The Fair Weather Rider finally takes her turn!

It was a sunny 32 degrees day in Duluth. The roads were dry so I thought it was a great day for me to ride the Zero bike for the first time. The bike is a little tall for me so I was concerned about my feet reaching the ground and if I could hold the bike up. When Bruce dropped the keys on my desk I became very excited and nervous. It was time….

Gail's First RideI was shaking as I put on my Roadcrafter Classic and went out the door. When I got on the bike I didn’t have enough weight and strength to move it off of its kickstand. The sidewalk had enough of an angle to it that I needed more power to lean it to the other side. I was really upset at the prospect that I wasn’t going to be able to participate in test riding the Zero. Bruce graciously moved the bike to the street where it was a flat surface. That made all the difference for me! I was off and running!

I rode 2.4 miles around the neighborhood of Aerostich to get comfortable on the bike before I attempt to ride my 12 miles home. Even though the roads were clear from snow, there was a lot of sand left behind. As I turned a corner my back wheel slipped. The back tire grabbed pavement quickly and kept me upright.

While waiting at a stop sign to take a left hand turn a gentleman got out of his car. When he noticed me he stopped in his tracks and looked at me. He then walked around to the back of his car and stood there watching me. After about a minute, traffic cleared and I was off. As I passed him I gave him a little wave.

Riding in 32 degree weather was pretty easy to dress for. I had a lightweight jacket under my Roadcrafter Classic which kept me very warm. I had on insulated ski gloves and had turned on the heated grips. I had on my Areostich Trekking Socks with insulated hiking boots. That was enough to keep my feet warm. I was wearing my Aerostich Fleece Wind Triangle to help keep my face warm. I might have had a little fear and adrenaline going to keep me warm as well.

As Randy has stated in a past post, one of the challenges of riding in cold weather is keeping your face shield clear. I have an open face helmet with a face shield. I had plenty of air flowing through my helmet however, every time I took a breath my face shield fogged up for a few seconds.

I came back happy and more confident and handed the keys back to Bruce. I am ready to tackle my 12 mile commute home. On a nice day…

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One thought on “The Fair Weather Rider finally takes her turn!”

  • Wes Janzen

    I've been commuting on the bike in winter for several years now, though the winters here are no where near as cold. However, this winter excepted, I normally experience a couple months of morning rides in the teens (F), and fogging isn't really an issue. What I've found useful is taking a shower the night before so your body isn't harboring a bunch of moisture, wearing a good wind-blocking Balaclava, picking a helmet with good breath management (and a good breath box option) and an antifog shield, and making sure my suit donning area isn't overly warm. The shower point has obvious benefits. The Balaclava is so I can leave my vents open and not freeze my face, if needed. The helmet is pretty important as well, I've used Sharks for years, but I haven't tried Shoei or Arai - though I've had a go with Bell, Scorpion, and HJC over the years. The Shark is hands down the best with minimal and easily vent-cleared minor fogging above 0F. After that it becomes more of a battle. The final point is in regards to overheating, if you're sweating before you get on the bike, you'll be fighting a losing battle. I walk the fine line between being cold and toasty warm. I can get away with toasty hands and feet, but if my core starts getting too warm I end up having a fog problem. That said, I'm not sure what you can do with an open face helmet since you lose the ability to direct your breath away from your face shield. In any case, congrats on getting out there, winter motorcycling is a lot of fun, in my experience. :-)

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