Tuesday, December 27, 2011

First Ride of Winter

Saturday dawned 33˚F and dry. Good excuse for a ride.

We decided to get geared up and ride to coffee. Our friends Josh and Meg were there and wanted to go for a ride in the afternoon. As we were sitting and drinking our coffee the sun came out and thoughts of an afternoon ride were welcome. We decided to ride to Salem to see what was going on at the Suzuki/Honda dealer.

We arranged to meet at 1:00 pm in North Albany. We took the back roads and arrived at 12:59 pm. It wasn't long before Josh and Meg arrived, but I still had a chance to take a quick picture or two.

(Troubadour checking the goods in his tail pack)

Soon we were all on our way. We meandered along more back roads. The sun was shining on our backs. I alternated my heated grips between high and low and kept the heated jacket liner on low. Between those items and the disposable heated insoles keeping my feet toasty warm it was a great ride.

The Suzuki/Honda dealer didn't have much in the way of bikes in stock. Meg is looking to upgrade from her 250cc beginner bike. Troubadour and I wandered and looked at their gear. I found a pair of knee high motocross socks that were a great deal at $9.99. It was the only purchase of the day. I have one pair of Under Armor knee high snowboard socks that are my go to riding socks because of their height. It is nice to add another pair. I think the new ones are a little larger though and will come over my knee.

(at least I resisted the black ones with pink lip prints all over them)

(go-to Under Armor socks - brown with pink polka dots)

On our way out of the store I had to take a picture of the Santa mannequin on the quad, also known as a four-wheeler.

Once outside we all stood around basking in the sunshine and eating some snacks. We figured we'd best ride towards home before the sun went down. I managed to take a picture as everyone was putting their earplugs in.

(Troubadour, Josh & Meg)

I knew from previous experience riding into the sun that I needed some electricians tape on the top of my helmet visor. This way when the visor is down the black tape blocks the low lying sun from blinding me through my sunglasses.

(tape coming off already and helmet needs a good scrubbing)

Unfortunately the piece I used wasn't quite long enough. It was great for heading straight into the sun but when the sun was to the side it was peeking around the tape and my shades. There were quite a few corners at the beginning of the ride home that I could not see through and so they were quite squared off. I sure hope Meg was far enough behind me she didn't witness it.

About half way home we split into two groups, Josh and Meg heading East to go home and we headed West to our home. A few more miles and the sun was low enough to dip behind some clouds. I had my eyesight and my riding groove back.

We arrived home at dusk and it was a balmy 41˚F outside. A great afternoon ride with awesome friends. It was nice to take advantage of the dry roads and sunshine for a quick afternoon ride. I think it was only 80 miles round trip but it was nice to get out and brush up on my skills after 3 weeks of not riding except to coffee and back.

- Au Revoir

"A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world." - Lois Wyse


  1. Trobairitz:

    I looked at my bike a few times thinking about riding somewhere, but the insurance has lapsed and I cannot insure it until late January. I have gotten the urge a few times and miss shifting . . . so I am getting rustier every day.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. Good for you! We had a few miles on the scooters probably just enough to get the batteries recharged but the weather sucked big time. Haven't seen the sun in three days, it is all rainy and foggy out here.

    Pink? Polkadots? I find the sock pattern rather irritating but I guess they do the job, eh?

  3. It has been raining here for the last few days and I have been nestling close to home. I went to a local dealership & almost bought a Shoei helmet, but held off because I need to insure my new bike.

    You are lucky that you have choice in dealerships to browse gear. We are pretty limitted on the island. Sounds like you had a nice trip. I am going to have to remember the electrician tape trick.

  4. 33 and dry, sounds pretty nice. That parking lot looks like you're across from the Starbucks. It's nice that you were able to get out even if you had to fight the glare from the sun.

  5. foggy freezing icy conditions in the shade/dark here = no rolling out. good for you! and btw, i luv my under armor gear!

  6. Thats a very chilly ride you got there.

    I've never seen the electrical tape trick on the visor before, I guess your never to old to learn new tricks.

  7. @Bobskoot - Bummer you don't have insurance on the Wee Strom right now. Maybe it will be nice and sunny on the day the insurance is renewed.

