It’s getting cooler outside…
September 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm #3437
For those of us in northerly climates, this is just a gentle reminder that along with that awesome fragrance of wet leaves and overripe berries, that crisp morning air, and those shorter evenings with fantastic sunsets, comes cold weather riding.
With cold weather riding, comes increased risk for hypothermia. This occurs when your body looses heat faster than it can produce it.
The symptoms include:
* Clumsiness or lack of coordination
* Slurred speech or mumbling
* Confusion or difficulty thinking
* Poor decision making, such as trying to remove warm clothes
* Drowsiness or very low energy
* Apathy, or lack of concern about one’s condition
* Progressive loss of consciousness
* Weak pulse
* Shallow breathing
Obviously, not only is hypothermia a bad condition in and of itself, but these symptoms will also impair the rider’s ability to safely operate his machine and increase the risk of a crash. If you suspect that you or someone you are riding with may be experiencing these symptoms, get them off the bike, out of the cold, and seek professional help.
Take a minute to review NOAA’s Wind Chill Index information to remind yourself about how drastically speed can effect reduce the effective temperature:
Remember when riding, to wear layers, change out of wet clothing, and choose windproof/waterproof riding gear. Take along your thermos with your choice of hot beverage and take frequent breaks out of the cold to warm up.
Resources for more information:
National Weather Service/ NOAA
Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough, Chapter 6September 17, 2009 at 11:14 pm #22396MunchParticipant
Yep this is a very good reminder. Though not many of us will be riding still in the colder weather. Still good for most to look at. Unless it’s frozen…I ride, and I am sure glad that MPH scale stops at 60… I don’t wanna know what 28 degrees @ 80 mph windchill really is.September 18, 2009 at 1:36 am #22402
Oh, they have a convenient little calculator on their website for that. I was going to put together a table going from about 55deg on down and up to speeds of 75 or so, but I liked the one they had since it showed the frost bite information.
I put this up because I didn’t realize just how cold you can get when you’re out riding for a few hours. I think it was in the mid 50’s where I was yesterday, and at 50mph for a couple of hours, I ended up more chilled than I had realized, even bundled up…September 18, 2009 at 9:56 am #22413MunchParticipant
Yea the wind proof part is key. I usually wear a t-shirt, sweater then my leather jacket. Winter riding gloves, a pair of sweat pants, riding jeans and my leather chaps when winter hits here. Oh yea and a baclava under the FF. Snug as a bug in the rug.September 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm #22436eternal05Participant
In experience it’s always my hands that suffer. Layers and a jacket keep me warm on top, and the bike keeps me warm on bottom, but my hands don’t get protected by either of my bikes’ fairings, and full-gauntlet gloves tend to be race-oriented and therefore focused on ventilation and cooling rather than heat retention. When I was riding around in the unusually cool Seattle winter this last year (20-25 degrees F…not much for Alaska, but SUPER cold for Seattle), I’d have to stop at a couple grocery stores and coffee shops along the way to un-numb my fingers.September 20, 2009 at 2:20 am #22437
Once I pulled out the long john’s, the biggest thing for me is fingers and toes.
I’m thinking that there is no shame in the title of weekend warrior. Once the first snow hits the ground at my house, the bike is going to be parked for the winter. I don’t have good luck on ice with 4 wheels. I’m not even going to try 2.
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