Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's Time for Change

Both presidential candidates are for 'change'. The climate is changing. The financial system is changing. Those of us with money tied up in the stock market, whether it be in a 401K or other savings vehicle, are seeing a big change for the worse.

All of this brings to light that the weather is also changing and it 's time to dig out the winter riding gear. I didn't want to think about it yet, as it is only early October. I can't fight it any more.

Our weather in Seattle has cooled off drastically this past 2 weeks. The mornings are around 40 degrees. The days have been lucky to reach 55 degrees. It will only get worse from now on.

This weekend promises to have a day or two of riding weather. I will dig out my winter liner for my leather jacket and zip it in. I will dig out my winter warm gloves and start wearing them, although keeping my lighter one's handy if the day warms up as I ride. And I really dread going back to the full-face helmet. It's been a joy to ride all summer with a half-helmet, but now it is too chilly for that, so back to the full enclosure. I will also need to wear chaps at all times, just for warmth.

It takes me a little mental preparation to get ready for winter riding. Once I get out there and adjust to the proper gear for the cold, I do feel like a rarity on the road. Not many others are out on motorcycles in the winter, but when you do pass another bike there is always a common wave. Not many of us are that devoted, so I do feel a kinship with others I pass on those cold mornings on the way to work.

Does anyone else ride in the winter and have to mentally prepare in the fall?

15 comments:

B.B. said...

Good for you for riding in the winter. I was just thinking on my ride today that this is the coolest it's been when I've ridden my bike. But it was still in the low 70's, LOL. This was a good post, because it is probably something I should prepare for if I plan on riding the next few months, which I do. It doesn't get THAT cold here, but cold enough when you're on the bike.

BumbleVee said...

if the road is dry...out come the winter gloves, the jacket liners,long johns and even my electric vest... toasty warm when I plug that in... ... ahhhhhh Christmas shopping in comfort....well not really..it would take too long to undress before going into the mall...and where would I leave all that gear? I'd have to hire somebody to stand guard... but, seriously... as long as there is no snow or ice and I can ride it out of the cul de sac....and if it's not below -12C or so...... it's a go... this morning it was -5C already, damn....but it was nice and sunny.....

"Joker" said...

The weather is holding out for us a bit longer here in MA. I will probably ride all weekend, including a sure to be spectacular trip on Sunday to leaf peep in Vermont on our annual "Apple Pie Run."

I find it harder to deal with riding in the cold in the fall, and I do have to prepare more for it mentally. At least in the spring, you've still got your "winter blood" in you. In the fall, your body hasn't gotten quite used to it yet, so those first few chilly rides seem that much colder. I don't have any heated gear either, but I'm going to look into getting some.

I'm getting a new bike, so off-season I'm going to add heated grips. Maybe even a heated seat! For now, I just suck it up. A great quik-fix on the cheap: Hunter's handwarmer packs. You get them at Walmart or any sporting goods place. One in each glove really helps your hands. They also have bigger ones, which placed inside your jacket also help take the edge off.

My HOG Chapter does a Christmas is for Kids Toy Run every November, so mentally prepared or not, cold or not, I'm riding.

Dean "D-Day" said...

It's starting to get pretty chilly here in the mornings. Cold weather gloves and chaps are almost a must. I have about a month left before I'll put Dixie down for her winter slumber.

Mentally...
I'm never ready for the winter months.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

I'm feeling your pain. It's getting colder here too.

mrs rc said...

We've been slowly blending into the cold weather gear. Wear chaps and full-finger lined gloves in the morning then shed layers and transition to the shorty gloves as we go throughout the day.... Luckily we haven't had a sudden "snap" of cold weather, yet. We are preparing for next weekend's peeper trip to CT & MA, and every time I check the weather forecast it gets colder and colder up there! Guess we'll be packing bundles of layers.

My big thing is that it is now pitch black dark outside when I have to leave for work. The sun is just peeking over the horizon as I pull into the parking lot. I am not crazy about riding in the dark, and I definitely will not do it at 6 am (when everyone else on the road is still half asleep, eating breakfast in their car, and definitely not looking out for motorcycles!) So I will not be riding to work again until probably April...regardless of how warm it is :-(

FLHX_Dave said...

Hmmm...Well, I don't have snow here so I have to ride to other places for a snow ride. Yeah, idiot and I have no rain gear or snow gear. A couple of times I have pushed myself to the point of seeing the "black dog" due to cold. When you ask for coffee at stops on freezer rides, all that comes out is 'sjfkel'

However, I do understand what you are saying here. Hardcore or idiocy...I understand the message.

Rick said...

Although Ohio weather is fickle we are expecting temps in the 80's this weekend. I ride everyday as long as there is no ice on the roads. Like you said, it takes a little longer to put on the gear, but for me it's worth it.

Becky said...

B.B: Every year as the weather cools down I find that I've underestimated how cold it can get on a ride. The first few times you're out you realize how much more you should bundle up. If you are comfortable you don't even think about the cold.

Bumblevee: I know what you mean about shopping on the bike, because you get too warm in the stores with all your gear on. I haven't tried the heated gear, but just take shorter rides in the winter.

Joker: I imagine it is awesomely beautiful in Vermont right now. Thanks for the tip on the Hunter's handwarmer packs. I know right where I would place them inside my jacket....

Dean d-day: This year I feel so cold just stepping outside, and can't even think of riding much. Guess I'll just have to suck it up.

Mr.Motorcycle: I guess everyone is suffering the anguish of approaching winter.

flhx_dave: Mmmmmm....coffee.

Rick: 80 degrees sounds divine. You are lucky to take advantage of riding while you can.

Bikerchickz

Becky said...

Mrs. RC: It is really dark here in the morning also. We're so far north we have about 8 hours of daylight in the next couple of months. I still ride in the morning if it isn't frosty. I just go the back roads where the traffic is light.

Bikerchickz

"Joker" said...

Oh, gee...let me guess? You know you're killing me, right?? ;)

One Harley Rider said...

Living in NC we ride every month we can, now that I am living at least part-time in Cleveland, I am trying to ride as often as possible, cause I know the SNOW is coming. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

Jovita said...

The weather forcast is snow here for this evening to early am. Burrr... I'm not ready for snow. Looking ahead it should be back in the 70's next weekend... my kind of riding weather.

I do ride in the late fall and winter... like you I add all the extra warmth. I just hate those thick winter riding gloves. Here in Colorado they put a bunch of sand on the roads after a snowfall, so that's another thing riders here have to be extremely careful about.

Keep warm and ride safe ~ J

Anonymous said...

I just happened across your blog. I totally agree with you on having a bike as a main mode of transportation. I love mine and I almost cry when my husband asks to drive me somewhere. I do everything and go everywhere. rain or shine, summer or winter. I ride all year round. the coldest temps I can recall riding in were around 15 degrees. Everyone I woked thought I was completely out of my mind. I find myself actually enjoying the cold weather as I ride. I get such an adrenaline rush, it always wakes me up, and I have a theory that if subjected to just the right amount of cold air for a period of time, you can kill cold viruses and such and boost your adrenaline system. Course I could be totally wrong, but I've noticed I haven't been sick half as much as the people around me.

Becky said...

One harley rider: Can't waste any time now. The urgency to ride while you can is crucial.

Jovita: I've been sick for a couple of weeks so haven't ridden out in the cold (or rain) for almost a month! I plan to ride this evening because its up to 50 degrees and dry. Ugh. Hate this time of year.

Anonymous: I think you are right about being out in the cold making you resistant to disease. I've already caught a cold so it's hard to stay warm right now. I hope to ride to work tomorrow...maybe I can shake the sickness.

Bikerchickz