Archive for December, 2013

An Early, But Not Premature, Mileage Check For 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013
V-Strom on a dirt road

The riding champion for 2013.

OK, this is embarrassing. While it’s not yet January 1, I’ve gone ahead and checked my riding mileage for 2013. I’m pretty confident I won’t be getting out on any bike in the next day. And the numbers are sad.

Last year, 2012, I rode my Concours alone almost 10,000 miles. In 2013 I only hit a total on all three bikes of 3,287. Yeah, I’m embarrassed.

For the Honda it was a piddling 327 miles. At least in 2012 I rode that bike 504 miles–not a lot, but a good bit more than 327. Of course, having a third bike means less mileage on the other two, for the most part.

The Concours really shows the drop. Hitting 9,437 in 2012, this dropped to only 666 miles in 2013. When I first figured that total I thought I must have read the odometer wrong and went out for another look, because I knew we rode further than that on the OFMC trip alone. But then I remembered I took the Suzuki on that trip. So yes, a scant 666 miles on the Connie. Ouch.

The champion for the year was the new bike, pretty much because of the OFMC trip. I rode the V-Strom 2,294 miles in 2013. And altogether, that comes to just 3,287 miles on the three bikes.

In comparison, I have so far this year–and the year isn’t quite up yet–put 10,077 on my car. That compares to just 5,061 in 2012 and 3,556 the year before. In those years I was putting double the miles on the Concours that I did on my car. Not this year. That’s what having a full-time job will do.

It would not be an impolite question to ask why, if I only rode that much, I think it necessary to have three motorcycles. I could–and will–offer the response of, “wait till next year.” I swear all those numbers will be higher next year. But when it comes to the Honda I’m feeling pretty conflicted. That is my first bike. Unlike nearly everyone else, I still own my very first bike. I’ve had it for a long, long time. And I love that bike. Nevertheless, if I didn’t have it I wouldn’t go out and buy it. I would feel the other two are plenty for all occasions. Plus, ever since I started riding the Suzuki, whenever I get on the Honda it feels old and slow. And so for the first time I’ve started at least thinking about letting it go.

It’s certainly not a money consideration. I’d be doing well to get $600 for the Honda, while insurance and registration only cost me about $150 total per year. Pretty small numbers on both sides of the calculation.

No, it’s just sentiment. So here’s what I’m telling myself: I won’t have any trouble justifying keeping all these bikes if I get out and ride each of them a lot each year. So what I have got to do is get out and ride each of them a lot. It’s a dirty job, and only I can do it. I accept this job. Now I just have to live up to my commitment.

Biker Quote for Today

Motorcyclist prayer: Oh lord if I die, please don’t let my wife sell my bikes for what I told her they cost.

Riding Plans for 2014

Thursday, December 26th, 2013
Going Places On Motorcycles

Gonna ride more in 2014, I swear!

It’s going to be a few more days before I can post my riding mileage for 2013 but there’s no question the numbers are going to be lower than the last few years. Having a full-time job will do that to you. But I’m hoping to start pushing those numbers back up in 2014.

For starters, I’m looking to cut my hours back starting early next year, from 40 a week to 32. I’ve been hoping and suggesting to my wife, Judy, that she cut her hours and she has finally said she’s giving it serious consideration. Once she does I’ll definitely do the same. More days away from work will equate to more time on the bike. It’s the law!

And with more days off work I’ll be able to get out and up in the hills more with the V-Strom. I bought that bike for a reason–to ride the almost endless miles of unpaved road in Colorado–and I can hardly even say I’ve scratched the surface. More like run my fingernail across the surface testing to see how much pressure would be needed to actually cause a scratch.

Of course we’ll be doing the annual OFMC trip. That’s always guaranteed. Come on July.

I’m going to be pushing myself to ride to work more often. There are two routes I can take, a southern and a northern route, and I don’t like doing the northern route on a bike because it involves dealing with heavy commuter traffic on I-25. I’ve done that numerous times but that’s just a set-up for lane changers who don’t do a head check, and then pull into the lane I’m in.

No, I prefer the southern route, but the whole of this past late summer and fall that stretch was under major reconstruction, and the one time I did ride that route during that time it took me an extra 45 minutes due to that construction. Well, the construction is finished now and that’s the route I took when I rode to work last Wednesday. My new year’s resolution is to ride that route a whole lot more in 2014.

