long ride into winter

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by guitstik, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. guitstik

    guitstik Been here awhile

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    The winter solstice is fast approaching and with it the official start of winter. That date is December 21st and at that point the sun is at it's most southern track in the Northern Hemisphere. For you non geeks out there the declination of the Sun on the winter solstice is known as the tropic of capricorn (-23° 27'). At this time of year (except for those bastards in Florida and California) most riders are thinking only of winterizing their rides and catching up on the neglected maintenance that was put off during the summer "riding" months. This thread is dedicated to those of us that are either fool hardy or dedicated enough to ride into that long goodnight that we call winter. I would like to read your stories and even see pictures or videos that you have or will take during this time of year.

    To start off, I don't have any pictures yet but I do have one or two anecdotes. I am constantly amused at the attitude that most people have when they see me riding or hear that I am still riding in 20F weather. Take for instance this morning as I was getting all of my riding gear on for my 35 mile trek home after work. The temperature here has dipped down into the balmy relm of 25*F with a wind chill of 19*F. Frost has started gathering on the vehicles in the parking lot and people are scraping ice from windshields. As I stand next to my bike with it idling to warm it up and me getting bundled into my gear, folks will still ask me if I am planning on riding in this freezing weather. They either tell me that I am crazy or hard core, I guess it is all in how you look at it. I just see it as a matter of fact that I love to ride and this time of year is just that much better because I like the feel of winters icy caress on my face through the gap in my visor that keeps it from fogging up.

    On a side note, I am prepared for just about anything that winter could possibly throw at me to the extent of my choice of tires and having studs ready for any ice accumulation. One thing that I had not considered and was made apparent to me this morning is that I do not think that those studs will react very well to those large steel plates that road crews put down to cover a hole. I say this because I ran across one this morning that they had apparently just been installed the previous day because it was not there when I came into work.

    Lets hear your stories and or any preparations that you have made or will make for continuing to ride into winter.
    #1
  2. guitstik

    guitstik Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    338
    Location:
    Eads, TN
    The winter solstice is fast approaching and with it the official start of winter. That date is December 21st and at that point the sun is at it's most southern track in the Northern Hemisphere. For you non geeks out there the declination of the Sun on the winter solstice is known as the tropic of capricorn (-23° 27'). At this time of year (except for those bastards in Florida and California) most riders are thinking only of winterizing their rides and catching up on the neglected maintenance that was put off during the summer "riding" months. This thread is dedicated to those of us that are either fool hardy or dedicated enough to ride into that long goodnight that we call winter. I would like to read your stories and even see pictures or videos that you have or will take during this time of year.

    To start off, I don't have any pictures yet but I do have one or two anecdotes. I am constantly amused at the attitude that most people have when they see me riding or hear that I am still riding in 20*F weather. Take for instance this morning as I was getting all of my riding gear on for my 35 mile trek home after work. The temperature here has dipped down into the balmy relm of 25*F with a wind chill of 19*F. Frost has started gathering on the vehicles in the parking lot and people are scraping ice from windshields. As I stand next to my bike with it idling to warm it up and me getting bundled into my gear, folks will still ask me if I am planning on riding in this freezing weather. They either tell me that I am crazy or hard core, I guess it is all in how you look at it. I just see it as a matter of fact that I love to ride and this time of year is just that much better because I like the feel of winters icy caress on my face through the gap in my visor that keeps it from fogging up.

    On a side note, I am prepared for just about anything that winter could possibly throw at me to the extent of my choice of tires and having studs ready for any ice accumulation. One thing that I had not considered and was made apparent to me this morning is that I do not think that those studs will react very well to those large steel plates that road crews put down to cover a hole. I say this because I ran across one this morning that they had apparently just been installed the previous day because it was not there when I came into work.

    Lets hear your stories and or any preparations that you have made or will make for continuing to ride into winter.
    #2
  3. guitstik

    guitstik Been here awhile

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    This may be the wrong place for this thread but I figure that I ride an R1100GS that is where my interest lies. I did not consider that others who ride another make of bike might just be interested enough in this topic to respond. So moderators, move it at your pleasure.
    #3
  4. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

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    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Like the thread idea. I am in the ride year round climate.
    I live in Bluffton, SC right along the coast, just a bit North of Savannah, and ride two or three times a week 150-250 miles each ride just putzing around the local area. Don't have to wrap up too seriously. A couple of shirts beneath the Aero with something tucked under the chin to keep the breeze off my neck & chin. The heated grips take care of the hands. Still nice enough out that I saw a rattlesnake and two black snakes last week crossing the roads in the afternoon sun.
    #4
  5. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Location:
    The woods and mountains of Alabama
    Early 60s, I rode my Triumph TR6 from the Chicago suburbs to school at Tempe, AZ (ASU).

