasure of touring isn’t just “the now”, but rather the constant change in your surroundings over time, and how that effects your mood and thoughts. It’s this awareness that leads to a more mature sense of joy.
When touring on a rainy day, the focus isn't put on feeling but thinking. The pale, rainy scenery, rather like photos and movies shot on black and white film, creates a kind of blank canvas onto which the rider can paint their sentiments and emotions. Depending on the rider’s fertile imagination, they can transform their surroundings into a theatrical space where the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred.
Sometimes the dull, lead-colored sky can be changed into something alluring by projecting on to it a memory that has been long forgotten deep in the mind. You may unexpectedly find decadent beauty in the wet fuel tank, tires, asphalt or plants around you. Facing up to the challenges that rainy weather brings can provide a chance to see another side to yourself. When it comes to this kind of introspection, rainy settings are no less worthy than clear sky ones. Wet days bring the subtleties that only the rain can.
Me talking about "the joy of rain" could sound a bit too pretentious, but turning 40 now, I have managed to start to get into the state of mind where at the very least I can accept heavy rain with nothing more than a little sigh.