Friday, February 6, 2009

Fire and Ice

After being in the deep freeze for more than a month, the temperature is finally going to be warm enough to melt some snow around here. With forecast highs in the upper forties to lower fifties, I will be wanting to get the old ZRX out of mothballs and take her for a ride. There are a few hardy souls who ride no matter what the temp is. Like the guy I saw yesterday riding his 650 V-Strom when it was five degrees Fahrenheit out. I’m pretty liberal when it comes what a rider wants to wear or when they want to ride. If a rider wants to ride with out a helmet, so be it as far as I am concerned. Want to ride in shorts, no shirt and flip flops, won’t hear any bitching from me. I have always believed it is up to the individual when it comes to their gear or safety. As long as they are not putting others in harms way, I say have at it. I’m not a all the gear all the time guy myself, but you won’t catch me not wearing a helmet or boots when I ride. That doesn’t give me the right to dictate to others how they should outfit themselves.

If you want to ride when it is -15 out, to me it's kinda like playing Russian Roulette with ice. I really don't care too much if people want to ride in these conditions, in the end it is their choice. First and foremost, the reason I don’t ride in those conditions are, at any temperature under freezing, you are going to come across some fresh melt off sooner or later. Those of us from the northern climes know well the dangers of walking on, much less riding on freshly frozen melt off. I believe this to be the slipperiest substance on the planet. I know of nothing that will have you on your back looking at the sky and wondering what hell just happened like putting a foot wrong on this stuff. You hit it on a bike and you will be spinning in circles on your ass, while you watch your bike spin it’s own way down the road.This is all fine and dandy, if you are alone on a side street with no traffic. It is if this happens while your are riding in traffic that gets my hackles up. Now your bringing others, possibly me into the mix. That is why when I see some one riding in those kind of temps, it kinda bothers me. The last thing I want to do is run over someone who has just tossed their bike down the road after hitting a patch of melt off. When I come across someone riding in these conditions, I give them a wide berth, and hope they make it to and from their destination in an upright position. The cell phone pics here are of the V-Strom the guy was riding, and a couple of the side streets surrounding the area he was riding his bike in. Those streets are solid ice from one end to the other due mostly to today’s economic climate. The local cities are cutting back on the amount of ice control they are doing because of budgetary constraints. This makes it even more dangerous to ride this winter. In the end, if you feel you just have to ride when it is freezing out, please take into account the others you may involve in your accident when it eventually happens.

Till Next Time.........................

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