WINTER…Grrr! Winter is in full swing… springtime is not yet in the air but let’s dream a little.
Many of my biker friends who live in the great white north and those in the mid-west and northeast are now in full snow mode depression. Some are getting antsy…the white stuff and the cold weather has already lost its shine…They are spending more and more time these days in the garage or storage shed staring at their motorcycle. At least these types of portable buildings are able to protect their motorcycles and any vehicles that they have from the winter season so that they can be kept in the same pristine condition as they were left in before. I think I may have to invest in one soon so I’m just as prepared for them for the snow and cold.
A dedicated and brave group have set up portable heaters or fired-up the pot-bellied stoves and have taken to cleaning and shining their bike a second or third time…Dreaming about that first springtime ride. Winter, it can be tough on bikers.
Don’t believe me? Call the good folks at Buffalo Harley-Davidson for a description of winters in Buffalo.
Buffalo HD, a dealership serving customers for over 80 years, is where I ship my bike when embarking on east coast rides with my brother, Rocky. (The BBR Rides) They are always in a good mood and ready to help in July…not sure about their psychology in January. Never been to Buffalo in January.
Some bikers enjoy wintry pleasures. I’m not one of them.
Some brave souls with a need for speed and adept at winter survival, get their wintry pleasures by switching to snowmobiles for the winter season. (“Skidoos” as we called them in the freezing days of the lumbercamps).
In the U.S., the areas around the upper Michigan Penninsula, the back woods of Wisconsin, central Minnesota and all over Maine in the northeast, have become winter fan favorites. The great state of Colorado also offers some amazingly well-groomed trails. Click here for the Top 10 snowmobile trails and locations in the USA.
Winter motorcycle racing has friends in cold places.
In addition to snowmobiling, one can race motorcycles on ice during the winter. Winter racing bikes are basically the same as those used during summertime oval speedway racing but they have a longer wheelbase and much more rigid frames. As shown in the photo below, winter racing bikes use studded tires and have big fenders over the wheels in order to offer extra protection. Click here for more information on this winter sport.
Ice racing indoors is getting some attention too. Click here for the history of ICE Arena Speedway Racing.
The joy of that first springtime ride…
That first spring ride can be cold but exhilarating. When the time comes, you’ll want to pay special attention on roadways as black ice, the kind you don’t see until it’s to late, will likely be on some sections of the roads even when the asphalt appears dry.
The excitement of that first ride can sometime have you twist the throttle at the wrong time and off into a wipeout skid you go. If your lucky, you’ll end up on a soft snow bank by the side of the road with only your ego bruised. If unlucky, you’ll be wearing a road rash suit that could delay the rest of your summer riding schedule.
Be extra careful and extra alert the first time you get out after not riding for the winter months. As we experienced bikers say, take the time to get your “riding legs” back.
Hey, back to reality. It’s only December folks!
The first day of spring in the northern hemisphere is set to begin Friday, March 20, 2015. The changing weather period between those fierce, brutally cold winter months and the warming days of spring sunshine is a magical time for motorcyclists. Thoughts of rebirth, renewal and regrowth are everywhere. The heart pounds, the palms sweat, the leathers and helmet get cleaned…the summer riding season will begin once again… Until then, stay warm my friends.
Whether you ride a motorcycle or snowmobile this time of year, be safe out there.
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