(Contributed post for our Northern Hemisphere readers facing winter riding blues)
The moment you step outside your garage and your smart gadget reads between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you are in for a treat. As a passionate motorcycle enthusiast, you are like ‘Give me 50 degrees all day, every day!’. But the world is round, alright (yeah, flat earthers, scram when you smell rubber burning on Asphalt and don’t look over your shoulder!).
Jokes aside, when you are enjoying the fall weather, you know winter is just around the corner. One fine day, the weather will do a 180 on you and you’ll be wondering, ‘How do I bike in this winter weather?’ Fear not, here are some tips for you, especially those beginners out there:
1-Avoid riding below 35 degrees F (about 1C)
The main danger associated with riding below 35 degrees is black ice on the road, which could set you up for disaster. If you are riding in low temperatures, no padding will prevent your arms from freezing. Riding with the ice out on the streets is not smart. Like the adage goes, ‘better safe than sorry’.
2-Watch out for the road salts
Road salts can be as bad as ice, with the risk of both slipping and sticking to your bike. There is not much science behind this, as any avid biker knows salt is corrosive to the ride that he holds dear. Giving your motorcycle a nice clean wash, just like you do with your car, can really help here.
3-Get heated gloves
You may not have felt the need to wear heated gloves in the past. But, if you are up for some daredevilry or yearning for adventure, heated gear can help you when you are riding in near-freezing temps.
This holds true especially if you are in the Midwest or other northern states where it snows often during winter. You don’t want icy wind freezing the back of your palms as you blaze down the road.
4- Prepare for accidents
Riding your motorcycle on icy roads comes with some risks. As most Utah residents will know, during the winter months roads are slippery, and sight can be impaired from snowfall or fog. These dangers don’t just impact you, but they impact the other riders on the road who are equally at risk for crashing. Even when you’re being cautious, accidents can happen. These could result in unexpected injuries, vehicle damages, or even time off work to recover. If you find yourself in a motorcycle crash, and don’t have the savings to cover the unexpected medical or repair expenses, you may want to consider applying for installment loans Utah. These loans are designed to provide short-term assistance for life’s unexpected emergencies. It is also important to have medical and motorcycle insurance that could help cover any emergency expenses as well.
5-Use the exhaust
Motorcycle riders are as obstinate as they come. If you are that stubborn sun of a gun who says no to heated gear because your grandfather was a 100% Norwegian, then use the exhaust to heat your hands up once in a while. You might have ‘great cold tolerance’ as you put it but it is always good to have blood back in your arms every now and then. All that you have to do is pull over to the side of the road and rub your palms at the back of the exhaust, with the gloves on. And it’s all good and you’re ready to go in no time!
6-Take it easy when it starts snowing
Its winter and snow or sleet might just be a street away. If it starts snowing, however, ensure you take it easy, find backroads with minimal traffic and head back home. Because, it’s not just you on the roads and there are bad drivers, distracted drivers, and even the best drivers have accidents sometimes
7-Watch the forecast
You may start your ride when the temperature is in the high 30’s, and before you know it the sun is down, and you feel like an icicle. This is why you need to be aware of how the temperature will drop so you don’t end up freezing cold without enough warmth and clothing to protect you.
While you might not be able to take a winter off as a biker, you would do well for yourself if you follow the above tips!