Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chilly


Thirty-six degrees F my wife's fancy digital weather station reported as I laced my boots and pulled on my riding leathers. This is the weather that causes me to pull on the thicker gloves, wear a fleece scarf around my neck, and don the fullface helmet. It's not unenjoyable to ride in this weather. It just makes you feel a bit more alive.

Until this week, I have daily arrived at work around 8am to find the parking lot jammed with cages and one motorcycle sitting to one side of a parking spot very close to the front door. Thanks to this rider's courteous actions, I slide ride into a front row parking spot. That all changed this week. I guess it's too cold for the rider that has been arriving earlier than me for the last several months. I ponder this as I noted that at one point this fall our office building had 7 motorcycles and a couple scooters sitting in the parking lot. Now there is one BMW sitting out about 5 rows back and my Harley Road King, Rosie.

As I left the house this morning, I pulled up to the red light at the intersection for GA-400 and set patiently in the line of cages in the turn lane. I see another Harley pull up to my right in the turn lane and see a guy in an open face half-helmet wearing a half-face facemask. "Nice day for a ride", he says. I chuckle. "It sorts out the men from the boys", I respond.

I do not see a single motorcycle headed the other direction in opposing traffic all the way to work. A few weeks ago, it was a steady diet of bikes. On my way home this afternoon, I passed one Honda Potamus. I guess the fair-weather riders have parked their bikes for the winter. It's a shame. There are a lot of folks living in the North that deal with ice and snow that prohibit them from riding year round. Here in the Atlanta area, we have it pretty good. If you invest in a little gear, you can ride twelve months out of the year.

I wonder how long the BMW rider will ride this winter. Something tells me I'll see his bike back on the 5th row all winter. He'll be seeing my Harley all winter for sure.

-Peace

15 comments:

Steven said...

I've got to get one of those fancy scarf things, it was a wee bit chilly for the morning ride at 0745 and again when I headed to the school at 1930. I'm betting that it'll be more than chilly coming home from the Vortex next week.

Allen Madding said...

Here is a simple and inexpensive suggestion. Go by Kohls or Target or Amazon or a sporting good store. Go back to the men's accessories (gloves, hats, etc) and look at a fleece neck gator (or Gaiter) Under Armour and Cloumbia all make em as well - some have velcro closures instead of having to pull it over your head. Or, the old fashioned fleece scarf. $9-$15 and you have a nice warm neck.

Steven said...

or we could just blow off the daytime gig and go ride when the temp's up above my waist size.

when are you going to get on The Twitter?

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Glad to see you are still riding. Me too. In Minnesota, I fear it won't be long before I am forced to put the bike away, due to ice and snow. We've already had flurries on Sunday. (sleet) yuck.

I figure cold is nothing. If we can gear up to ride snowmobiles, why not motorcycles. to bad have snow and ice to contend with that ruins that theory for me.

Aaron said...

We're down to three riders and I think we'll loose one more in the next couple weeks...

Mrs Road Captain said...

Well, I am not a boy or a man, so I live by my own rules....

I hate being cold, and I can't afford heated gear. If I rode to work in the morning it would be at 6AM (not 7:30)--90 minutes makes a HUGE difference when the sun doesn't even come up until after I arrive at work! So please don't judge me as being a "fair weather rider" simply because I don't commute to work all winter long.

Only 10 days ago, hubby and I headed NORTH to CT and MA on two wheels to check out the fall colors for the weekend. The group started out in the mornings with frost on our bikes. It barely broke 50 degrees all weekend. I survived--actually I enjoyed the hell out of it!

I will keep riding, in the daylight, probably until New Years Day. Then the bike will be winterized for about 2 months. We may or may not get a lot of snow and ice (it's hit or miss in the DE region), but I'll be counting the days when I can take her back out...and even better, ride her (safely) to work again!

KT Did said...

I like the cold but that's pretty cold there already. I guess I am lucky I am a girl... pantyhose is a biker chicks best friend in cold weather:) It's this time of year the heat from my bike actually feels good, and in So. CA it really never gets too cold...at least it never snows where I am. Kinda miss that.

irondad said...

I've been thinking of getting one of those face scarves that looks like a skull. Of course, nobody would see it under my full face helmet. Coffee stops would be fun, though!

Pantyhose? Hmmm. If I never took my jeans off in public, it might work. Do they make them in "camo"?

Steve Williams said...

At 36 degrees around here the riders pretty much vanish. Occasionally I will see one but it is rare. A few scooters but I generally have the road to myself, and of course the 4 wheeled traffic and critters.

You're right though, I small investment in warm clothes and you can keep on riding...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Allen Madding said...

I'm not doing pantyhose, but I do own UnderArmour for the long rides in the cold...like next weekend's ride to Helen :)

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

This is the best time of the year to ride...especially in the morning. The cold is refreshing! I've seen less and less bikes on the road too. The people that bought them because of the high price of gas will probably be selling theirs soon since gas prices are below 2 bucks now.

It's like with anything...there are always the people that riding is part of their soul...like us! And there are the people that do it because it's cheaper riding then driving a cage. I bet their bikes sit sadly in the garage when they get home at night and never go out on the weekends. SAD!

fasthair said...

Allen,

Still riding to work or where ever here in Iowa. It's really been pretty nice the last five or six days with pleny of warm temps and low winds. In fact I was very surprised at the... "older" lady who pulled up next to me on her HD Heritage Softail this morning on the way to work who said "great morning for a ride."

I logged over 275 this past weekend testing out a new helmet. Amazing what ten years can do for helmets. The breath guard and chin curtian do wonders at keeping the face warmer. My First Gear coat has a built in fleece neck warmer that is a nice feature. Lined and padded FXRG leather pants keep my legs warm. If it gets to bad I throw the rain gear over top of the leather.

It's when the ice and snow come that I say uncle and sadly store Whiskey for the winter.

Panty hose... huuum... do they pull the hair on your legs when you remove them?

fasthair

KT Did said...

Dudes: I said I am lucky I am a girl I get to wear pantyhose. Silly boyzzzz:)

TRT said...

Thank God for Texas, a pair of gloves, some leathers, and a bandana on your face and you can ride all year long.

"Joker" said...

It was in the 30s for the first time when I rode out last Sunday morning for our Chapter's Annual Christmas is for Kid's ride. By the time I got to the rally point where the ride began, my fingers were getting pretty numb. It was about a 30 minute ride, and it was refreshing for sure.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "if you have the right gear." I have no heated clothing (yet) and as I said, only my fingers got cold. I plan on buying some heated gear soon and I'm sure that will make a big difference.

Around here, it's not so much temps as it is the road conditions that make you leave your bike in the garage. Once it snows and they start with the sand and salt, even a half way decent winter day won't make you want to ride because the bike will get really yucked up.

You folks out West and down South are lucky to be able to ride year round if you choose to.