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... at the old, ballgame!
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My friend Mark tries to ride one of his (seven) bikes every Christmas day. This year, he invited me to go along with him and his brother Mike. (This is my first year riding.)

Christmas day here in Albuquerque started off cold, but the sun came out and by noon it had warmed up into the mid 40's. The weather forecast called for a storm front to move in later in the day, highs in the upper 30's, and winds 10 to 20 mph.

I aired up the tires on the bike (they seem to lose at least a pound of pressure every 2 weeks), then geared up for the ride. Wool ski socks under insulated boots. Polypro long johns, jeans, and nylon-covered insulated ski bibs. Turtle-neck, cotton henley, long sleeve polar fleece pull-over, polar fleece vest, and textile (summer-weight) armored jacket with the windbreaker zipped into it. My hands got the warmest pair of ski gloves I own. Topped off with Arai FF.

I headed to Mark's, where he was putting the finishing touches on prepping his bike. Headed down to Peralta (south of ABQ) on Broadway/Hwy 47 to meet up with Mike. The three of us then headed south towards Belen on the back roads. Weather is 48 degrees, partly sunny, calm winds. I'm doing great with the gear I have on.

We headed back north by going a little east of Tome hill. The plan was to rejoin Hwy 47 a little north of where Mike lives, where he would head south to go home and Mark and I would head north. Just before we got back to 47, the weather changed. Temperature dropped 10 degrees in 5 minutes, and the winds went from calm to 20 mph plus. We split up at 47 as planned, and now Mark and I are battling a head wind all the way back to Burque.

By the time we got to Isleta casino the fingertips on my right hand are on fire. Unlike my left hand, I can't get it out of the wind for even a second. All the lights in Isleta are green, so I can't even shake feeling back into it. Mark asks whether we go back via I25 or stay on 47 - I chose 47 for several reasons. 1) Even though the interstate would get us back faster, the wind chill at 75 mph would be even worse. 2) Going up 47/Broadway means that eventually we will hit a traffic light and I can take my hand off the **** throttle.

My plan worked. When we got close to downtown we started to hit red lights, and I was able to warm my hands up. The rest of the ride was cold, but not uncomfortably (or dangerously) so. When we finally turned east on Menaul, the difference in apparent temperature was great because we were no longer heading straight into the wind.

I did 100 miles total, over about a 3 hour period. (Sing it with me - "A three hour tour.....") All but the last 45 minutes were great.

Some observations on the ride:

- After the weather change the wind downtown was whipping leaves and trash all over the road - if there had been less traffic it would have looked down-right post-apocalyptic. My little 500 LTD was whipped around a bit, too.

- The Sonic drive-in restaurants were open here in Burque and in Bosque Farms. The one on Menaul was doing a lot of business. Don't these guys deserve a day off?

- There weren't many bikes on the road, but we saw some. A HD rider wearing a santa's cap stopped next to me at a light, and we exchanged greetings. Before we got back to Mark's house a street bike passed us on Menaul - the rider was wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and tennis shoes. Brrrrrrr! I'm guessing he wasn't going far.

- I'm glad I practiced my u-turns during the nicer weather. I had to perform a couple of them for real, either in a parking lot or on a side road.

- I got home, parked the bike, went inside to take the FF off, stepped back outside to do the car shuffle to put the bike back inside the garage - and it had started to snow. Timing is everything in life.

- I have ridden with Mark before, but never with Mike. Mike's riding style is quite a bit different than Mark's (at least when Mark is riding with me). Mike is a lot more aggressive, and pushed my comfort envelope a couple of times, but I did a good job of keeping up.

Post mortem on my gear. Feet didn't get cold. My toes started to get cool during the last part of the ride, but not cold, and never uncomfortable. Same for my legs. The ski bibs might have looked wierd, but they kept my legs warm. Upper body was cool to cold, but not too bad. A solid jacket would have worked better - cold air got in around my wrists, where the liner doesn't do a great job of going all the way to the cuffs. Head got a little cool, even with the FF, mostly because of air coming in through the neck opening. Next time I have to wear the balaclava, not just carry it with me. :cool:

My hands were the weak point. The ski gloves just were not up to the task. The combination of bike speed and wind speed just wicked the warmth away from the fingertips. Looks like I need to find a good pair of leather, highly insulated gauntlet-style gloves. Maybe even heated.

May next year's Christmas day weather be a little nicer.

If you read this far, I hope I didn't bore you too much!
 

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Vintage bike addict
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I almost got one of the bikes out for a ride on christmas. Just getting too old for that much cold. Thanks for the post.
 

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... at the old, ballgame!
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Discussion Starter #3
I almost got one of the bikes out for a ride on christmas. Just getting too old for that much cold. Thanks for the post.
Heck, if I had known that it was going to get that bad before the ride was over I would have opted for a much shorter ride in and around town, where it would have been easier to knock off and go home. As it was, we just didn't have a choice but to muddle through when the weather turned bad. Poor planning on my part. Just part of my motorcycling education, I guess. :lol:
 

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NXT Wax Inhaler
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I did an Xmas day ride here as well. It did the same thing here with the temps. Was about 47 degrees and a 10-15 mph wind when I started. About 20 minutes into it the temp dropped to near 40 and the wind picked up to 30 mph with 35mph gusts out of the north. Folks, out in the TX panhandle there is NOTHING to stop the wind--flat as a pancake. I finished my loop and hit the house after an hour in it at 65+mph.

