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Look Cool Not Cold.    

By Karen "Redd" R.

Ahh, summer’s slinking away and some of you will soon put away your prized rides for the upcoming months. This full time navigator of rice rockets has a few words of advice for those who are not ready to give up their two wheels. I know some of you won’t even consider riding in the upcoming winter months. Don’t let Cold Man Winter take away your youthful exuberance. Riding in the snow can be fun, even euphoric. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Riding comes down to the drive of wanting to do so. Weather can be a factor. But, your desire should be more of one. If the weather is cruel, be crueler to the weather. There is an extensive plethora of gear to choose from that keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Though some would not display touring gear atop their rice rocket. It works great. First Gear makes fabulous jackets that are waterproof, warm (including additional liners), and armor included. So, it’s practical, environmentally kind and safe. It’s also cheap. FieldSheer is another inexpensive brand that has good prices on pants, jackets, gloves, etc. Some Cool Stuff (Yes! It works in cold weather too) under your gear, be it cowhide or Gortex adds extra warmth to any outfit. If that’s not up to your price range, silk, wool or cotton long johns are a great addition. For the face and neck, a balaclava helps immensely. Tie a bandana around your neck in addition to the balaclava when the weather is colder for an extra layer of warmth. If you still want to feel like the bad boy (or girl) on the block, N2 has some heavier gloves for colder weather. I have been very happy with their warmth and protection factors. Liners can be added if your fingers beckon. You can ask MotoLiberty for prices on above articles. I have purchased 99% of my gear there and am extremely happy with the outcome. In addition, I am making no promises, but SIDI’s Vertebra boots have kept my feet warm and dry in inclement weather. I do add a coat or two of their waterproofing cream to them from time to time. It is a great investment in any weather.

For those of you interested in the technical stuff, it’s not the actual temperature that gives you so much pain; it’s the wind chill. For me, I have felt this in my fingers the most. I guess you could say I have felt this "hands on." It is not a laughing matter. One thing that helps with a great pair of gloves and liners is a pair of latex gloves under both. If you want to go the route of heated grips or handle wind shields you can.



Redd in Snow

But I have only had one bad day out of two and a half years that was like this. I had to take the bike to work, so, I didn’t have a choice. Prepare the best you can, but listen to your body and take your time in these conditions. It is possible. For more information on wind chill, please check out the webpage: National Weather Service Wind Chill.

To give you an example of wind chill the average motorcyclist could expect, let’s say you are driving 75mph when the temperature is 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Just the wind chill you get from riding makes the temperature your body feels around –20 degrees. Needless to say, this scares many a rider off. The good news in Dallas, we rarely experience those kinds of days (I hope I haven’t jinxed myself with that one).

So, it’s winter and you’re jonesing for a ride. You’ve got your gear, the bikes good and you open up your front door and SNOW! Fear not. If the snow isn’t sticking and the roads don’t have ice, it can give a whole new meaning to catching snowflakes on your tongue.

May the rubber side always be down.


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