The key, though, is going to be having that extra time off. Of course my earnings will take a 20 percent dip when I cut my hours 20 percent, but that will give me more time to focus on freelancing again. Of course more freelancing by definition means more riding. I’ve been making a list of rides I want to do and try to sell pieces to Rider or whoever else would be interested. I saw recently that Suzuki has just created its own Suzuki owners magazine and I just happen to have recently purchased a Suzuki, so there may be potential there. Of course I would hope to continue selling to Kawasaki for their publication. Good that I own a Kawasaki.

Rider is the big one, of course. I’ll have another article coming out there in the next issue (I believe). That means it’s past time to be pitching Mark Tuttle on the next piece. And once he accepts the proposal I’ll just have no choice but to go do the ride. Once again, it’s the law.

So I’m definitely looking forward to 2014. This full-time job business is cramping my style.
Biker Quote for Today
Bikes are better than women because you don’t have to convince your motorcycle that you’re a motorcyclist and that you think that motorcycles are equals.

More Riding Than I’ll Ever Do

Monday, December 23rd, 2013
Motorcycles On The Highway

All I want to do is cruise easily along a road like this.

When it’s winter, there’s snow and ice on the street, and riding is just not an option, some people turn to surfing. The Web, that is. Hitting the motorcycle forums and other sites. There actually is a lot of interesting stuff out there.

So here’s another thread I’ve followed lately. The question on this one was, “What is the furthest you have ever ridden without stopping to sleep?” Now, the mileage part of the answers is really the least interesting aspect. In most cases it’s a heck of a lot of miles, more than I’ll ever do in one day, especially without sleeping. That’s just a given. What is interesting is the hind sight, the wisdom, the random remarks thrown in. Here’s a sampling.

Daren started it off asking the question. He said he had done his first Iron Butt Association (IBA) event, a charity ride. He said it was “only the ‘Saddle Sore’ 1000+ miles in 24 hours.” Right. Only. I know you guys, Alan and Dan, and others, will use that “only” to describe that kind of ride. Not me. The farthest I’ve ever gone in a day is about 550 miles. That was enough. But let’s continue.

Then Jim had this to say.

“I rode a 1969 BMW R69S around the world. In Mongolia I rode up to 18 hours in a day looking for a place to sleep. But because of the lack of roads that only worked out to about 250 miles.”

Brian: “In 2004, to qualify for a Bunn Burner Gold certificate, I rode my 1999 BMW R1100RT approximately 1,590 miles in a little less than 23 hours. . . . In addition to good weather, warm temperatures and no traffic or mechanical problems, my Russell All Day Saddle made comfortable riding possible.”

Here’s Nic: “My journey did not start out as an Iron Butt ride, as I only wanted to break in my new Yamaha R6 (after the first service) – back in 2005. I went for a quick ride for breakfast, then I was thinking of a place to go for lunch – then I just kept riding and eating and fueling. . . . The total miles traveled, just stopping for food and gas, was nearly 1,300 – though only around 1,090 of them were in a 24 hour period. Due to varying weather conditions, the total trip took nearly 30 hours.”

A different Brian: “From Tacoma, WA to San Diego, CA in just over 19 hrs on a rigid framed 1957 Harley-Davidson Panhead. Stopping only for fuel and lavatory breaks. That was in 1980, I couldn’t do it today if I wanted to.”

Jim had to give him an elbow: “C’mon Brian, you could…you just don’t want to ;-) ”

Mike: “I promised myself I won’t push over 400 per day …anymore. I used to do 400-500 frequently and have done a few 800+ but that’s not really fun and when you string 5-7 days @ over 400 Miles each it becomes a chore.”

Axe: “straight from Ft. Collins, CO to San Antonio, TX in under 17 hrs. missed animal carcasses by a foot at times in the night. most headlights are just not long range enough for reaction time at any speed over 55, especially when having to switch to low beams for oncoming traffic. this was on a bmw s1000rr. biggest mods that helped was the throttle lock (amazed how bad my thumb hurt on the ride out), lowered pegs for less knee bend, and make sure your helmet doesn’t have pain points like the ear did on mine.”

David: “I’ve done several Saddle Sore 1000-mile rides on 3 different bikes (Suzuki GS 500E, Concours 10, KLR 650) and finally did a Burn Burner Gold 1500-mile ride on my third try on the Concours. That 2006 trip was from Toronto, Canada to Denver, CO in just over 23 hours. Got there, had paperwork signed, turned east and went to Lincoln, NE, another 500 miles or so. Total was 2122 miles in 33 hours, 45 minutes, though I had a 30-minute nap east of Denver. I will NOT do anything like that again. Far too dangerous. I had to make up for lost time at the US-CAN border and a traffic jam near Chicago, and I found myself riding quite spiritedly (i.e., fast) in the middle of the night. Thankfully I had reasonably clear skies, a good moon and cooperative wildlife.”

