Saturday, November 1, 2008

Well Suited

It's that time of year now, when I have to consider whether the opportunity to ride is worth the trouble of putting on the layers of clothing that I'll need to stay warm. I went out this morning rather light of garb, and after stopping at the ATM across the river I stayed in the parking lot till I could pull the heavy gloves, the hat, and the scarf out from their hiding places. My fingers, head, and neck were warm after that, but everything under my jeams got rather cold in spite of sitting like a girl.

I hit up some of my usual summer places, but their charm isn't as charming now with winter breathing down my neck. Add to that the change back to Eastern Standard Time tonight and the earlier dark which will come with it and it's almost time to batten down the hatches and get into hermit mode till the spring thaw. Once it's dark I don't feel much like going anywhere, never mind taking the time and trouble to get myself ready to ride. Therein will be the personal battle I'll fight often for the next few months. I'll want to ride, but I won't want to go through the trouble to venture out in the cold and dark.

Last March I attended a meeting of the local chapter of A.B.A.T.E. to get a 'cycle safety sign for my tree lawn and when I first got there I feared that I had the wrong place and time. There were no bikes in the lot. After the meeting when we went out to the one guy's truck to get the signs I commented on that. He chuckled and said, "Oh, it's too cold to ride now." While I'm being lazy and staying home (and being miserable because I'll really want to be riding) I'll find some consolation in remembering that even the tough, cool, biker type dudes don't always venture out on two wheels when it's cold. Then again, temperatures in the 50s aren't quite freezing, are they?

1 comment:

Earl Thomas said...

I can understand that if you aren’t used to suiting up for the ride, how it can be an inconvenience putting on the layers of garb to stay comfortable. I got into the habit of wearing full gear over twenty years ago when I had to wear my leathers for the track days on my sport bikes. It’s just a normal thing for me, even during the hottest months, to throw on my riding pants over my jeans, not to mention the boots, gloves and jacket and so on. When the cold weather shows up, there really isn’t any change in my routine; the gear is just a little heavier due to the quilted liners.

On riding in the cold, I can respect the tough, cool biker types not wanting to ride in the cold weather; it’s certainly not for everybody. There are a few oddballs out there like Irondad or myself who rarely give a second thought to riding in the cold. Looking back at my childhood, riding through the snow and bitter cold on my motorcycles to quench my two-wheeled thirst during the winter months, I think that it was inevitable that I would become the “Rounder” that I have recently been labeled as by my fair weather riding peers.

Last week, during my 30 mile morning commute, the thermometer showed the temperature at only 19 degrees. Upon arriving at work, one of my contractors stated that I was “hard core”, I thought about that for a while and came to the conclusion that I’m not hard core, just “smitten” is all; I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.

Ride well and keep warm!