Riding Season is Here – Time to Plan those Trips

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May 17, 2013 | By: Jeff Maddox

Get out rideEditor’s Note:What appears below is a guest blog post from veteran biker Jeff Maddox, who regularly holds court over at the JMAdog blog.

Winter was a long one – for sure! For those of you who have had to sit and look at your motorcycle from the shop stool in the garage, you may have been taking mental notes of the spring and summer to come: where to go, when to go and who might be coming with you have crossed your mind while patiently waiting to pull the bike back onto the highway. It will be a great summer if you just let it. Be patient, relax when you ride and enjoy every mile. Let’s slow it down and let the ride come to us. As bikers, we sometimes try to cram too much into each ride, or we try to plan just one BIG ride in hopes that everything will come together. Usually that’s when the ride will be memorable, but not necessarily enjoyable.

This year I plan on attending the J&P Cycles Open House Rally on June 29-30, a great event put on by very dedicated enthusiasts of our sport. I have been to this event before and they put on an awesome weekend. I also plan to head to Colorado this summer to ride in the mountains. I live relatively close and it’s surprising how few times I actually head in that direction. What’s wrong with me? For crying out loud I ride a motorcycle! Of course, the big trip to Sturgis is on the calendar. What can I say? If you have never been you should go at least once in your life. But that is my point exactly…

If we put all of our hopes in one big trip of the season, we are taking the chance that, of course, it will be epic, but it can also be an epic disappointment when it doesn’t come together like it should. If you have friends who are going with you, you have the chance of them dropping out of the ride. If costs were to be shared, then it can shoot those up. I have had several rides that worked out just fine and all went well, but I have seen plans dissolve in a minute. So, let’s ride. Let’s take a weekend and just go. Go anywhere. A short “fly by the seat of your motorcycle” kind of ride. Don’t give the plans a chance to come apart and ruin what could be a good time.

Remember, it’s not carved in stone and the pressure is off. Hey, maybe I’ll see you in Anamosa, or Colorado Springs or Sturgis!

Comments (18)

Re Dicky’s post on demographics, I live in the central west of NSW Australia, seasons temps (last year) summer 50.2deg C max and have already had coming into winter -6deg just up the road, the coldest I have had was -19 wind chill near Canberra ACT, now 59yrs old with spare metal parts in me from Aust Army service and a bike “prang” (crash) I dont ride under -2deg C or over around 42deg C, I chickened out on a 964km ride 2 weeks ago with the temp at -7deg C and rain, wouldnt have bothered me several yrs ago, must be the arthritis, steel body parts or just getting soft & in my age, any of you blokes in the U.S in the same “boat”??

I live in a place very similar to Alice Springs. Middle of nowhere and very similar temperatures. Hot, damn hot. Been through the bike crash and got broke in half by the US Army. I still ride in the heat (no choice, lol) but I don’t ride in the cold like I used to. I can but I have a hard time getting off and standing up. Luckily winter is pretty mild here.

Good write up. And a good point. I have several trips planned this year and hopefully all of them will work out. So far weather has been a major factor. I will be at the J&P Cycles Open House Rally, first time. I have a campsite reserved, and I will be at Sturgis this year. First time also. I am camping with some friends. So hopefully Ill see ya on the road and buy you a beer or ice tea. Colorado…… on this list.

We often on a Saturday morning suddenly decide to ride somewhere, stay over, and return the following day. The ride will sometimes be 300 miles one way and others will be maybe 150 miles one way, and if some friends can join us on the spur of the moment then better still! Long Trips are good, but require a lot more preparation!

After growing up in Iowa but moving to Arizona over 20 years ago I always find it funny to see the “riding season” article. To us Zonie’s riding season is Oct – June. In fact it was 110 Sunday and will be mid 100′s all week climbing back to the 110 mark by the weekend so it is just about to hot to ride. All that said is simply to remind you that you have an audience that is not simply Midwest or even US and when the snow is flying in Anamosa it is riding season in much of the world.
Thanks
TrexSG

In the East of South Africa, winter is the best riding weather mostly. It is cold but seldom below freezing when we leave and the sun shines. Summer in the afternoons the possibility of being caught in a thunder storm are good!

TRexx, funny when you go out to places that have “year round” riding seasons, and its 105F out….there are very few riders out. Give midwesterner’s a 105 deg day, and they are out in droves…. Out your way, people hide from the heat like we hide from cold…
It would be interesting to ask J&P the demographics of their customers, as it seems like the mid-west states have huge per capita motorcycle ownership compared to other parts of the country we visit. -Thats not to say anybody should ignore or discount any part of the motorcycle owner’s nation, but maybe explain why they may be able to relate to a very large portion of their customers when they talk about winter time blues..

I live in Northern Virginia. Colorado riding sounds awesome! But I did make it there and drove all over in the 4 wheeler vehicle. I’m taking a 12 day trip to Tail of the Dragon in NC/TN at the end of the month. Can’t wait!

Hopefully you can make it out here to Colorado Springs. It’s all greened up and beautiful! Just keep the shiny side up :-) Have a great summer Jeff!

Thanks! You too!

I just finished a four day ride today, up and down the Mississippi River with family. Had a great time, start/end at the National Motorcycle Museum. Kept the schedule loose and rolled with the flow. How ironic that I read your blog as it ended. Great advice! Enjoy the summer rides.

I am from Oklahoma City ,a good friend and myself are headed to Yellowstone June 7th I have always wanted to see it.We are tired of bad weather we hope the sun shines on our trip hope you keep the greasy side down!

Sorry to see the devastation in Oklahoma.You’re going on a great trip.I’ve been there 3 years in a row.You should also go see the grand canyon.That place is just awsome.Have a great,safe trip

Cool, I’m hoping to do a lot of riding this summer soon as I’m healed up from having surgery.

I can’t wait to ride. Sadly, I also had surgery to put a broken arm back together and need a couple months to heal.

Great blog Jeff , you inspired me to ride .

Marty that inspiration has àlways been there! Have a great summer!

Great article. Already been on one nice trip and a couple of short ones. Just watched Wild Hogs last night. After we hit Lincoln (New Mexico not Nebraska) I think it’s time to head to Madrid.

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