F*&k You Weather Man, I am Riding!
Quick temperature changes happen
By: Debbi Serafinchon
Deciding to head out for a ride when the sun is shining is really a no-brainer. I mean seriously, the sun is shining what else could possibly be more important than sitting in the saddle and enjoying? What we don’t always remember at this time of year is once that sun starts setting, it tends to get a little chilly.
As the season starts to change, so should your riding attire. While it is great to feel that cool breeze, it can quickly change from pleasant to I am not sure I can still feel my fingers. Riders must also take into consideration your riding temperature can be up to a full 20 degrees less than what your weather app is telling you. What starts out as a great ride at 25 degrees can suddenly become a potential danger when the sun drops.
If you have bags on your motorcycle, you can keep the needed layers in them. Just make sure they will be dry for when needed. If you don’t have bags on your ride, investing in a dry-bag or waterproof backpack is always an option.
As you start to get cold, your body will start to constrict blood vessels to and not allow as much blood to the surface. This works quite well for keeping all the essential internal organs warm. It is not so great for fingers and toes though. Keeping the extremities warm is essential to avoid a disaster such as the inability to operate your clutch or brake lever.
Heated grips or gloves are a nice option but can be quite expensive. If the heated options are not an option, look for gloves that have windstop material and insulation. Keep glove liners or chemical heat packs ready for use. Don’t forget those tender toes as well! They need some lovin to keep them toasty as well. An extra pair of thermal or wool socks will not take up much room in your bag but could make a huge difference when riding.
Most motorcycle jackets come with liners and it would be a wise choice to keep it handy. You don’t have to wear it when the sun is smiling down on you but having it in your bag to put on is just a smart decision. With so many options available there is really no excuse to not having a good base layer. Not only are there a variety of thermal shirts to select from but make sure you look for a base layer pant as well. Don’t have the money for the fancy stuff from your favorite bike shop? Walmart still sells long underwear and undershirts. It doesn’t have to look pretty to be effective. A simple trick I have used it to keep plastic shopping bags on hand. They work like a charm at keeping my feet dry inside my boots.
A cold head is not only distracting when you’re riding but it can be downright dangerous. Your ability to make crucial decisions can be adversely affected as we are less able to make complex decisions when we are cold. A helmet’s primary job is to protect you from impact, and secondly to protect you from wind and road debris. Providing warmth isn’t necessarily in the job description, so you have to take care of that on your own. Stick a thin balaclava that you can wear under your helmet in your bag as well as a neck warmer.
With our days getting shorter, riding season does not have to be cut. Keeping layers with you will allow you to dress up or down depending on the weather.
#RideSmart #RideSafe #ThinkBike