Ty: “My longest ride was from the green flag to the checkered flag of a six hour endurance race. Lots of laps at speed. The mountain vistas were of course sensational, the quiet river flowed gently along, and the hawks soaring overhead soothed my anxious heart, but really, I didnt get to enjoy much of them until the checkers were thrown!”

Steve: “~1100 miles in ~15 hours on an FLHR, Denver outskirts to Indianapolis, being chased by the first blizzard of the season rolling over the Rockies, which reinvented itself as a line of wicked tornadoes when the front hit the flatlands.”

Finally, Stu: “In 2001, my partner and I did 1000 miles in 18 hours on Harley Davidson Screamin Eagle Road Glides. At the time we were Harley Davidson dealers and wanted to prove it could be done, and got Iron Butt certificates for it. However, if I were to do it again, it would be on a BMW, probably an RT.”

Not me. Call me a wussy or anything else you want. I want my riding to be fun, and that kind of mileage is not in my definition of fun. But hey, you guys who get into, go for it. I love hearing your stories.

Biker Quote for Today

“As long as there’s a horizon and I can see it, then I want to know what’s there, mentally, physically and visually” – rtwpaul

Balmy December Riding

Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Gerbing heated gloves

I love my heated gloves.

Beautiful day on Wednesday and I rode to work. Yahoo!

It had been 17 days since I’d been on a bike, most of that bitter cold and still snow and ice on our street even once the temperatures turned up. But Wednesday was great.

Starting out in the morning it was brisk, of course, so I wore the electric vest and electric gloves. Almost felt like I didn’t need the vest but it pushed me from on the verge of chilly to very comfy.

As for the gloves, I got to do a real test there because for whatever reason, I couldn’t get one of them to turn on. They’re warm gloves in their own right, so my left hand never got cold, except that by the time I got to work the very tips of my fingers were definitely feeling it.

Of course there were a slew of bikes in the parking lot today. There are a bunch of riders at the National Park Service who are serious bikers, riding just about any time they can. Most of them ride BMWs, so I assume they have electric seats, electric grips, and all that. They’re pretty much all 1200 GS’s and RS’s. There was one guy there today on a Honda, I noticed.

Coming home I didn’t use the vest at all but I did turn the gloves on. And yes, that’s plural. The one that wouldn’t come on in the morning did come on in the evening. Except I got about three blocks and it shut off again. I fiddled with it and got it on again and it stayed on the rest of the ride. So both hands had heat and I couldn’t tell if I really needed them or not.

Of course, I was on the Concours. That’s my warmest bike. It has a large fairing and the engine pumps out a ton of heat. That heat is not particularly welcome in the summer but in the winter it’s wonderful. I would have needed the heated gear a lot more on either the Honda or the Suzuki.

And I was trying out some new ear plugs, too. These things are some kind of high-tech product that are supposed to do a really good job of muffling loud noise while allowing you to hear clearly to talk or to be aware of traffic. I can’t really say for sure yet how good I think they are, but once I’ve used them a bit more I’ll make a report.

Now the weather is turning colder again. Hope I get to ride some more this month yet. As long as the road stays clear that should happen. But there’s possible snow in the near-term forecast. Keep your fingers crossed.

Biker Quote for Today

My solution for winter riding is to buy an old bike (winter hack) keeping your pride ‘n’ joy all warm and tucked away until the sun or warmer weather returns.

RawHyde Adventures Opens Second Training Facility Here

Monday, December 16th, 2013
motorcycle riding in the dirt

The dirt is calling me.

My introduction to RawHyde Adventures was excitement followed by disappointment. Back a few years ago when being the National Motorcycle Examiner was a viable gig I was contacted by someone asking if I’d be interested in participating in a media event at their then only facility out in California. This was to be–I don’t remember–a four or five day session where they would put us up and feed us and give us several days of off-road training. All I would have to do would be get myself there and get home. Of course I said yes instantly.

It didn’t pan out. This was a short-notice event and while I was totally flexible and able to leap in an instant, apparently the folks working for the more traditional magazines and such could not drop everything and go. It got canceled. I was bummed.

Well, just Sunday I discovered that as of June RawHyde has opened a Colorado facility. I can’t tell from their website just where exactly they are; all it says is “Located high in the Rocky Mountains on the Continental Divide Trail, in the heart of the best Adventure Riding in America.” So it’s somewhere up there in the hills.

