Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Hey Kids,

I don’t mind riding in colder weather.

Many riders with which I speak during the summer time say their rule is 50°. Under fifty, no ride.

I’ve also heard of this expanded into the 50/50 rule. Riding stops if it’s 50°or less and/or a 50% chance of rain.

As always, I say to each their own. But as for me and my house, we shall ride in whatever weather God gives us. (Snow and Ice excepted.)

I get asked, “How do you stay warm?”

My response is “I don’t.”

There’s an inherent coldness to riding a motorcycle. At least in these parts. There are the two or three months where it’s actually hot during the day. But even in July, in the mountains, the evenings can drop into the 60’s or 70’s and on a bike, it can feel cold.

But it’s ok to be cold. It does a body good, reminds one of the fragile nature of life. There does exist heated gear, but I would guess that even still, there will always be one part of your body not heated and cold.

My weak spot is the hands. I have come to accept that once the temperature drops into the 30’s, my fingers will freeze before getting to work. The colder it gets, the less time it takes to freeze. I can tell you, the freeze time can get down to as little as two minutes. I read about and investigated different gloves. Every brand had some people swore by them and yet others cursed them.

I figured that it came down to wind elimination. At 8°, the coldest I have ventured out, and the reported humidity of that morning, I calculated the wind chill at the spot where I run at 55mph to be -40F. I’m not sure if I calculated correctly, but suffice to say, it was c-c-c-o-l-d-d-d.511sqwpau+L._SX425_

Yesterday I received my latest option. Handle bar mitts. For $20, I’d give it a shot.

The morning temperature this morning was 22°. Challenge accepted.

I strapped on the mitts.

Adjusted them a little bit. Figured out whether I could work the clutch and brake within the mitts. Accidently strapped the mitt across the horn button for nice5-10 second blast at 5:30 am, (sorry fellow apartment dwellers) and took off into the dark cold air.

With the realization that I could not switch the high beams (deer detectors) on and off and work the turn signals, I continued on anyway.

When I arrived at my destination 25 minutes later, my hands were a little cold on the fingers but not frozen. It had been comfortable and easy to slip my hand in and out to adjust head gear and hand signal my turns. The clutch and front brake levers were easily accessible. In fact the only reason my fingers were cold is because of the times I had to hold down the ice-cold metal levers.

If I add heated grips (the Suzuki has them, the Yamaha which I rode today does not), I think my hands would have been actually warm.

Next attempt will be to insulate the levers first.

I will report later as the temperatures plummet over the next two months.

 

 

Day 281

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