Nuts About Bikes

Take that, Punxsutawney Phil

Phil5 Feb 2007 - Today's high in New York: 19F. In International Falls, Minn.: minus 8F. Yeah, that's the predicted high.

It's days like this that can make a motorcyclist go completely stir-crazy. (Except for you So-Cal guys. 78 today in San Diego. Grrr. Well, at least it's raining in southern Florida.)

For the rest of us, it's cold enough to freeze your battery acid. In the garage. It's even too cold to wash the thing. And it's easy to fall victim to the dreaded post-groundhog-day biker blues.

There's not much you can do about the weather, except bellyache about it. But you can change your frame of mind to help you get through those long weeks until spring.

Ride. Easiest way to cure both your biker blues and your desire to cure them. Cover up every inch of exposed skin and take a ride around the block. You'll soon reconsider your rush to get back on the bike.

If you're on the East Coast and the cold has set in to your brain cells, blocking your ability to make rational decisions - you can find some like-minded two-wheeled fanatics to ride with on the Polar Bear Grand Tour.

We jest. The Polar Bears are not completely nuts, just a little bit. They know how to have motorcycle fun in the winter time. If you have the gear, go for it. Just be smart. Riding in the cold can be dangerous on a number of levels. See the Nuts About Bikes Winter Riding Tips for more.

For the less adventuresome, it's a mind game. You do everything you can to satisfy the itch, short of scratching, for example:

Wrench. Change the oil. So what if you changed it last week and the bike has not been started since. Change it again. Oil is cheap. Pull off the front wheel. Why? Because you can. Tear down the front brakes and spray off all the dust. Change the brake fluid. Change the clutch fluid. Adjust the clutch. Gap the plugs. Again. Change the plugs. Oil the cables. Clean the chain. Check the battery acid. Check the shaft fluid. Put on some new pipes. Bore out your cylinders ... install high performance cams ... grind the valves ... put in a nitrous system ... re-jet the carbs.

Sorry. OK, I seem to have gotten a grip now.

Realistically, the throes of Old Man Winter is just the thing you need to inspire those maintenance chores you'd been putting off during riding season. If you don't wrench your own wheels, this is also a good time to visit the mechanic. He's probably twiddling his thumbs, anyway. Get him while he's slow and take advantage of the extra minutes he has to to spend with your steed.

Shop: you can't spend money on bike gas, bike food and bike tolls. So spend it on bike toys. Go to the dealer. Ogle the eye candy. Flirt with the opposite-sex staffers. Bust some chops. Sit on the new models. Before you leave, buy something you can use now, like a biker-dude wallet, a Zippo lighter or a 2007 FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide.

Aromatherapy: Get up out of your chair. Go the garage. Spray some chain lube on your palm. Rub hands together briskly to generate some heat. Bring them to your schnoz and breathe deep.

Pretend: Sit on your bike, twist the throttle and make engine noises.

Flip: Reread all your biker magazines. When you're through with them, go through the Dennis Kirk or J&P Cycles catalog again, page by page.

Watch: Find a race or ride show on Speed Channel.

Play: go to a motorcycle show or convention. (Use in moderation. Seeing so many rides and riders under one roof can make you more depressed.)

Piss & Moan: turn on the Weather Channel. There's always someplace more miserable than where you are. Siberia comes to mind.

Hurry up and wait. They can't keep the deep freeze running forever. And with global warming, maybe spring will be early this year.

-Sal, Editor
February 2007

 

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