Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How Bikers Survive The Winter Months

When your passion is living a life on two wheels, but you live in an area where snow dominates the landscape four to six months out of the year, you learn certain survival skills. Some of us are fortunate enough to roll down south during the winter months, and/or some of us are lucky enough to live in the warmth year round, post pictures and status updates that the rest of us live vicariously through. But there are other crafty ways we in the north circumnavigate, and they are:

Making plans to escape:
There are numerous motorcycle rallies throughout the year: from Daytona Bike Week to Laconia, from Laughlin River Run to Sturgis, and all the small town rallies in-between. Our own local bike rally, the Thousand Islands River Run will be in it's tenth year, as well as the NY H.O.G. Rally will be in Alexandria Bay this July. Bikers are planning and plotting where and when they'll be riding to this upcoming season.

Windows into other worlds:
Thanks to the invention of the internet and then YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc., we can now watch and re-watch our favorite motorcycle TV shows and movies. Wild Hogs, Easy Rider, CHiPs, The Wild One and - of course - Sons Of Anarchy. If we can't ride then we'll watch other people riding.

Out and about:
Riding ATVs and snowmobiles - for some of us just the fact that we are outside and moving (and not in a cage (aka car/truck)) is enough to help us get through. The local Harley Dealership will usually have events throughout the winter as well. At FXCHD we had a paint party last month and this month we have a few workshops, a vintage sled show and a chili cook-off.

Adding that special something:
One of the plus sides to living in the northern states is that it's easy to use the 'down-time' to customize and/or upgrade our motorcycles without losing any riding time. Now is the time of year most of us have our bikes up on a lift adding new exhaust, a sissy bar backrest, doing an engine upgrade, adding extra speakers to your sound system, or even just maintaining our bikes (like maybe that new rear tire) so we're ready to spring from winter's lock down. Last year Jeff, FXCHD's Master Technician, put Screamin' Eagle 204 Cams into my bike; this year she got new jugs!!

Saving some dough:
Motorcycle travel is definitely a less expensive way of travel, but there are still expenses that can rack up. Hotels, dinners, gas, gear and the like - bikers tend to save some extra money now to help offset the expenses later. Another way we save money is by checking our riding gear - making sure we have everything we'll need out there on the road and that it's in good repair. Rain gear, leather jacket and chaps, helmet, gloves and goggles - the old adage holds true: it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.