We got up this morning after a 331 mile ride yesterday. When we started out on Saturday morning it was about 30 degrees and it really didn't warm up into the 50's until late morning. By the time we got home at 9:30 pm it was in the mid-30's. Our trip consisted of taking back routes down toward Newburgh NY where we met up with other member of the Concours Owners Group. Blaise and I left our house at 7:30 am, met up with his brother John at 8 am and we were on our way.
On Friday Blaise worked very hard to add grip heaters to the s50 because we knew the ride was going to be cold. My hands have been the biggest issue with post-summer riding this year. I get very stiff and feel like I'm losing control on the throttle. Once my hands are cold it seems to radiate up my arms and adds to feeling cold all over.
The grip warmers were a bit of a challenge-Blaise likes his installs to be neat and clean and inconspicuous. The switch housing we purchased was a bit small for the hi-off-low switch that came in the heater pack but he modified it and it the switch came out looking great. He hid the wires well and when they warmed up I was tickled pink! The throttle grip heater gets warmer than the clutch probably due to the throttle grip being thinner than the clutch grip. Either way my hands were quite toasty on the ride and it really helped keep me warm right up my arms.
We have discussed more heated equipment but my opinion is I would rather move south to extend the season and be a bit more comfortable. Until we can do that, I'm thinking of adding an extra pair of socks to my trunk bag or wearing tights under my jeans (which are under my riding over-pants) and then thermal socks. My extremities were the only parts of me that get cool-cold on a regular basis (I love my windshield).
This morning we were discussing the days chores and I mentioned to Blaise that my Virago and the s50 need to be washed and have accessories pulled off before going into storage. He asked, "Are you done for the season?" and I replied with no hesitation, "Yes". It's time for a long winter's nap for the bikes. Some of the back roads we rode on yesterday already had sand and salt on them from an early week storm of wet snow/sleet/freezing rain. I think sand/salt scares me more than anything on the road surfaces, probably because the one time my Maxim went down it was a slow drop to the pavement because my foot was sliding on sand. With more seasonable weather guaranteed to be heading our way I have no second thoughts to putting the bikes away.
The new bike covers I purchased for the Virago and s50 should be delivered in a few days and both bikes will be mechanically prepped for storage. My winter will consist of thinking about my gear, which I will talk about here, piece by piece, and possible modifications to the bike along with trip ideas for next season.
If I ride again this year it will be two-up on Blaise's Concours. At least that way I can stay warm by keeping my hands in my lap and maybe having a drink or two!
So have a good winter's nap, my lovely bikes. It was a grand 2,500+ miles we shared this season and I'm hoping to top that next season. Until then, snuggle up with your Sta-Bil and rest!