I know, I know, it's January 6th, 2014. Yes, this is December's blog. Yes, it's late.
So where to begin?
First, riding in the cold. The coldest ride of last year was 16 degrees. On the cold rides, most all of me stayed reasonably comfortable except my hands. I'm seriously considereing heated gloves! I purchased a really thick neck warmer and honestly, that's warmer with the half helmet than the full faced helmet is. But then you have to deal with goggles. Seriously looking at a three quarter helmet with a visor. Finally, when you ride in the cold, you do get respect! Especially if there's snow on the ground!!
Second, two up riding. Lynda got her first ride on the back of my Harley on Christmas day. Then we went on the Battley Cycles Winter Lights ride. Finally, we went on the MC Hog Polar Bear ride on New Year's Day. She's a good passenger, leaning with me and never leaning proactively or worse, in the opposite direction. Comet, my 1996 Harley Super Glide did very well with a passenger. She sports a carbureted 1340cc Evolution engine. I was a little concerned that two people might noticably affect the bike's pick up and acceleration, but it did not. Even the handling was not altered as much as I was expecting. Breaking? Now that's another story!
Thirdly, holidays. If you want stuff for your bike or stuff for riding your bike, the holidays are a great way to put a dent into that wish list. I'm sure that it's the same for riders of other brands; I got tons of Harley stuff, from a new bell to boot gaiters to a high visibility vest to payments on a jacket that I had laid away. While asking for new pipes might be a bit presumptuous, some of the other items, like boots or gloves, are a great idea.
And about that stuff. Boots, jackets, etc., I spent the summer riding with the big, bad biker look. Sleeveless denim vest and my bare arms in the wind. It was a lot of fun, and likely I'll get some riding like that in this year too. But I also picked up a summer riding jacket with pockets for the protective padding. For daily riding, it's probably best to have a bit more padding and protection, especially in an area with the kind of traffic we have.
Finally, I have amassed thirteen thousand miles on my Harley, five thousand of which is from this year and is mine. Had the bike not been taken out of commission for two solid months, it would have been higher. I ride as often as I can and it truly has made my life more enjoyable.
In fact, having the bike made 2013 one of my favorite years, as years go. If you have ever thought you might like to ride, stop thinking and get out and do it. You will never regret it! Believe me!
Happy New Year!