Tag Archives: Harley

No motorcycling in blizzards


With the bulk of the midwest buried in the white stuff and all bundled up in their snuggies, I’d like to give a shout out to all my biker friends in Chicago, Minneapolis, Toldedo, and the surrounding areas. It sucks to be you.

I’m hearing from people with over twenty inches of snow on the ground. What do you get to do in weather like that? Shovel snow? Make snow angels? Have snowball fights with your riding brothers? Ride your Harley? The answers to those questions are respectively, yes – yes – yes – and, are you out of your ever-loving mind? When you open your garage door and all you see is white, don’t you just get a little weepy? Spring is still three months away and your riding season is officially closed.  Well, it is for those of you in the frozen tundra of the American midwest. The short riding season is a good reason to not live there.

I basically ride year round. Let me qualify that…

There are days I won’t ride because it’s in the thirties or below, but there are days when it’s in the thirties or below that I will. If I have to ride I won’t let low temps stop me.  I like riding in cool weather.  I just don’t like getting ready to ride in cool weather. Layering the clothes, hauling out the big leather, and getting it all on is just a pain in the ass. There may be a few days in the winter when we get snow and on those days I wouldn’t ride even if I thought I could. The biggest need for a safe ride is traction.  Traction is everything and you just get very little of it on the snow and ice.  But thankfully those days are few and far between.

So to my my chosen frozen friends of the north, I say grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit by the crackling fire and think about riding along the beaches of Daytona or Southern California. Me – I’m going for a ride today.

“I’d rather be riding my motorcycle, thinking about God, than sitting in church, thinking about my motorcycle.” ~Anonymous biker

December distractions

I supposed distractions are pretty much the same year round. Between Facebook and keeping up with the latest episode of Fringe or whatever show has my interest, occasionally I will embrace distractions. (It’s all tied into my procrastination mechanism.) I might say something like, “I’ll get to that in a little bit,” or the more deadly, “I can work on that tomorrow.

But there is a distraction in the winter months that always grabs my attention – temperatures above 60°. Now that ties into my favorite pastime – Pearl, my 2003 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic. When the temps are in that range during the winter months, I can’t always say, I’ll ride tomorrow, because tomorrow might be cold as a Calgary Popsicle. As a matter of fact, tomorrow is going to cap out in the upper forties. Plenty cold enough to stay indoors and write. So, as long as the gauge reads 72°, I’m afraid my heart is in the wind and not the word. It’s a little different during the other seasons because most of the time I can ride tomorrow, or later, or this evening.

Someone asked me recently if I liked to ride in the cold. Actually, I like riding in the cold as long as it’s not too cold. I left the house one January morning a few years back. It was 9°. Did I like riding that day? Hell no! Did I let 9° stop me? Hell no. Would I ride in 9° if I didn’t have to?… Hell no. But if I have to ride I’m not going to let cold air stop me. I will let snow and ice stop me, because of a little thing called traction. Loss of traction is moderately bad in a four-wheeler. On two it’s possibly fatal. Long story short, I won’t hesitate to ride anywhere from 45° on up. Anything below that begs the question… why?

I like riding in the cool temps, 50° to 75°. The bike runs better, the engine heat is not so troublesome, and it just feels better on the body. I don’t mind riding in the cold. What I don’t like is getting ready to ride in the cold. Getting the layers on, getting the leather together, putting on the winter gloves and getting everything zipped up. It adds at least ten minutes to the prep time.

I said all of this to say…. I didn’t get much writing done today. There’s always tomorrow.

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs. ~Anonymous