With riding season winding down, it kind of bums me out knowing that within the next few weeks I won’t be able to enjoy my morning blast to work or weekend lunacy with my riding buddies.

Instead, I’ll be relegated to finding rare opportunities to rip around in the dirt while freezing to death or the occasional flogging of the dirt bike through my snow-packed backyard. But mostly, I’ll be preparing my plan of attack on next year’s riding season. The fact that I’m forced into the garage for the winter months — sort of like a grownup’s “time out” — actually offers a silver lining. And that’s because it gives me an excuse to look my machine over and take inventory of the damage done this past riding season.

Hopefully, you’re not the type of bike owner who fills the tank with the best gas you can find and then just tosses a cover over your ride for the winter. There are quite a few things where a little TLC in the garage this off season could very well save you hours of headache next riding season. Take some time and inspect the machine to which you literally trust your life every time you throw a leg over it. Little things, like checking for small oil leaks that you may have overlooked this summer. Or carefully inspecting fuel lines, brake pads and drive belts — all prime candidates for replacement after the wear and tear of the summer.

Drive belts for instance, in addition to the huge amounts of stress this particular part is constantly under belts can also be prematurely worn by small rocks or a misaligned rear wheel And the last thing you want is a broken belt when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, because replacing a belt is not exactly a roadside fix. Most likely, it’s going to involve a tow truck, a credit card and a disappointing short ride.

The moral of this story, kids, is that an ounce of prevention can prevent a pound of headache. And that ounce of prevention comes in the form of Rivera Primo’s Carbon Fiber Core Belts. These combat-tested belts are super strong with a polyurethane outer jacket with a carbon fiber core that delivers unmatched performance.

So instead of adopting a “hibernation mode” and tossing a blanket over your bike and forgetting about it this winter, take some time and check it over. A few bucks spent on a drive belt now could save you some beer money next summer. Anybody care to drink to that?