Spring has arrived…finally. It has been a long winter in Ontario, thanks in no small part to Global climate changes, but finally warmer weather has arrived. Only now that we are into April, are we getting temperatures that are consistently warm enough to ride in. Although some riders like myself, have been riding on and off throughout the winter (road conditions permitting) most riders and certainly most bikes don’t fair well in the winter. The cold air and ground temperatures don’t leave for much traction nor do they allow for a comfortable ride, unless the proper gear is worn. Special attention must be given to staying warm, especially when riding at highway speeds when the wind-chill may be cold enough for a rider to get frostbite in just a couple of minutes.
Okay, so enough of the cold talk…it’s Spring now! More and more riders are being spotted on the road as the riding season comes into full swing but what about you? Are you on the road yet? Are you even ready? Well if not, check out your local bike shops so that you can pickup whatever parts, gear, accessories or other goodies that you may still need or want. Most major cities have a Spring motorcycle show of some sort, so that may provide a good chance to pick up what you need at a slightly reduced price.
What about others on the road? Are they ready for us? Many times this winter, I saw the wide-eyed and shocked look on peoples faces as they stared at me in bewilderment when I pulled up along side them at a stop, while the temps were well below freezing. Well, despite the warmer weathers, most cagers are still not used to seeing us on the roads yet. They certainly won’t be thinking about if there is a bike in their blind spot at this point so ensure that you consider that while passing cars on the road.
What about your bike? If your bike has been in storage all winter, you really need to take the time to do a full inspection. Battery, chain, sprockets, fork seals, etc. all need to be checked out before that first ride. Make sure nothing is kinked or leaking and that everything that is supposed to be snug is nice and tight and all the moving bits are well lubricated (dont forget to check your fluid levels).
Personally, this new year of riding will be done on a new bike (in fact I’ve already done over 1200kms so far this year). I will be doing some nice long rides on my (new to me) 2006 BMW F650GS including trips to Mt. Washington, Thunder Bay, Mont Tremblant, and the Adirondack Mountains, not to mention many one and two day trips in and around Southern Ontario. Also, since my bike is a dual sport style, I will also be trying out a little dirt and trail riding.
Whatever you’re riding preference or bike of choice…just get out and ride!