    @Sonja - If you know me, you know I'm not much for pink or polka dots but they didn't have plain socks and it is funny to think they funky patterns are hiding under my serious gear. I did resist the black and white leopard print ones and the ones with lip prints.

    @Dar - Our rain returned on Sunday and it hasn't stopped. Supposed to get 2 inches this week. We were all set up for the driest December on record too. One of the reasons for the ride on Saturday was we knew what the forecast had in store for the rest of the week. We'll be lucky if it lets up before June.

    @Richard - It was nice to have a dry day with sunshine. Surprising we didn't see a lot of bikes out on the back roads although almost everyone rode to coffee. Yes it was by Starbucks - good eye.

    @Mq01 - Yikes, your weather sounds like ours a week or so ago. I sure am glad we've warmed up even if the rain has come back. I have a few pieces of under armor - it is good stuff.

    @Chillertek - Troubadour always has a roll of electrical tape in his tail bag. It comes in handy. I also have a small piece on the bottom of the visor so if the visor is up (to help sunglasses from fogging) it still blocks the sun when it is dead ahead. It bothers me a bit having both on there because I feel my field of vision is narrowed, but it is better than riding blind or holding my hand up to block the bright sun. My eyes are sensitive sometimes even with my sunglasses on so this helps.

  8. Electrical tape! Brilliant! I'm going to toss a roll in my tank bag.

  9. Duct tape, or electrical tape....the handset thing on a bike, looks like a terrific day, and there is something refreshing about a mid winter ride.

  10. Even the little days can offer good times. Who cares about the miles when you can just feel the wind in your hair. :) Oilburner found similar socks, bt opted for the skull and crossbones.

  11. Sounds like a nice day to ride. The dry part is very good.

    The reason for boots is to hide the socks :) Actually, I wear motoX socks over my dress socks when I ride to work. I get to work, take them off and stuff them in the boots until time for home. Love em'.

  12. @Lucky - you won't be sorry you are carrying the electricians tape. It really is a life saver in bright sunshine. Thanks for stopping by.

    @Raftnn - it was refreshing. I didn't mind the chill at all. Must be I found some good gear.

    @BeemerGirl - ooooh skull and crossbones. That sounds more masculine than what the shop in Salem had. They also had rainbow stripes and another set with big blocks of bright colors. They were too bright for me.

  13. @CircleBlue - Ha! The boots hide the socks, good one. But yes they do and a good thing I wear long riding pants too. The long socks help to keep the legs warm too. But you need to fess up - do your socks have wild prints to them or did you find plain ones?

  14. Okay. I have a very blah pair of black and gray Fox racing socks, but I do have a pair of Alpinestars:

    They are a little more interesting :)

  15. I can't decide which I'm more envious of; the heated grips or the socks.... :)
    Sounds like a nice ride!

  16. @Ken - Heated grips are a must. Mind you so are socks.........

  17. Ah, winter, when the 'power sports' dealers move the motorcycles into the warehouse and you have to make due eyeing up atvs and snowmobiles (depending on your dealer, of course.)

    I can't believe the sudden upswing in motorcyclists going out for rides in the chill - must be a lack of snow across the entire country. Keep it up while you can!

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  18. @Brady - the dealership definitely had the atvs front and center. They did have all their used bikes out front on display and then had a few new in the store - stuffed over on one side.

    We don't usually get any snow and can ride year round as long as it isn't icy and we don't mind the rain. Had to take advantage of Saturday as we knew it would be a week of rain since - and it has been. Fingers are crossed for a dry weekend though. Happy New Year to you and your wife.

  19. Funny how pictures can tell on a person. People give me a bad time because Starbucks figures so prominently in my riding. I know where those ride start photos were taken even though the camera is pointing the other way!

  20. Glad you too knew where we were.

    People sometimes say Starbucks like it is a bad thing. I think if it wasn't for Starbucks starting up back in 1971 we wouldn't have all the little independent shops today because the coffee craze wouldn't have started. Maybe it would have, but it wouldn't be the same.

    I like Starbucks because in a town I don't know I can always count of consistently good coffee.