Time to Ride: How Long is Long Enough?

Mar 18, 2014 View Comments by

Time to Ride: How Long is Long Enough?

Here in North Carolina we seem to be straddling the front lines in the war between oncoming spring and a winter desperately trying to hold on. Our weather has been alternating between warm and sunny and cold and icy for the last month or so. For example, on Saturday it was bright and clear with temperatures in the high 60s. Now, as I write this on Monday morning, it’s below freezing and sleet keeps tapping on my window. On those rare and wonderful days when ideal riding weather has presented itself, inevitably other plans were previously made on some bleak, gray winter’s day when a motorcycle ride was a laughable suggestion. Still, it’s led me to ponder the question, “how long is long enough?” Meaning, how much time do I need to be able to ride in order to make gearing up and waking the bike from its hibernation worthwhile? The answer is surprisingly little. Even twenty minutes to carve up that twisty country road near my house is enough to shake off some of the winter blues and put life in perspective. Winter can be a tough time for people, especially motorcyclists, and it’s always good to remember that warmer, better days are right around the corner.

Pre-spring rides are also a fantastic way to start knocking the dust off those motorcycle skills in preparation for the riding season. The roads around your home, which you know so well, are the perfect playground for loosening up your body and letting that riding muscle memory return. In fact, it’s much safer to ease back into riding, if the snow and ice have kept you cooped up for a few months, than to just head out for a long tour as soon as the weather allows.

What’s your pre-season ritual? How do you get ready for summer?


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About the author

There’s something relentlessly romantic about riding a motorcycle. I’m blessed to know that feeling. With a background in photography and a love for motorcycles, I’m interested in the beauty and honesty of the open road. You’ll find me riding Carolina’s roads on my Suzuki SV650.