Almost Winter…


Marlene Smith

November, 2004


Past Columns

January 2004

February 2004

March 2004

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004


For quite a few years, and for some longer than that, there are a few club members that have ridden with the Polar Bear Club during the winter months. This year seems to be especially exciting because more members have decided to give this activity a try. Barbara Z. has even nicknamed us the Sister Bears (or as I like to out it, Sista Bears)… That nickname just shows a glimpse of the fun times we have together during the winter riding season.

Speaking of the winter riding season, extra care should be taken, both personally and for your scooter, even when the temps are just cooling down instead of downright freezing.

The easy part is protecting your motorcycle. You should have it on a battery tender during the winter months, as the cold weather can really drain the battery and this applies to new batteries too. Make sure, as always, all your fluids are where they should be, and it’s also a good time of the year to have maintenance service performed. (See Tucking it in for The Winter for more information.)

If you have someone else perform your motorcycle maintenance, be sure to let them know you are continuing to ride your motorcycle through the winter months so they can adjust any items, such as oil weight, during this process. If you perform the maintenance yourself, don’t forget to consult MOM (Motorcycle Operators Manual) prior, as you may need to modify your “normal” summertime routine to prepare for winter riding.

Please, please, please – watch the road conditions. Never mind the obvious, such as ice and snow, but really watch out for the salt and sand, and the ensuing potholes, that we live with for six months out of the year.

Now, how do we keep ourselves warm you ask?

There are more ways to do that than I can talk about here, but the idea is to be smart about riding in the cold weather and to take good care to keep yourself as warm as possible, without sweating. Some people choose to simply dress warmly, using layering and the latest under clothing technology, such as UnderArmour, to keep them warm and wick away sweat.

Others choose to add heated grips or seats to their motorcycles. Some, like me, finally invested in heated gear – and that choice, in itself, presents a ton of configurations. It’s just a personal choice, but it is possible to stay pretty toasty while riding during the winter months (except, I still haven’t figured out how to keep my nose warm!).

Just remember, it’s all about having fun and riding, no matter what the temperature is. If you are interested in riding through the winter months, ask any of the Sister Bears for some guidance and information. But, be prepared for a different answer from each one of them, as our experiences and personal riding gear preferences are as distinct as we are from each other!

Ride on…and stay warm!

"To do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in, and scramble through as well as we can." Sydney Smith (1771 - 1845)

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