Monday, December 10, 2007

Still Riding in December

As a motorcycle rider living in the Northwest, I try to keep my rides in working order all year around. The last few weeks Mother Nature has been throwing some weather challenges at us and winter has just begun.

First, we’ve had lots of rain, more than usual for the Seattle region. This makes riding a little less attractive on those days. Second, it has been cold. I mean COLD. The temps have only dipped into the 20’s at night, but the days have been barely reaching 40 degrees if we are lucky. No matter how I try to bundle up, I always get down the road and have qualms whether I should continue or go back home to get the forgotten item that would make my ride more comfortable. Third, we’ve had a few snow showers that were unexpected, with many more to come. I, for one, don’t ride in the snow. I witnessed a few people around downtown Seattle last week who ride through rain, snow, sleet, etc.

I was able to get out and ride my Vulcan on Saturday. The sun was out, and it was cold. As I started out, my chin and neck felt the cold air hitting them. It was almost painful. I had forgotten my neck gaiter. I decided my chin would go numb soon enough, and then I wouldn’t notice it. I continued on.

The roads had been littered with gravel and debris from overflowing streams and water run-off from the floods we had last week. I knew there were a lot of places where I would need to be careful. I decided just to get the bike out and run it around town awhile, to keep everything circulating and the battery charged. I did a large loop around Lynnwood, took a stretch of I-5 and came back home another way. It felt good to be out.

The roads were remarkably clean. I had seen a few street-sweepers near my business park, and apparently they were working all over town to get the debris cleaned up. It was actually great for the motorcyclists, except for the potholes here and there where the road had given way.

I came back home and felt that I hadn’t ridden nearly enough. I worked my older bike, the Suzuki S-40, out of the garage from behind the other bikes. It hadn’t been ridden in a few weeks, so I started it up. She took a few tries, and then I had to let it warm up quite a while. Since I have the Vulcan, I am spoiled with no warm up time or choke to deal with. I finally was able to take off without the darn thing dying. I took a short ride around some hilly areas nearby, enough to get it warmed up and running smoothly. I had a happy Suzuki by the time I got back home.

It is a conscious chore to keep both of my bikes running smoothly over the winter, since I don’t use a trickle charger either. If I get them out at least every two weeks, and more often than that if the weather cooperates, they seem to run great. I usually try to do a Christmas Day ride and a New Year’s Day ride, however short. I’m looking forward to that this year too. Hope Santa brings more warm riding gear……..


KT Did said...

It has been cold and particularly wet where you are. Hope you can get your rides in on the holidays. Stay warm and hopefully dry.

Jovita said...

Becky, it’s wonderful to see that you’re braving the cold and still riding. I’m such a wimp… my husband jokes that I wouldn’t ride unless it’s in the 70’s, the weather has to be just right!

As for Rapture… it was really time consuming for me to maintain two blogs, especially since I wasn’t familiar with WordPress. I was having a hard time customizing it and out of frustration I wanted to be done with WordPress… Blogger is so much more user friendly (IMO). I’ll still be posting about my MC rides and adventures at my Inky blog. Thanks for the comment you left.

Stay warm and ride safe ~ Jovi