If you’re looking to get some training for adventure riding–this is not just riding dirt, it’s more ambitious–RawHyde seems to have a pretty good program. The classes or whatever they call them are:

  • Intro to Adventure Training Camp
  • The Next Step Training Camp
  • Rocky Mountain Adventure Ride
  • High Rockies Adventure Ride
  • The Continental Divide Ride

And they say coming soon, the Triple Nickel Test Ride Program. Not sure what that is.

It looks good. The intro unit is described as, “For experienced street riders wanting to get comfortable in the dirt.” Here’s what they say it will include:

  • An introduction to dirt riding techniques and the top mistakes people make
  • Body position for effective off-road riding
  • Throttle, brake and clutch techniques
  • Weight-shift techniques for steering
  • Balance techniques
  • Turning technique using counterbalancing
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • How to control front and rear wheel skids
  • Hard Acceleration technique on dirt and gravel
  • Hill Climbing
  • Descending steep hills in a controlled manner
  • How to ride in Sand and Gravel
  • How to recover from a stall on a steep hill
  • How to turn around, fully loaded on a steep hill

That sounds like that would about do it. Where do I sign up? And how much does it cost?

Oh yeah, cost. Get out your wallet, cause it ain’t cheap. If you ride your own bike (they do have rentals) the sign-up is $1,395. Ouch. Some people obviously have more money than I do. Maybe you.

What you get for that money is a two and one-half day program, food and beverages, three nights lodging, and a T-shirt. And not just any food. “All meals prepared by Cordon Bleu trained Chefs.”

So, wow. Wow, I’d really like to do this. Wow, I really don’t have that kind of money. Hey RawHyde, if you want to do a media event to help publicize the fact that you’ve got this new operation running, give me a call. I’ll say yes in a heartbeat once again. I’ll even bring my own bike.

Biker Quote for Today

That hill doesn’t look too hard…..you go first!

Weird Stuff on the Road Once Again

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
chickens cross the road

Chickens must have reasons why they cross roads, we just don't want them doing so in front of us on our bikes.

So with the snow and cold weather just about one of the weirdest things you might have seen on the road lately was a motorcycle. No, I haven’t seen any in at least a week, have you? But the weather is warming up, our road is starting to show through the ice, and it looks like there will be riding to do this weekend.

Meanwhile, it’s time for another edition of what’s the weirdest stuff you’ve encountered on the road, courtesy of a thread from the Adventure Riders forum. Let’s not waste time.

  • Here’s a new one, from today’s ride. I was motoring along home on a two lane highway and see what appears to be a short tree branch in my lane up ahead. I change lane position enough to miss it, and look down as I pass it. WTF? It’s a disembodied deer foreleg, perfectly intact and not missing any hair, from the hoof up to the knee. No deer carcass anywhere in sight, no grease spot or blood patch anywhere.
  • The rider in front of me by about 15 feet did not put his hard box on right. That BMW pannier fell off right in front of me and I swerved so fast, I almost high sided. We were going about 70 miles an hour. Make sure they are snapped in place, folks.
  • Years ago, riding down a back alley, only going about 15 mph, a little robin flew into my right coat pocket. I stopped and tried to find him, but couldn’t see a thing. Next thing I knew, the little guy popped out and flew off. It was the strangest thing.
  • Hit a yellow jacket that landed just below my helmet. It didn’t die and quickly climbed into my helmet and proceeded to sting me. NOT fun.
  • A house. First time on a bike (1973) on a Honda 50. Throttle stuck and I slammed right into my folks’ house. Rear tire dug up Mom’s flowers. They weren’t home and I wasn’t allowed to ever ride motorcycles. They never found out.
  • I did deliberately run over a Barbie Doll that was lying in the street in my neighborhood, the head actually popped off and rolled under a parked car, leaving the headless doll body alone in the street for lookers by to ponder…”WHY?” – it was almost performance art…..
  • I hit a police car with an angry policman in it. He took my bike and me to jail. Long time ago.
  • I hit a large pine cone that was rolling across a bend in the road on a windy day. As it was moving I kind of target fixated on it, resulting in front wheel going over it whilst I was slightly leant over in the bend – very interesting “rodeo” moment not exactly sure how I stayed on the bike – especially as I had not been riding long at the time.
  • Rode the the rotting carcass of a hog this week on the way to work. Somehow, by no fault of my own, none of the guts got on me. Thank goodness, that thing stunk!
  • I intercepted a pinecone’s fall to earth with my face @ about 45mph.

