I’ll try to resolve two truths that seem in opposition with each other. One, I don’t like being cold. And two, I choose to ride through the winter. They only seem opposed because most riders think you can’t ride in cold weather without getting cold.
That’s the challenge. Or part of it anyway. The Vespa in winter.
A few mornings ago I headed out with the thermometer indicating 29F. Cold enough to remind me it’s not as simple as I thought. Riding in cold weather demands work. For me, in these three areas:
Gear — the stuff that keeps you safe and warm.
Skill — the ability to manage the cold and the risk of snow and ice safely.
Mental — the drive to ride regardless of the weather.
Gear and skill are essential but the easiest to acquire. Money, time and practice will get you where you need to be.
The mental stuff — that’s a different story. After twelve years of winter riding — it’s only gotten harder.
When I started riding in the cold I could physically endure a lot more than I can now.
Thinking back to sub-zero rides, warming my hands with headlights and exhaust gas makes me shiver. I could do things then by force of will. Now my body can’t, or won’t go where my brain wants to lead it.
Despite the blue skies and bright sunshine it was cold enough, especially in shadowed areas, to have a little frost and ice on parts of the road. I had to tell myself to slow down and not assume the bright sky meant dry pavement.Continue Reading