Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where Have All The Riders Gone?

Watch the temperature drop below 60 degrees and all the riders disappear. It's just the scooters at work. At least today. The leaves are falling and autumn is coming on with a vengeance. I've been busy at work and at home and time seems to evaporate.

For now I have to be content with my commute to work.

24 comments:

Richard said...

I feel sort of superior when riding in weather to cold for "sissies", although as I enter my 60s I'm slipping into sissydom. Better than the alternative, they say.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steve:

Riding in 60º (F) werather is like winning a lottery for me. I contend that it really isn't chilly until the noon-time temperature is in the low 50's. Cold is anything under 45º (f).

I have a heated seat to try out this year, and I am thinking of mounting hand-shields, commonly found on dirt bikes or BMW GSs t keep the cold off my hands.

Nice, comtemplative blog today.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Mike Simmons said...

Add in a little wetness to the temperature below 60 and poof, everyone is gone on two wheels. The older I get the less tolerant I am to the cold though.

Your picture gives the feeling of fall - summer went by too fast.

Mike

Peter from Virginia said...

Indeed, Summer travels too fast when you want it to take a breather. This years scooter population seemd a tad scant to me. Does the cost of gas have to be the barometer to having fun on two wheels or having to be more efficient ? In Virginia we've just hit the high 40's at night, so this morning's ride to the office includes those wonderful riding clothes I perfected from last Winter . . .Tally-ho !

Anonymous said...

45F this morning. Just me and 2 old goldwings out there. At summer's peak there were up to 35 bikes in the lot.

Danny said...

Had a few cool mornings here in KC and the motorcycle population has all but evaporated. I am still managing to commute by bike and most likely will until it hits the freezing mark. Then it just gets too cold for my hands. I still saw two other bikes this morning. An old Goldwing and a scooter but I see them all the time anyway.

bobskoot said...

Steve:

I rode into work this morning. Temps around 6c (~42F), cool but I turned on my heated grips and I also have those OEM Hand Guards that Jack "r" was speaking about. The grips keep your core fingers warm but the guards stops the air from hitting the tops (also stops the rain too). It's supposed to get up to the low 60sF today.
There was a little mist on the ground and I was thinking I may be able to get one of those Steve pictures but I couldn't think of anywhere without concrete and buildings. I need an "s" curve and forest location.

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Anonymous said...

Steve, guess I'm an old hard core biker that really doesn't pay much attention to the local 'Guess-U-Weather' prognosticators. Since I live only 15 miles from Penn State (UP)campus, the temps aren't really a concern until the road surfaces start freezing and that does make traveling route 550 a bit challenging. Stew

Chuck Pefley said...

I ride pretty much year-round. Having both a riding skirt and handle-bar muffs for my GTS has made the cold and wet far less daunting. It used to be typical for me to not scoot if it was raining when time to set out, but less concerned with the return trip. Seattle weather forecasts are very hit-or-miss much of the time.

Now that I'm riding an MP3-400 I find I actually embrace and enjoy both wind and wet. I also have a heated jacket liner which keeps most of the chill away. My big concern, however, is the heightened erratic actions of many of the other drivers on the road when it's inclement.

Earl Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earl Thomas said...

I'm still out there, though I will admit, it is quite a bit more lonely than it was even a week ago when the temperatures were still in the 80's.

Ride Well

E.T.

gas scooter parts said...

Thanks for sharing this story

Kelsey said...

I love winter riding, personally. Sure, it's cold, but it's also invigorating. My boyfriend and I just bought a sidecar bike, and we have no intention of putting it up for the winter.

Ale- said...

well here in Italy the weather is still very warm, though it starts being colder early in the morning and after sunset.
I just don't worry as I have a brand new Spidi JK leather jacket (with protections, that's obvious) as if I were a long time Harley biker. eheheh!
Late Summer and early Fall riders are few but friendly on the road to work and back, we wave at each other and that's good. I already had the first unexpected shower of the season but - I wonder - is it a problem? I'm sure it's not.

Steve Williams said...

Richard: I feel myself slipping too. The cold cuts through my heart and bones. The excitement of riding keeps me going but I wonder how long that will be the case as the old mellows continue to develop...

Jack Riepe: You have a reasonable and rational approach to cooler and colder weather.

A heated seat?? That's almost cheating.

Steve Williams said...

Mike: I rode through some light rain and didn't have the right clothes. It was miserable. I ride in bad weather but I don't like the cold and dampness getting past my gear.

Peter: I think the economy has just had an impact on riders. Or at least new ones. I thought there were fewer scooters on the road too.

Gut feeling. No scientific evidence to support that idea.

Steve Williams said...

Anonymous: It's nice not having to worry about finding a motorcycle parking space now.

Danny: My hands have always been my weak link in cold weather riding. Electric gloves solved a lot of the problem and now I am good to about 5F.

Steve Williams said...

bobskoot: Hand guards would be a nice thing to have. I have seen pictures of Vespa scooters with them but I have never taken the initiative to get some. Maybe this year.

You need to make a bobskoot picture. Those will be far more interesting. And there is nothing wrong with buildings and concrete!

Steve Williams said...

Stew: I hear you. My commute is even shorter so I can take a lot of cold for the time it takes me to get to work.

Ride carefully and maybe I'll see you sometime.

Chuck: The MP3 seems like a great cold weather machine as it offers a lot of protection from the wind and elements. An electric vest and gloves would make it almost luxurious!

Steve Williams said...

Earl Thomas: When cold weather arrives I think the remaining riders are interested in something other than recreation.

At least it is the case for me.

Kelsey: I don't see a need around here to put a scooter or motorcycle into mothballs. Lots of cold days the roads are clear.

Good luck with your cold weather adventures!

Sojourner rides said...

I am always pleasantly surprised when I see another motorcycle out there. I notice that our waves to each other are more vigorous; I guess, we're just happy to see that we're still holding out. Thank goodness for heated gear! I will retire my iron horse during much kicking and screaming.

sparkey said...

Hey there, Thanks for the tip on the black diamond mitts. I know it was from a few years ago, but they still sell them, and yes they are working great as temperatures drop here in portland oregon. I commuted to work all last winter, and by the time I reached home in the evenings (16 miles) my hands were numb every night. I'm sure it will be a better winter...

Great blog...

Joe

scgt said...

It's strange; but if you take a poll (as I did earlier this year), a high percentage of voters would say they will ride in any weather (any temperature). In reality, it's more like what you see--sub-60 days, no riders found.

_Lorenzo

Harley Motorcycle Tires said...

I love that picture; very vivid. It shows how deserted the paths are. Many riders fear that type of weather and wouldn't dare ride in that kind of temperature. Me too. Am one of them.