_______________________

OK, enough for now. More to follow, sooner or later.

Biker Quote for Today

In your helmet, no one can hear you scream.

Viking Cycle Warrior Jacket Is An Amazing Value

Monday, December 9th, 2013
Viking Cycle Warrior motorcycle jacket

I pose in my Viking Cycle Warrior motorcycle jacket.

What do you call it when you get something that you feel would be a good value at twice the price you actually pay for it? I’d call that a heck of a deal.

That’s what I would call this VikingCycle Warrior leather motorcycle jacket I’ve been wearing lately. Checking out the website, this thing is for sale–that’s for sale, not on sale–for just $74.99. I don’t know how they do it.

Knowing that this was a low-priced jacket I was prepared for it to be something less than wonderful. When I pulled it out of the packing box I was immediately surprised with how soft and supple the leather is. “Made of Premium Top Grade Leather” the website says. “Very nice,” I say.

Warrior motorcycle jacket collar

   The collar snaps.

As for features, let’s start at the top and work down. There is no outer collar, as you can see from the photo. It zips all the up and then snaps at the neck. That’s a plus for me in that when I wear my favorite helmet these days it has a tendency to snag the strap on the collar of my old leather jacket as I’m turning my head to see what’s behind me. That doesn’t happen with this jacket.

Up in the chest area in front there are two zip-up vents that can be opened to permit air flow when it’s hot. Corresponding vents are positioned down low in back.

Reinforcement on the elbow, and lacing to snug it up around your waist.

Reinforcement on the elbow, and lacing to snug it up around your waist.

The shoulders have reinforcing, as do the elbows, though neither has armor in them. As you would expect, there are zip-up pockets on both sides in front. All the zippers have good-sized leather tabs that help you get an easy hold of them.

There’s no belt but there are leather thongs to snug down and tighten up the waist in back. And like any good motorcycle jacket, there is a bit of a tail in back that comes down lower than in front, and this one has padding built into it.

Warrior Jacket liner and inner pocket

The inner liner zips out and there are two pockets with snaps.

On the inside, you’ve got a quilted, zip-out liner. The liner is sleeveless–a vest–and besides the zipper has only one button on either side to hold it in place. Having sleeves would obviously make it warmer but not having sleeves makes it a lot less hassle to get it in or out. Under the liner there is mesh, which is also what you find on the inside of the four vents.

There are inside pockets with snaps on both sides. So four pockets altogether. You can never have too many pockets.

So those are the particulars; what can I tell you about it based on my experience?

Warrior jacket rear view

Vents in the back, and an extra long tail at the bottom--like any good motorcycle jacket.

First off, I would have to agree with a comment on the website where the guy said, “Don’t size up! It’ll fit true to size.” I’m kind of on the cusp between the small and medium and I figured that if I went with the small there might not be room inside to layer up for winter riding. The trade-off that came with going with the medium is that the sleeves are little longer than I would like, with the elbow pads almost not covering my elbows. I’m thinking it might make sense to think of this as a three-season jacket and just not wear it in the winter. That way I could easily go with a small and it would probably be a bit of a better fit. Not that the medium is a terrible fit, but that’s one weakness of ordering stuff online–you can’t try it on before buying. And then returning and exchanging is enough of a hassle that if it fits well enough you’re disinclined to try for the perfect fit, never knowing whether the next size smaller might be too small. Bottom line is, as the guy said, don’t size up.

Riding with the jacket I found it comfortable and warm. I went out on days when I figured I would need my electric vest but with the liner in the jacket I ended up never needing the electrics. Not that I wouldn’t need the electrics on even colder days, but the jacket did a better job on its own than I expected. It was snug around my neck and waist (which is to say, it did not permit any breeze) and my gloves kept any breeze from coming up the sleeves. And because I did get the medium, there was ample room inside for numerous winter layers.

Don’t know what else there is to say. I really like this jacket; I can’t believe the price. Obviously I can’t say anything at this point about durability. If I ever go down while I’m wearing I’ll definitely tell you how it holds up and how it does protecting me. But that’s a story I hope never to tell. Right now I give it a big thumbs-up.

Here’s a video that will give you a look at the jacket.

Biker Quote for Today

Lead me not into temptation ………… just follow me, I know a short-cut.

Most Useful Motorcycle Gear: A Discussion

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Gerbing electric gloves

I do l like my electric gloves, especially in this kind of weather.

