Winter’s No Fun (OK, Maybe a Little)

Mar 15, 2014 View Comments by

Winter’s No Fun (OK, Maybe a Little)Anyone else ever notice how inviting the photos of other riders on a winter outing are? The Aerostich catalog often features winter riding photos on the cover, and I usually head into the season with a firm resolve to ride regularly so long as the roads aren’t covered with salt or patches of ice and snow. Once winter actually settles in, however, my resolve melts quicker than the snow on my boots after I place them in front of the wood burner.

There’s one thing the photos can’t adequately convey, and that’s the way my fingers feel when even twenty minutes wrapped around a cup of coffee won’t thaw them out, or the way cold air slips up into my helmet if I don’t hold my head just right. And perhaps more important than the physical discomfort, there’s the mindset that winter simply isn’t the proper time to be out on the bike, and the only acceptable rides are short jaunts that are more for the bike’s benefit than my own.

Each year, the ADV (Adventure) Riders hold an annual winter campout event, and each year I entertain thoughts of attending but never do. The camaraderie would be great, but as the weekend approaches, the allure of riding semi-frozen dirt roads and struggling to stay warm in a tent loses all appeal.

Occasionally, there’s a halfway decent warm-up day following a week long, snow-filled deep freeze. These are the days when I fire up the bike and hit the road for a couple of hours. There’s something captivating about riding through a snow-covered landscape, being the only one out there on two wheels, and wishing you could read the minds of those in passing cars.

As the memorable (for all the wrong reasons) winter of 2014 winds down with hopefully one last snowy gasp at the beginning of March, I’ve once again fulfilled the absolute minimal requirements of my personal winter riding contract. Other than a few short hops to the coffee shop or home improvement center for odds and ends, the bikes have spent the duration of the season tucked away in the garage with little attention other than intermittent visits from the battery tender. But on those brief trips when the bikes did get out for some exercise, I got a few pictures so that everyone else can see how cool (pardon the pun) winter riding is, and like myself, commit to try it out…next year.


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