Motorcycling is like any other thing that is perceived to be cool: There are times when it is desperately uncool.

I wear gear year round because I’m terrified of road rash, so there’s a lot of sweating happening under the cool leather facade once the summer temperatures kick in. My gear is a size too big and quite functional (read: padded) so I waddle a bit in my full suit. Trust me when I say that these are not the skin-tight sexy pants you see on models — I am not going to turn anyone on bending over in these leather pants and bulky motorcycle boots. 

Today, a guy stopped me in the parking lot and asked for a hand in push-starting his bike. As a helper, that means sprinting while literally pushing the guy’s bike from behind, trying to get him up to speed, 10-15mph, so that he can kick it into first gear. We got it after the third attempt (turns out, not only is his starter on the fritz, so is his battery), but after three awkward 50 meter dashes in my gear over my normal clothes, my sweat glands were fully engaged and I could feel it: crotch sweat.

Alas, crotch sweat is a part of motorcycling life, as is freezing your ass off some days and having an aching back and neck after a long freeway ride. It’s one of the minor annoyances that weeds out the casual riders because ugh, motorcycling is such a hassle. It’s what makes that breeze on your face feel borderline euphoric once you get up to speed because it’s your quiet little secret: There was crotch sweat, and it is worth this.