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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Brisk Fall Ride...

Riding in cold-weather gear can make you feel like
the Michelin Man!
(or fixate on the number 20)

So, with sunny skies predicted and the thermometer hovering around 36 degrees, I decided I'd been on too long a riding hiatus (I mean, its been like, days) and scootered into work this morning. Living in the Southeast, figuring out how to stay cool while riding takes precedence over how to stay warm for me. But every year around this time, for the past 20 years exactly, I start thinking about getting some heated gloves as fall slips into the winter riding season. And for 20 years, I've not purchased a set yet. In the past, the excuses were money, complexity of hooking them up, money, general bulkiness, and money. But both the Concours, and now the FJR, have hookups that allow plug-and-play of electrical equipment, including heated apparel. So I guess its just the money holding me back now.

As it is, this morning was like every other cold start to a ride over the past 20 years - with me layering up and feeling a bit like the man on the bike in the above image. Being born and raised in the great white north, my tolerance for cold is a bit better than most, so my layers this morning just consisted of my normal riding jacket, pants, and boots, supplemented by the jacket's windproof liner. To that I added a quilted insulated liner scavenged from my old Motoport jacket, winter gloves, and a neck gaiter that was hand-knitted for me by a friend while she rode pillion with her husband as we all rode down to Daytona, just about 20 years ago.
All of that was more than sufficient for the mere 20 mile commute, and I even took the long way this morning. For the same reasons I like riding in the rain sometimes, riding in the cool air gives me a concrete sense of where "I" end, and the universe begins, as the cold air or rain (or both!) press up against me and define my place in the physical world; kinda like a human-shaped cookie cutter.

The roads were dry and clear of leaves, traffic was light on the secondary I added to the route (old NC10), and the FJR's engine was liking the cool dense air as I accelerated quicker out of each turn. It was only thirty minutes or so of riding, but it was the best thirty minutes of riding I've done in awhile.
I arrived at work pumped, refreshed, and grinning, and as I doffed some of my gear to stow in the cases, it was nice to feel the heat coming off the bike in the still air, while the engine ticked and pinged as it cooled down. Glad I geared up, glad I took the bike today, glad 36 degrees isn't too cold, and thankful the ride was quick-paced, fun, and safe.
But as soon as my hands warm up around my coffee mug, I may have to google some heated gloves.

1 comment:

  1. That looks like the Michelin mummy. First it is heated gloves then the next thing you know you will be looking like Ralphies little brother in the Christmas Story. I can't put my arms down.