Was wearing thick socks in thinsulated boots, jeans, thinsulated chaps, a long sleeve shirt, my new leather jacket with a liner in it, a pair of leather thinsulated gloves, my hunting neck wrap, and my FF. The only thing that got cold enough to make me uncomfortable were my fingers. My hands get notoriously cold very easily. I wish I had the cash to get a pair of Gerbings gloves, but it's not gonna happen this year, so I'm gonna have to find some other way to keep my hands warmer.
 

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I went for a ride chrissy day to sun on the back of the waist coat, it was warm. Sorry guys had to rub it in a little.
 

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It's 15F this morning but a few of us will going for a ride on New Year's day. How long the route is depends on the weather.
 

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... at the old, ballgame!
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Discussion Starter #8
I went for a ride chrissy day to sun on the back of the waist coat, it was warm. Sorry guys had to rub it in a little.
Go ahead and rub it in, Paul. Your turn will come around in, oh, six months or so. :)

I remember the culture shock I had on my one and only Australia Christmas. Shorts, swimming in the pool, and watermelon. It just didn't seem right to this northern hemisphere (then) 16-year-old.

Wish I had had some of that warmth on Tuesday.
 

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... at the old, ballgame!
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Discussion Starter #9
I ride all winter long in temps down into the 30's. Just last week I found a way to keep my hands warm. They work well on the C14.

ATV Protection Mitts - QuadGear Extreme
Are these things legal for riding on the road? They look like they are difficult to get into. Do they attach to the bars somehow, allowing the hands to just slide in the openings?
 

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Go ahead and rub it in, Paul. Your turn will come around in, oh, six months or so. :)

I remember the culture shock I had on my one and only Australia Christmas. Shorts, swimming in the pool, and watermelon. It just didn't seem right to this northern hemisphere (then) 16-year-old.

Wish I had had some of that warmth on Tuesday.
Still won't be as cold as you though.:tongue:

Kids went for swim Christmas day wasn't hot enough for me. Weather since then has been slowly climbing from mid 80's Chrissy day to mid 90's this weekend and 102 this coming Monday and then mid to high 90's rest of the week.
Went for a ride a couple of days ago and got sunburnt, for got the cream so now bottom half of my arms and face are red.
Seriously though, I would love to experience a white Christmas and good luck to you if you can get out and ride, sound like it was enjoyable even though it was still cold.
 

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Are these things legal for riding on the road? They look like they are difficult to get into. Do they attach to the bars somehow, allowing the hands to just slide in the openings?
Bob, I don't know if they are legal or not. The ones I found use velcro to strap around the bars. They work well on the C14, the straps go around the brake fluid reservoirs. They probably WILL NOT work if your mirrors are mounted on the handlebars.

I had no problem slipping my gloved hands into them even at 70 mph. Finding the turnsignal switch was a bit difficult at first, because of coures, yopu can't really feel the switch with the gloves on. After a few tries, I got the hang of it.

Oh, on the legality issue. There are mitts built specificaly for the C14 so I ASSUME they are legal. But assumptions are often wrong.

Curt
 

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... at the old, ballgame!
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Discussion Starter #12
Bob, I don't know if they are legal or not. The ones I found use velcro to strap around the bars. They work well on the C14, the straps go around the brake fluid reservoirs. They probably WILL NOT work if your mirrors are mounted on the handlebars.

I had no problem slipping my gloved hands into them even at 70 mph. Finding the turnsignal switch was a bit difficult at first, because of coures, yopu can't really feel the switch with the gloves on. After a few tries, I got the hang of it.

Oh, on the legality issue. There are mitts built specificaly for the C14 so I ASSUME they are legal. But assumptions are often wrong.

Curt
Curt - Thanks for the info. Particularly for the info on the mirrors, as my mirrors are mounted to the handlebars, and I didn't even think about how that would effect how they work.

Bob...
 

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I didn't get a Christmas day ride! :cry:

But I did get a ride in today!

Perused the Harbor Freight coupons and found 7 items that I wanted. Asked the wife if she wanted to take a ride (it would have been "drive" as she doesn't ride) and she said no, why don't you take the motorcycle. It was difficult to hold my tongue, but I didn't argue! :eek: :tongue: :idea:

I checked my list and found everything would fit in the bags, so off I went. It's about 20 miles to the closest Harbor Freight so a 60 mile round trip was about right (20 there + 20 back = 60 doesn't it?:confused: ).

It was great. Lower 80's and a stray cloud here and there. Gotta try again tomorrow. Let' see, where do I need to that she wont want to go!?!?! :wink: :cool: :evil:
 
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