Early Spring Commuting Does Have Its Drawbacks – But It’s Worth It

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March 25, 2011 | By: Lowell Anderson

Climbing on my bike in the early weeks of spring is something I look forward to every year. It’s nice to get out and do some riding after a long winter of sitting around waiting for the weather to break. If you’re like me and you have a busy lifestyle, you might find yourself doing most of your two-wheel riding in your commute to and from work.

Unfortunately, the change to spring weather can bring a whole new set of problems to that morning ride. My day usually starts at 6 a.m., so when I get on the road, I find myself confronted by quite a few challenges. For one thing, it’s still dark that early in the morning. And it’s usually cold and wet. There are animals out and about — often scrambling across the road.  And there are two-legged creatures out there — barely awake, radio flippin’, cellphone gabbin’ automobile pilots — and I’m out there among ’em, heading to work the same time!

During that morning ride I find myself watching for that demon deer that has been sent out by the gremlins to cross my path, and the dead raccoon in the middle of the road that didn’t make it. What sucks is that I am doing all this while peering out of a helmet that’s fogged-up from the cold. And I’m pretty much frozen, wet, and late for work!

This year I decided to take the bull by the horns, and make some changes in my attire in order to make that morning adventure a bit more enjoyable.  First things first, I purchased a full-face helmet that features a breath guard and a chin curtain. If your preferences lean toward the half helmet,  you can get one that features a wind curtain. You’d be surprised how much air comes in under your helmet, giving you that “cold neck” feeling. The chin curtain alleviates that problem, and the breath guard keeps things from fogging up so you can see where you’re going.

The next great thing was the new heated clothing offered from Adam and the boys at Powerlet. This stuff is awesome! You can’t get more comfortable on those cold days. Their heated clothing features ProForm stretch panels that provide a comfortable fit, and the lightweight design makes it easy to fold-up and put away when not in use. Unlike other brands of heated clothing, this stuff is not stiff — it’s pliable and light, and most important, it’s comfortable! The gloves and jacket work great, and with all the accessories offered by Powerlet, it was a cinch to find what I needed.

Lastly, I purchased a good rain suit for those wet days. There are several brands out there from which to choose, but I suggest getting a decent quality suit. You won’t be wearing it all the time, so it’ll last you a long time. Get one that you can quickly pull out when it starts to pour. Now you don’t have to worry when it rains cats and dogs. Instead, you can focus your attention on the demon deer and dead raccoons!

Comments (4)

Thank you , GREAT artical and TOO TRUE road hazards , ride safe .

Hey Dan,
Once you are jetted correctly, you don’t have to check your plugs weekly. If you are making changes and want to monitor what is happening, this is a good way to check things out.

I am putting Python slip on mufflers on my 2000 Harley Sportster 1200 Custom.
Do I need to check my spark plugs weekly for a tan or brown color indicating too lean of an air supply to the engine?

Great article, thanks for the tips. Ride safe!

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