Some guy on a forum I belong to asked the question, “What’s the most useful motorcycle gadget you have (or would like)?” I thought you might be interested in some of the replies.

Doug: TOP BOX I can’t figure out why all bikers don’t have them. OK I am talking about North Americans I learner how great they are in Europe.

Jim: Luggage net, or two. Despite the undeniable utility of a top box, I would never fit one to my bike simply because I think they look horrible. Sad but but true for me. I also appreciate that’s maybe rich coming from a Beemer R series (roadster) owner ;-) But beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

Dane: I carry around two jumper leads, (1 long and 1 short) with alligator clips on them. Roll of electrical tape, two spark plugs and a leather man. I can fix most anything on the side of the road.

Campeau: skullyhelmets.com/heads-up-display-helmet. I saw this on you tube, has GPS and rear view display built into the helmet.

Dejvis: Steering damper.

Philip: I would have liked to have seen a motorcycle aftermarket products company produce an all-in-one handlebar mounted “info-tainment” system that included GPS, Satellite Radio capability, AM-FM Weather Band, music file storage, and cell phone using inside the helmet headphones that could be directly connected or via Bluetooth. This idea, however, is now being replaced by iPhones and similar all-in-one cell phones.

Christiaan: The best thing I ever got was a heated vest.

Ian: I like the odometer. It tells you when you need fuel and it gives you something to do as you tour down the highway.

Carl: Sometimes simple is spectacular. I have this hand crank / wind-up flashlight included in my tool pouch that has relentlessly brought light into very dark situations . . . no batteries needed . . .

AMC: Have to admit after 43 years of riding, the most important item after a long day on the road is a good backseater to massage the kinks outs.

Randall: Contigo coffee cup full of hot, black java in the holder on the handlebars. Keeps coffee hot for an hour or more in cool weather. Wife purchased for me at Costco. Smiling and riding.

Charlie: Sena intercom system. Being able to talk to my passenger makes the ride so much more enjoyable.

Gary: I haven’t tried it….but I understand that those leather fringe tassel doo-dads flapping off the clutch & brake levers are very useful.

Patricia: Without a doubt my trans pass, now I can fly through the tolls, :)

Maja: ROTOBOX carbon fiber wheels for sure!! ;)

Preston: Heated grips!! Especially this season.

Mark: Magnetic tank bag, handy thing to have.
__________________________

So there’s what a few people like. It wasn’t my plan but as I was putting this together it occurred to me that this could help with your Christmas list, or whatever other gift-giving you do. Or you could point someone looking for a gift for you to this post.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Only a biker knows . . .: Motorcycle wit and wisdom, #29

Biker Quote for Today

Riding the Tail of the Gator — 11 Curves in 318 miles (Florida)

December Rides In The Books

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Summer Ride Dreaming

Oh yeah, summer! That's when you can go on long trips on your motorcycle. That sure seems far off right about now.

I certainly hope these are not the only December rides I get in, but I did ride all three bikes Sunday. I make it a point to ride each bike at least once every calendar month and December 2013 is taken care of.

Of course, sticking strictly to that mandate, I could now go 60 full days without riding and as long as I get out on January 31 I’m good. Please, please don’t let that happen. But they’re predicting snow for later this week, with the Saturday high climbing (from Thursday and Friday) to 20 degrees. And perhaps more pertinently, it’s supposed to snow. So no, I won’t be getting out on any bike next weekend.

And then you never know what’s going to happen after that.

For years there has been at least one ride that I would try my best to make late in December, and that’s the ABATE Last Brass Monkey Run. This year, though, I guess that’s out of the question. Initially this event was held every year on December 31. Then, at some point, they decided to switch it to the last weekend in December, presumably because a lot of people can’t get away to do a ride on a weekday.

But now they’ve gone back to the old way, i.e., it’s once again on December 31, regardless of the day of the week. Well, I’m sorry, but I have a job and I’m going to work that day. It’s a Tuesday. I’m curious about the discussion that led up to this decision. Yeah, the purist in me likes the idea of doing a ride the last day of the year, but the realist in me says there are a ton of people who would like to go but won’t be able to.

Then next year the 31st is on Wednesday, and in 2015 it is on Thursday. Finally in 2016 the 31st comes on a Saturday.

So no, I won’t be planning on another December ride on December 31. But there are three other weekends after this one upcoming. All I ask is clear streets; I can take the cold. Come on Mother Nature.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Only a biker knows . . .: Motorcycle wit and wisdom, #29

Biker Quote for Today

It’s important to own a great adventure bike, and leave it in the garage because there’s no time to adventure.