    When I would reach the AZ/NM bodrer, I would usually run into snow in the White Mountains (Hwy 60) after gassing up in Quemado, NM and being chased by the 3 legged dog there.

    Several falls on the snowy/icy roads would ensue before reaching Springerville, AZ, my destination.

    Often, the SRC pass was closed to traffic due to snow. After a day or two in Springerville, the pass would reopen and I would make my way down into the Valley of the Sun, the Phoenix area.

    I shod the Triumph with stock tires and made few preparations for snow or cold. It was "how we rolled" back in those days.

    I have never owned heated gear. If I am riding in severe cold, I may stop at a bowling alley (they are usually nice and warm) or a truck stop to thaw.
    #5
  6. PharaohScoots

    PharaohScoots Twist-N-GO

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
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    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Ah I miss the Volunteer state.

    Nice thread idea, so I will chime in. Regarding people whom give you a bemused look, or comment. Today it was -3 F in Indianapolis West, I pulled up to a stop light and happened to look over at the vehicle to my right. An attractive young woman with a look of ( I have to rescue that puppy ) on her face was looking at me. Now there wasn't a whole lot to see, although my pearl white Burgman is pretty sharp, but any whooo.

    I had on my full face helmet, scarf, Coretech jacket, and Icon pants I was covered head to toe. Still I gave her a friendly wave and went on my way as the light changed.

    I enjoy the excitement of riding and while I enjoy the warm weather best, there is an art to arriving at your destination in sub zero temps, and be reasonably comfortable.

    The great wind protection of my Burgman, opens up so many riding opportunities. My hands are the only issue and this year I have found a good solution. I use some hot hands and toe warmers inside my gloves. They keep my hands warm. The toe warmers come with adhesive and today I stuck them to some latex gloves, and then pulled on my DryStars over them. Worked like a charm, great wind barrier.

    Sorry no pictures, camera would have froze, :rofl. Funny thing, I looked down at my temperature on the Burgman dash, it read 14 F shortly after leaving the garage. By the time I made it to town, it had changed to "Lo", I was half expecting it to change again to LOL.

    Cheers and be safe,
    #6
  7. guitstik

    guitstik Been here awhile

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    I apologize for the crazy way this thread has begun it's life with multiple split personality disorder but it was early in the morning after a long night at work and a couple of shots of tequila in me to help with sleeping. I don't do well with medication, it usually puts me in a coma and that's just the over the counter stuff.

    I grew up in the PNW, Seattle area riding motorcycles all over the place in all types of weather. Back in the day my only foul weather gear was a cheap rubber rain suit over multiple layers of clothing and plastic bread bags inside of old army boots. I guess I am spoiled now with all the heated gear I have.
    #7
  8. USAIR

    USAIR picking and riding

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    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    I ride all year long and get some strange looks from some people.
    But most of the time I get a thumbs up and I take that as a complement.

    I do usually take the smaller of the my two bikes if weather is real bad.
    But if no ice and just cold I take the Wee.

    My Harley buddies you couldn't find them out riding with a search warrant.
    I guess their doo rags get too cold. :asta

    Fred
    #8
  9. Motomochila

    Motomochila Mad Scientist

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    Location:
    N 34 22.573' W 118 34.328'
    California here. And yep, we ride all year, and we know you're all jealous. But we do also like the occasional foray into the cold. It reminds us all who live here why we stay here. Most wouldn't know it but the desert gets quite cold in the winter, the mountains have too much snow so the desert is our ride of choice. The trip through Death Valley and over into Nevada gets into the teens and usually down into single digits in January every winter. My buddies and I make sure we do this at least once per year. It helps balance the 110 we ride in during the summer.

    Move farther north in the land of fairies and governor moonbeam and it gets real cold. Teens to mid 20's often. There are far more riders on the roads in No-Cal during the winter than I've ever seen east of the Mississippi. I guess it's just a cultural thing to pack your bike away for the winter. Out here, we just have a closer relationship with our bikes.
    #9
  10. ZFenderguy

    ZFenderguy quarter liter beater

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    Location:
    Tennessee
    I usually prefer the time of year when the temps get just cold enough to knock some of the traffic down in some of my favorite ride areas here in Middle TN. Since moving up here (from FL), I noticed the climate here lends itself to 2 kinds of riders. Ones who pack it in as soon as the temps dip below 50 the first time, and ones who ride in damn near anything. I'm trying not to be like the former. I guess the only thing I have to contribute is that when it gets genuinely cold by TN standards, I tend to spend more of my time off road at trail riding areas and less on road, where I just get blown around on my KLX by freezing gusts of wind. I'll tend to trailer to trails further away this time of year, whereas usually I don't like to trailer to a riding spot. That is why I bought a dual sport after all.

