Posts Tagged ‘ride’

It is that time of year again, winter in the northern hemisphere. A time where many of us will begin to suffer from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome), especially after the lost year of 2020.

Many of us will be tempted to get out and ride on a bright, warmish day, I know I will.  But take inconsideration the following tips if you decide to get out and ride.

9 – ATGATT! – means even more in the winter.  Not only should you dress for the slide you have to dress to stay warm, hypothermia can set in quickly if you are not prepared.  Wear layers under you motorcycle jacket and pants. If your outer layer supports armor, make sure it is installed.

8 – Watch for hidden ice – While you think you may be out on a sunny dry day frost and ice can linger in the shadows. Remember the rule about scanning ahead?  Now that small covering of leaves at the apex of the next turn may hide a patch of ice.

7 – Cold Motorcycle Tires – You know this, but it is worth reminding.  Your tires will take longer to warm up and may never reach the optimal grip temperature. Make sure you account for your lack of grip during breaking, accelerating and in turns.  A little fish tail at the stop light with warm tires can be interesting, on cold tires it could cause a crash.

6 – Tire Pressure – You really need to ensure your PSI is correct for the conditions.  Most tires have a year-round recommendation, some may have a different recommendation for winter.  Also, if you have not noticed, motorcycle tires seem to lose pressure in the winter.  Make sure your tires are at the proper PSI before every winter motorcycle ride.

The ultimate winter motorcycle tire

5 – More Tire Notes – Pay attention to the tread on your tires. Have the track day slicks on the bike, not a great idea for winter riding. Do not have much tread left? Not a good idea to go for a winter motorcycle ride. If you are going to be riding a lot of cold days, look for something that has a more rugged tread design.

4 – Install a Windshield – It is quite likely there is a windshield for your motorcycle.  If possible, find one and install it for your winter rides.  Not only will it reduce the wind it will also cut down on the splashing and spray from other vehicles. 

3 – Your Hands Need Attention – Your hands are out in the wind all the time and they are at the end of your circulatory system. Because of this they will get cold faster than the rest of your body. Heated grips help as well as a good set of windproof gloves designed to keep your hands warm. Pay close attention to the conditions of your hands so you can grab that clutch or break if you need to.

2- Heated Gear – If you plan on riding your motorcycle in cold weather a lot, invest in heated gear.  There is a lot of brands out there but make sure you purchase the one that will work best for you.  Can you plug it into your motorcycle, or do you need a battery pack?  Heated gloves, pants, jackets, base layers are all available, just figure out what works for your style of riding.

1 – Do not Ride if it is Below Freezing – Below freezing means ice will form. Below freezing means your bike might not perform as you expect.  Below freezing means it is just not worth the risk.

Ride on, Ride Safe

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We pulled out of our driveway on a cool, crisp Friday morning for a long weekend motorcycle ride.  By cool & crisp I mean 51 degrees Fahrenheit, a little less with wind chill, of course. We knew it was going to be at least that or a bit less on Skyline Drive.

We had decked ourselves out in appropriate clothing and closed the vents of the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited, so the chill was not very noticeable. Otherwise, the sun was out with blue sky all about and traffic out of town was quite light.

It took us about an hour to get from home to the northern terminus of Skyline Drive in Front Royal, Virginia. I really think that the state could do a bit better job of signage to get people to the park.  I knew where it was but, until you are right upon it the signs are few and far between.

A lot of motorcycles on the road!

Once we were on Skyline Drive the cool air got a bit cooler! There was nearly a 10-degree difference from the valley to the top of the mountain.  While we did notice it, and I turned on the heated grips, the motorcycle seemed to love the cool air and purred as it rolled up, down and around the ridge.

The leaves had not yet started to change colors or drop from the trees, but the greens were awesome to view. I do have another complaint, maybe it is a by-product of Covid 2020 but several of the overlooks really did not overlook.  The trees and bush build up limited the view on some of the stops.   Only a minor disappointment as the day was so nice!

We reached the southern terminus of the parkway late afternoon and headed to our hotel in Charlottesville, VA. The next day we went to some local site like Monticello. Our return tip was via the American BywayJourney Through Hallowed Ground Byway”, which will be documented on another post.

It was our anniversary by the way!

Skyline Drive by motorcycle really shows that the adage “Riding in car is like watching a movie. Riding on a motorcycle is like being in the movie” is absolutely true.

If you live on the east coast this ride needs to be on your bucket list.

Ride On, Ride Safe

q1

My daughter and grandsons came from Denver to visit!  Ashely only got to spend a short time with us but, the grandsons will spend most of the summer between the two sets of grandparents.  Looking forward to some time with them!

One of the things on Ashley’s “to do” list was a motorcycle ride.  With the Covid quarantine lock down still going on strong in Maryland and Virginia I decided to ride out to Berkeley Springs, WV.q2

Berkeley Springs was the first “spa” in America, where people would go to “take the waters”.  Berkeley Springs history goes back to the at least the 1740s when George Washington reportedly took a bath in the spring water. Berkeley Springs is also on the George Washington Heritage Trail (an America Byway).  I rode this byway a few years ago you can read about it here. An awesome ride for a motorcycle by the way!

Ashley having a good time!

Ashley having a good time!

For our ride we pulled out on the motorcycle mid-morning.  The sun and puffy clouds were out, and the temperature was more than reasonable. A mix of rock and country music playing through the Harley Davidson speakers provided a background soundtrack for our ride.

My plan was to take a lot of backroads and end up at our destination about 1PM.  The motorcycle was humming along as we rode through Virginia and Maryland.  We crossed both the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers as well as Cortactin Mountain and eastern side of the Alleghenies. The views were idyllic and the ride smooth and comfortable.

It couple hours later we arrived in Berkeley Springs. Ashley, much like me, is a bit of a q3history nut and we spent a some time in the museum before our stomachs told us it was lunch time.  Walking down main street we decided to have lunch at the Naked Olive Lounge.  This was a particularly good decision!

They were at serving at a reduced capacity and disinfecting everything as people left, per the Covid free directions. The atmosphere was nice, the wait staff/person was friendly, but the best part was the food, excellent.  I will be going back soon.

After lunch it was time to head back home.  Mounting the motorcycle and pulling out we took a more direct route home. Ashley wanted to go to an antique store before she went back to Denver the next day so she and the wife had their afternoon.

I had a great day out with my daughter!

 

Ride on, Ride Safe

IMG_20200516_135828779_HDR

Just a short motorcycle ride, just a bit over one hundred miles. Really nothing more than loop through northern Virgina and Maryland. BUT, we were out of the house, we were out on the bike, the weather was great (for a change) and it was fun!

Leaving our home in the late morning, it was still jacket wearing temperatures but with copious sunshine and a promise of great riding weather. Heading north we crossed both the Catoctin Mountain and creek before dropping down into Brunswick Maryland. The main street was like a ghost town. No lights in the windows and no one on the street. It is going to sad that when the quarantine is over that most of these building will still be vacant.

We did drop down next to the Potomac River and the Brunswick section of the C&O Canal to have a picnic lunch. There were a lot of folks moving along the canal towpath on hikes or bikes (peddle type). Everyone was observing the rules about social distancing so no need to freak out.

IMG_20200516_123801788_HDRBack on the motorcycle we headed up the mountain and stopped at the War Correspondents Memorial. This memorial is way out in the middle of know where but is an interesting and atypical to most memorials.  I wonder how many war correspondents are even aware of it?

From here we road about other hour heading south back into Virginia and then to home. A short motorcycle ride but one that was greatly needed.