Unless you are lucky enough to live in close proximity to the equator, there is a good chance that your riding season does not last a full 365 days a year. Old man winter has a nasty habit of putting a damper on the fun. Short days, cold temperatures, and frozen precipitation can turn our sport into a chore at best and a life threatening experience at worst. If relocating to a warmer locale is not an option, why not try a few of these cabin fever busting tips:
Work on the Bike: Winter is a perfect time to take care of all those maintenance items you’ve been putting off for the last 8 months. Is it time for a fork oil change, chain & sprocket replacement, or valve adjustment? Feeling really ambitious? Pull out your shop manual and strip your ride down to the frame, cleaning and polishing as you go. By the time you get it back together your baby will be like new and you will have gained a ton of knowledge and hands on experience.
Plan that Next Big Ride – Long trips can require a fair amount of time to plan.
Why not get started while the weather is too crappy to ride?
Where do you want to go? What do you want to do when you get there?
How much will it cost?
Chat With Other Riders – Say “hi” on that forum you are always reading but never bothered to start posting on. The next best thing to riding motorcycles is talking about motorcycles. Get involved with a local group or club Once spring rolls around you’ll have a whole new set of riding buddies.
Take a First Aid/CPR Class – Any responsible adult should take the time to learn basic first aid and CPR, but for motorcyclists, it should be mandatory. Go to your local Red Cross and sign up for a class. They are not that expensive and most classes just take a couple of hours. You never know when your own skills and knowledge might save someone’s life. If you ride with others, there is a good chance that you will be a “first res-ponder” at some point in your riding career.
Read a Good Book – There are plenty of excellent motorcycle books out there.
Why not learn something new?
Personally, I make it a point to read through David Hugh’s Proficient Motorcycling before every riding season. I always seem to pick up some new tidbit I’d never noticed before. You never know what little piece of advice might save your life this year.
Who Freckled? –
Why not burn some of that extra Christmas money on a new gadget for your bike?
Windshields, exhausts, GPS, bike to bike radio, heated grips, auxiliary lights, skid plates, luggage, handlebar tassels – the mind boggles at the possibilities
Build the Perfect Toolkit – Spend some time with the manual and think through what tools make the most since to carry on the bike. Tools are heavy and take up valuable space. Make sure everyone you carry has a purpose and you know how to use it. Already have the toolkit thing covered? Work on your first-aid kit.
Review Those Insurance Documents You Tossed Into Your Bottom Desk Drawer Two Years Ago – OK, so this may not be on high on your list of fun things to do, but it is important and there is no time like the present to go over this stuff. Motorcycling can be dangerous Collision Comprehensive Liability Medical Life. Make sure you have what you need and understand what you have.
Go For a Ride! – Come on, wimp, it’s not that cold!