Ah, the joys of living in MN. A few days in the 50's, a few days in the 20's, a little snow, a few days in the 30's... repeat. Until doom comes for real. Today was a surprise "nice" day (for here). 44 and some sun- neither of which we have eeen for weeks here in the icebox state. After having settled on the bike being done for the year, I had to unburrow her from the nook in the garage.. which was totally worth it! The. I was curious to see if she started as I hadn't hooked up the tender yet. One try and she came to life, a little sputtery but ready to roll. Air in the tire was good. Oil is good. iPod is charged. Game on! Just had to carefully get her out of the garage, over the ice patch, through the little bit of snow, and onward!
Took full advantage of it and managed to ride 140 miles ~ not sure how that added up so quick as I just pursed around my area. Oddly, I only saw one other bike the whole time (plus my die hard friend Shelly was ripping around somewhere nearby but we never did meet up. Daylight is short w d sweet this time of year so instead of waiting for one another trying to play catch we instead would have played the wave game if we crossed paths. I wore my heated vest and gloves but didn't turn either on until the last half of the ride, as the sun was setting quickly, the temps were dropping quickly. There was some sand and farming junk on the roads, which I was prepared for and on the lookout for. Also figured no one would be looking for a motorcycle today, or the rest of the year for that matter. So I just took the corners a little easier than normal and the pipes did a great job purring loudly because of the co,d weather. Cruising around, taking in the fresh crisp air, jammin to tunes, and wandering the countryside ... life is so much better on days like today!!
Meanwhile later tonight it started rain sleeting. Boo. I hate winter..... I need to seriously consider moving!
For now, this is my end of season odometer pic.. she had zero miles when I bought her on 5-21-15... not bad considering I started the 2017 riding season at just over 38,xxx!
Part One: How to pack a lot of gear on a motorcycle... and keep it there for the duration of the trip!! How the heck do I get ALL the gear I need on the bike to ride long distance and/or camp?? Where there is a will, there is a way! I started riding and camping with my Suzuki Boulevard M50 - Love that bike, still own it. I had two gallon size saddlebags on her and the rest was pure strategy. I bought a Saddleman luggage pack and a bunch of bungees - which quickly got traded in for LOTS of straps and then a net on top. I first went long distance riding and motorcycle camping with a good friend, nickname HD, years ago. Let me tell you, she was a GREAT teacher in the art of packing a motorcycle. I would make the effort, get to the meeting point, have to retighten every since strap, ride, and repeat. She probably felt both sorry for me and annoyed by me for the extra time I took at stops to make sure my gear wasn't going to wind up on someone's windshield. So between her expertise…
Remember when you first started learning how to ride a
bike? It’s a struggle to keep your balance and if you start to tip over your
first instinct is to jump off the bike, hands first, planting your wrists
against the ground with force, while your skin is soaking up the gravel, one
tiny pebble at a time... and then you run crying the whole way home? Well, when
you’re on a motorcycle do NOT do that. Nothing will go well if you try to jump
off a 700-pound metal beast with flammable liquids between your legs and think
that you’re going to be able superman your body farther than your bike will
land. You can’t fly. Your bike can. You won’t win. The best thing to do is
opposite of what your instinct might be – when you start to tip over, think of
the bus lady yelling the rules at you on the first day of school. “Keep your
hands and legs IN the bus (aka on the handlebars and foot pegs) while in motion”.
And motion includes that of tipping over. At least on my Suzuki and my Victory,
the bike …
A lot of people hang up their motorcycle keys once temps get into the 40's. Those people are kind of smart. I, however, choose to ride until Mother Nature makes it physically impassable to do so, aka snow falls and stays on the ground. In order to ride when its in the teens, 20's, 30's, or even 40's, there is some gear that is a necessity to try to keep remotely warm while riding. And thanks to this gear, I have only gotten frostbite once while riding motorcycle. And to be honest, I doubt ANY cold riding gear would have spared my fingers from riding 70mph in temps of NINE (9) degrees. Yeah, that was stupid. But I was on a mission..... I WAS going to ride to Daytona!! And naturally, it had been in the 50's the week prior, aka when I decided I was going to ride there. Anyways - here is my GO TO cold riding gear!
<--- In Iowa, on way to Daytona. It warmed up to 24 degrees!!! There is no solution for frozen eyeballs.
Tour Master Synergy 2.0 Electrically Heated Leath…
Ah, the annual fall trek to the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Rally - in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Northwest Arkansas is my ALL time favorite place to ride in the USA. Four of us girls took off after work to get a head start on the (easy) 11 hour ride. The more daylight we could arrive in, the better, since 3 of us were going to need to set up camp when we arrived to Arkansas.
Sporting my Nomadic Gear thanks to @NomadicMichigan
We all look so bad-ass in our leathers!!!
We stopped for the night just outside of Des Moines - get a few hours of sleep, and back on the road in the morning!
After an easy 7 hour ride to Eureka Springs, we debated between heading straight to camp to set up, or heading straight to the Cat House bar to park and walk over to Aquarius for THE BEST TACOS in the entire region. In the end, Tacos clearly won! Aquarius is a cute little place on Main Street in Eureka Springs, AR. I don't even think the name of the place is on the outside - they get straight to the point …