    First post BTW. Been lurking on here forever, but I usually stay pretty quiet. i like the thread topic though.
    #10
  11. guitstik

    guitstik Been here awhile

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    ZFenderguy, welcome and thank you for making this your first post:clap
    I forgot to mention that I saw several riders last night in the Hot Springs AR. area last night. I couldn't tell what types of rides they had but I felt a strange kinship with them even tho I wasn't on a bike at the time.
    #11
  12. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

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    #12
  13. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

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    According to Conde Mast, I live in the USA's #1 city. Perhaps year-round motorcycling influenced their selection.:D
    #13
  14. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    Centennial,Co./ Grand Lake,Co
    We ride all year around. I don't ride when the streets get slick with Ice, but studded tires can fix that.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. scott2h2

    scott2h2 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    East Texas
    We want to ride year round and are learning as it gets colder that we need to make some cold weather riding gear investments. We went out this last weekend with the temps in the 40s and had a great time, but we were cold. So, we are going to do some shopping trips after Christmas for cold weather riding gear. I know my KLR 650 will do it, just need to get us ready...
    #15
  16. St.Stan

    St.Stan Been here awhile

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    When you get into northeast California, around Modoc County, it gets really fucking cold in the winter. Somebody from the northeastern states would be impressed with how cold it gets in Susanville in the winter. Don't forget, the lowest winter temp in the lower 48 is often in Truckee, right up at the top of Hwy 80. The overnight lows there are often colder than North Dakota.

    I'll avoid upper 80 and 50 in the early part of the winter but not for the cold, it's the risk of hitting black ice that concerns me.
    #16
  17. guitstik

    guitstik Been here awhile

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    Eads, TN
    I have a pair of snowmobile pants that I wear over my jeans. Cycle gear has some good prices on "Freeze out" under garments as well as Sedici electric liners. I also have their "Bilt" brand foul weather jacket with chin/neck guard. With pants, liners, heated gloves, freeze out long johns, balaclava and jacket I have been able to ride comfortably in 20*F weather bellow 20*F with wind chill. I still need to get a pair of electric pants liners and heated in soles.
    #17
  18. patmo

    patmo Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
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    1,046
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    I do have a Gerbings electric jacket and wear it often in the winter. Sometimes I even turn it on, but not normally. Wearing it under an Olympia phantom suit, with a long sleeve shirt works well down to freezing temps. Below that, I will turn it on or just not ride.

    My riding does change during winter as well. I will tend to ride more of the little back roads and stay off the higher speed roads. I enjoy riding during the late fall to early spring months on those roads anyway. The lack of leaves on the trees opens up some great views that are missed during the summer months.
    My traveling distance and times are shorter during the winter months.....mainly because of the shorter hours of daylight. I don't enjoy riding at night because of limited vision....harder for me to see AND harder for people to see me.

    Salt on the roads and ice are more of a concern this time of year, of course. I actually had to wash my bike last week after a day of riding! :D.

    I DO ENJOY the looks I get from non-riders this time of year......:lol3
    #18
  19. riverflow

    riverflow Project P̶r̶o̶c̶r̶a̶s̶t̶i̶n̶a̶t̶o̶r̶ Finisher

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    Danville/Louisville, KY
    I'm here in central KY and ride all year. Today was a balmy 57*, but I've ridden in temps down to 25*F or so. If it's above 40* I can ride highway speeds for as long as I want, anywhere below that and I have to stop and take breaks after an hour or so. I just have layers and heated grips, but I might look at some electric soles or socks since my feet get pretty cold down there after a while.
    As long as my bike will start, I figure it's warm enough for me to ride. It does sit in an open air parking garage, so I had to get a jump the other day since it had been sitting for a while.
    #19
  20. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I no longer ride in snow and ice. I live in Orange County California now so snow is something I can see, but don't have to ride through.
    I did my time in snow and on ice when I began riding in Colorado in the mid 70's. I rode as long as the streets were free from snow. Mostly.

    I started out on a CB360 and moved on to an 850 Norton Interstate. Kick starting that thing at -22F one night was a task. I got it started and only had to stop about every 8 miles to warm my hands up. I was wearing a pair of surplus flight pants, Korean warm surplus three finger mittens and an open face helmet. Full face were not yet glasses friendly.

    I've fallen down on an iced mountain pass, (unhurt),, and my wife and I one wee hours of the morning when my "fog-free" face shield fogged came to a stop in a foot of snow at the edge of a flowbed surrounding a home.

    Graduated to Widder heated gear, wearing out the chaps commuting.

    A Stitch suit sure would have been nice back then. I found that big ski gloves worked pretty well. And my 79 BMW R100RS was great with heated grips and deer skin ropers and silk liners.
    Best set up was a /2 conversion with sidecar and a later model motor. 12 volts and a Sears car battery in the trunk to power that airhead to life.

    [​IMG]

    Not me, but one of our other mechanics.
    #20