How long do you ride?

By Michael Henry on

As I was riding home from my weekly ride on Wednesday night, I noticed that it was a lot cooler than it had been for the last few months. At that point, reality sort of set in, and it was very clear that the end of riding season is near.

I had on my “riding pants” (read: ski pants that are extremely warm) over my jeans and my TourMaster jacket. I wore a long sleeve shirt that night because I knew the ride home was going to be a little chilly. I hadn’t put my liner back in my jacket yet, as it’s a little too early for that. Maybe in a few more weeks I will break down and get it back in there.

When I got home, I looked at the thermometer and it read 53. Now, 53 degrees isn’t all that cold. It’s a heat wave come March or April. But, after months of pretty hot weather, 53 is a little chilly. A few more times out in that weather and I will be OK with it. I just have to get my body used to it. Then, once it gets down in the 30s, I will bring out the heavy leather FXRG jacket and keep riding.

I was just discussing this with another rider the other night. I don’t mind riding in the cold. It’s not the cold that gets me, it’s the bulky gear that makes it uncomfortable. Then again, there’s always heated gear. But that’s a luxury, and a darn expensive one. If it works well and extends the season, maybe it is worth it. Of course, I’ve been riding all these years without it. Why should I start now?

How late into the year do you ride? Do you use heated gear to extend the riding season?



  1. I’m in Pittsburgh right now and they seem to be having a heat wave. I mean it’s so hot I had the A/C on today,Now it’s almost 11pm and it’s still too hot to sleep. Is the cold weather ever going to come blowing in? Is the world soon going to be the same temp everywhere – hot? I don’t like it too cold but too hot is worse. The only thing I found that saves me is the new heat shields I put on my bike. I don’t see how anyone rides a Harley in the summer without them. So it looks like most riders will have a real treat this year and may be able to ride a lot longer.

  2. I live in Augusta, GA and ride year around. Georgia is funny… in the mornings you freeze your tail off in your mesh gear and in the evenings you’re sweating in the same. My husband bought me a heated vest and glove liners last year, after he found me curled up in the fetal position on the living room floor, with my aching hands stuck up my crotch and crying like a baby. Well, they didn’t feel all that cold until I got inside. The hands were my problem always. And when those get cold the rest seems to follow shortly. The vest helped alleviate that even without the glove liners (which I don’t use on the daily commute). I’m with you on the bulkiness of winter gear. Meh. I need to be able to move on the bike. I hate feeling like a 5-year old stuck in a monster snowsuit. When I have to worry about being able to get back up after I fall, it’s no good. :) The Fall and Spring season in GA are perfect for the mesh jacket/heated vest combo. And in the winter time I don’t need but to add my UnderArmour ColdGear base layer to my regular all-season riding gear (FXRG jacket, pants, gloves). Now that I own heated gear, I’m not going back to layering up to the point of not being able to move. I’m done with that. =D

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