The weather is starting to change and soon it will be that dreaded time where my bike must go into hibernation. Just a couple of weeks ago we had a pretty good stretch of days where getting out for a ride seemed pretty easy. This past week or so has seen a change and for the most part the weather has been horrible for those looking to get out on two wheels. Last season I put my bike away on November 20. With the weather forecast looking terrible this week, my fingers are crossed in the hopes that perhaps the next couple of weeks we will see a turn that will allow me to put a few more miles on the Suzuki before it goes to sleep for the winter.
About the only thing this weather is good for right now is to help promote some beautiful scenery when you can get out for a spin. With the colour of the leaves changing quicker than the colour in my hair, it sure does make for a beautiful ride when you are able to get out for a little cruise. Although the temperature is slightly nippy compared to those rides you took in the summer, a hoodie and some warmer gloves should keep you feeling comfortable while you check out the amazing colours that the season has to offer.
On Thanksgiving Monday, Kim and I decided to take advantage of a beautiful day to go for such a ride. Just a couple of unexpected wardrobe issues I would like to point out. Issue number one was that my jacket seemed a little tight when combined with the above-mentioned hoodie as well as a healthy helping of turkey the day before. Okay maybe the pumpkin pie, the ice cream and the apple crisp didn’t help either, but regardless, things seemed a bit snug. Second wardrobe issue was the jeans that I chose to wear. I have a pair of jeans that are not only comfy, but they are also ripped in strategic areas, thus adding to my imagined rebel-like street cred. Although I have noticed the rip in the knee area getting a bit larger (mostly in part to my foot poking through it every second time I slip them on), I hadn’t noticed how ripped and frayed they were getting at the bottom. This issue became very apparent however when after leaving a red light and putting my foot onto my peg, I quickly realized that the bottom of my pants were caught up in my foot peg. Despite the images playing in my head, I was able to unhook my pants successfully as we cruised along and avoid the almost certain tip over to the left the next time we stopped if I hadn’t got them unhooked. Thank God I am so bendy!
When we headed out for our ride, we decided to go in a direction that we haven’t taken for awhile. We are fortunate to live in Kitchener and basically if you leave our house and head almost any direction you will quickly leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. This day was no different and within 15 minutes we were surrounded by fields, streams, and of course splashes of colour. This ride was a bit different than many of the summer rides though as it might be the slowest I have gone on two wheels over a long period of time. With the visual aspect of our ride being much more important than any kind of destination, my tach never climbed past 5,000 rpm as we cruised the country roads. Traffic was actually quite busy on this day, as many others were taking advantage of a bonus day off work to go for a ride and snap some photos.
One thing I’ve never really noticed until this ride is how much I fly by the seat of my pants on the bike when it comes to figuring out where I am going. In the car I am very much a GPS or Google maps kind of guy, and the stress level seems to escalate every time I don’t know where I am, even if it is only for a minute or so. On the bike for whatever reason that never seems to matter, and I have yet to purchase a phone holder so I can watch a map. Once again on this ride we would come to a crossroad, look left, then look right, then shrug our shoulders and head off in whatever direction knowing full well that at some point we will see something familiar or a road sign that will get us where we need to be. I would never do that in a car.
Today is looking kind of icky for a bike ride so here I sit itching to get out. I know the colours would be even better now than they were last week, but the forecast looks bleak for at least the next four days with rain predicted for every day. Hopefully we can get back out before all the leaves hit the ground and add a few more photos to our endless reel we seem to have going. Maybe the bigger question is when the bike will have to go into hibernation for the winter. We have a trip planned for November 13 so I guess I will have to decide if it is getting put away before we leave. If it does, we may have to rent some scooters in Cayo Santa Maria. Stay tuned.
- From Todd Vallee