I am not a fair weather rider. Apparently that makes me weird. Ms. Peeps and I ride no matter what. In fact, it doesn’t even occur to me that my wife’s car might be available for me to use.
This can be a challenge
Yesterday morning, in fact, turned out to be quite humorous. I got bundled up, headed down to the parking lot, and found out that I couldn’t even get the key into the ignition. It was frozen! (It had rained the day before, and everything got soaked. Then it hit about 28 over night.)
I bent the key trying to get it to go in. After straightening it out, I headed back up to the apartment to warm it up under hot water. That didn’t really help any.
I headed back up and, flustered, hit up google for some advice. Heat the key with a lighter! -smacks forehead- I dig out the zippo from its drawer only to realize it’s out of fluid. Out to the storage space I go. Refilled, I realize that this is the lighter that needs a new wick. Fortunately I have more than one zippo, so I got another and proceeded to fill it as well.
Standing in the parking lot, looking like you’re trying to light a key, kind of makes one feel a bit foolish. However, it did the trick and after a few more minutes of fiddling Ms. Peeps was up and running. Though she might have been reluctant to start this cold morning, the roads were just fine and I had a pleasant ride in this morning, if a bit delayed from normal.
Through all this, I stayed warm, dry, and comfortable. Lots of layers makes a huge difference!
What is winterization?
Apparently, there are people who don’t ride year-round. Who knew? These people put their bike into storage for the cold months and pull it back out again once it warms up. They do things like putting fuel stabilizer in the gas tank, hooking their battery to a battery tender, and making sure that the bike is up on blocks.
My winterization routine
Put. On. More. Clothes.
Layers are the secret to staying warm (and dry). The lower the thermometer drops, the more layers I’m wearing. So far I’ve stayed toasty warm, and it’s been about 28° F. It doesn’t take that much, either (at least for short trips, less than 10 miles). Thermal underwear or fleece pajama pants under my jeans; tshirt, sweater or sweatshirt and leather jacket; doo rag under the helmet; scarf carefully tucked into jacket; polypro gloves.
The only issue I have is with the gloves, because they got soaked in the rain a few days ago and haven’t dried out completely yet. Until they do, my fingertips start to get pretty tingly by the time I get to my destination.
If there’s a threat of rain or it’s even colder, I’ll add another layer. Though I got the rain suit for free (it was left in a traded-in vehicle when I worked at a car dealership), the same one can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot for a fairly low price. Once you block the wind, the temperature soars upward.
Why would I do this?
Because I love it! Watching the snow swirl around you as you move down the road is amazing. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
And if that wasn’t enough, then every trip I take is a good excuse for a steaming mug of hot chocolate when I get home.
I’m loving life on two wheels!