The winter blues.
We have all experienced them short days, cold and rainy, but how many overcome them, winter is actually a great time of the year when you take a step back. The air is clean and crisp, the days while short are normally sunny, the coffee is hotter than normal and a baked meal never tasted better.
Riding a bike to a lot during the winter months is a no-go zone, a lot of the time for good reason. But just for a second think, if there was a way you could enjoy riding your motorcycle still during the winter and enjoy it, maybe it could be something I'd like to do.
Below are some tips that I use every year around winter time to make sure I can enjoy the ride.
Helmet – firstly it’s probably time to shelve the open face for the winter and head on the lookout for a full face helmet with clear visor (remember.. It’s dark early) these range in price and also in insulation/comfort level a lot, don’t skimp out, this piece of equipment protects your biggest asset and it’s an area you don’t want to be cold in.
Make sure the helmet has closable vents and that they seal well, this will keep that nasty draft out.
Neck warmer – A total must, these come in a range of different designs and sizes/colours but ultimately most will do the trick, make sure it’s able to go over your chin also, depending on your bike and riding style you want to keep the wind out as much as possible.
Be sure to tuck this bad boy into the top of your jacket too, practice makes perfect and once you have it down pat, you'll probably be letting some air in to cool yourself down.
Jacket – obviously a no-brainer, but there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your next jacket. There are a tonne on the market now that can meet more than just one need. When selecting your jacket, look for one that has a zip out inner lining, this is great for both winter and summer and should offer the protection around the elbows and back particularly.
Gloves – These come in a range of different designs but for winter the thicker the better. From my experience, the wool lined ones are great for long journeys. You want to check out the gloves carefully to make sure the stitching on the front of the fingers is not running over the end of the fingertip as that wind chill will make it way in.. And we don’t want that.
Trousers – There are a few different options here and it really depends on your work setup, you can get pullovers which are lined, warm and easy to take on and off and you can wear them over your existing pants ready for work. Or you can buy some specific trousers just for the job, make sure they are made out of an impervious surface like leather to keep the rain out if needed, or keep a pull over plastic trouser with you, these are super easy to put on or take off, they block out 99% of the wind and they are waterproof!
Socks – Don’t forget your socks, make them long, make them woolly, make them warm.
Boots – Most motorcycle boots are quite good out of the box, but again the price will dictate this somewhat, good boots are a worthwhile investment and something that you should prioritise. Make sure you try your new boots on with your warm woolly socks, though, you want to make sure they fit nice!
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