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

It’s time to change gears. You can feel change in the air right now as summer is slowly fading into fall, and as Mother Nature is telling those who ride to either dress warmer or put this bike away. We fight it like a kid being told to come in the house and eat supper. We want to play some more – and we’re not ready to give in. There are a lot of areas in this country where we as bikers can ride all year long, but a big portion of us need to make a decision “weather” or not to ride. As motorcyclists, the weather is such an important and determining factor in riding our motorcycles that in a sense, we become better at determining the weather in our area than the weathermen and women we see on television.

As the seasons change so do we. Colder weather usually brings about shorter rides, and that week long ride we took to Sturgis is replaced with a quick ride out of town and back. Maybe we still commute to work, but with the shadows showing up earlier in the evening, we have to keep it short as the temperatures drop. Our tolerance to the cold is revealed and the desire to ride is beat down by the reality of the weather.

But now is the time to do all the things you’ve wanted to do to your bike. It may not be ridden every day, so what better time to change your handlebars or add those accessories you bought this summer, but never installed? This is also a good time to check your motorcycle over for anything that may need attention. Tires, cables and a general check-up is a good idea while you have the time and you are already out in the garage wishing you could ride anyway, so why not make the most of it? And we both know you can’t resist.

It goes without saying that if the weather breaks, and the sun comes out you should get the bike out for a short ride. You’ll feel better both mentally and physically and for me I’m always glad I do. A short ride can do wonders for your outlook through what most people consider the non-riding time of the year. What does the weatherman know anyway?