I currently follow 120 motorcycle related blogs. These could be product oriented, from the HD Forums, magazines, certainly some Revzilla and more. I’m also a member of a Facebook group where the posts are mostly motorcycle oriented. (Sometimes one must filter the content…it’s bikers, after all!)
One theme I’ve truly discovered as the bane of motorcycle ownership is … the cold weather.
During the winter and spring months, those of you that don’t live in Texas, California or Florida, you’re pretty much putting up posts with things like:
- My bike is cold, should I bring it in?
- Can’t ride, too much snow.
- Icy? Yeah, not riding.
- Negative temperatures suck!
That’s pretty much the theme! In Texas, however, we can ride in December, January, even February. You have to be a little tough, you do have to bundle up (esp. those hands!) and maybe slow down a bit to keep the “wind chill” a little higher. (Heated grips, heated clothing would be nice, but I’m not there yet.)
But unlike the rest of the country, I feel a bit guilty because I’m saying “It’s too hot to ride…”. This summer I’ve already had my share of sunburns. (Yes, these are preventable, and I have indeed put on sunscreen most of the time). When the wife and I have gone out riding our bikes, we’re getting up at 5:30 on a weekend (that’s just crazy) so we can ride in the morning before it reaches 104 degrees! We’re hoping to be back home or inside somewhere by noon, at the very latest.
We spent a weekend in Oklahoma City just for fun, and because it was reachable from Dallas in about 3 to 4 hours. We did great getting up there, out of bed by 5:30am, had a great ride up, got a nice early check-in to the hotel, and pretty much stayed out of the sun.
The night before returning home, there was some SERIOUS thunderstorms in the OKC area. They were so strong and long and loud that I didn’t think we were going to getting home that day. (This was the thought in my head at 4:00 am when they woke me up.)
Turns out that the storms ended around 7:00 am, with another passing through about 9:00am. So we waited for them to finish up and move on by. This put us leaving the hotel about 10:00 – 10:30. The ride home, with gas / drink stops… about 4.5 hours. That’s right…we did NOT get out of the sun by noon that day.
We were slightly fortunate in that the rain had cooled things down — but only in OKC. It hadn’t rained in the D/FW area. By the time we got home about 2:00 or so….it was really hot. I hadn’t brought sunscreen and my nose is still peeling from the sunburn. (Fortunately, I was wearing a lightweight, Columbia wicking long-sleeve shirt…that helped a lot…for my arms!)
So… I’m riding to work, still, though it’s mostly between 95 and 105 degrees this week and last. It is a short ride, maybe 15 minutes. I get out for lunch but don’t go far. from the office. There’s a big difference between riding to work or lunch and getting to “really ride” on the roads. The ride home is tough because at 5pm there’s a light by the office that lets about 4 cars turn left, then you have to wait about 5 minutes for it to turn green for you again. The cars stack up, and it’s not a shady location. That’s the worst of the summertime commute. (And when the guy in front is sitting on his phone not paying attention, he really ruins it for everyone!)
So…I will continue feeling guilty for complaining about the hot weather when a lot of folks can only ride 6 to 8 months, if that, whereas we Texans can really ride all year if we stay strong and suck it up!