Spring is in the Air; Feeling a Little Rusty…

MotoADVR_Oregonia4After a glorious weekend of coughing, sneezing, and otherwise congested misery, Spring is undoubtedly in the air. Sunny and 75 Saturday and Sunday I was, unfortunately, relegated to couch almost the entire weekend. Fortunately I broke the shackles on Monday long enough to take Lola for a spin around some of my favorite topography in search of a moto-tag. Ripping through sections that I’ve probably ridden a dozen or more times in the last 12 months I suddenly realized just how “rusty” I was from the winter lull. I generally like to consider myself a proponent of motorcycle safety (proper gear along with sober, competent, riding), there were a couple times I found  myself uncomfortable with the conditions. Albeit I’ve undoubtedly ridden those roads faster in the past, but given the circumstances, I assume my mental “sharpness” simply wasn’t there and I found myself less prepared to negotiate a given curve. Fortunately, there were no calamities,MotoADVR_LolaOzoneZipline however it was a fresh reminder that despite the mental eagerness, muscle memory, and the motorcycle’s enthusiasm for speed, the lack of mileage over the winter months takes a toll on your concentration, “road focus”, and alertness. I should also note that despite the heavy rains over the past few weeks, the backroads are still in considerably poor condition; with occasional hints of salt and sand, combined with significant areas of “cold-patch” scattered throughout the lane in some places. I assume that also played a role in my awkwardness when I found myself “less-on-my-game”; the thought of “an unseen patch of gravel could have killed me just then!” flying through my head.

Fortunately this (Tuesday) morning I felt much more prepared to attack the roadways on my morning commute, culminating with the encounter with some four legged wildlife. Coming around a curve in the freeway I (fortunately) spotted the unmistakable silhouette of a deer crossing the road. GoPro on as usual for my morning commute, I watched the video several times asking myself why on earth I moved over into the next lane. After the fact I realized that my initial fear was that the deer I saw was potentially just the first of several and I wanted to put some space between me and the possible threat. Whether that’s of any merit or not I have no idea, but it seemed like a good idea at the time right? Thankfully, the bike and I escaped unharmed, hopefully that fawn was equally lucky despite the conditions; along with the other motorcyclists I didn’t even notice until watching the film.

 

 

 

Now that it’s spring (here in the northern hemisphere) I’m curious: How do other riders “tune-up” after winter? Do they “feel” the difference in skill level from late fall to early spring?

 

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6 Responses to Spring is in the Air; Feeling a Little Rusty…

  1. Gerry Mandering says:

    After a prolonged Artic winter such as we usually experience I like to warm to fast riding by consuming prodigious amounts of alcohol before practicing my riding on the local roundaboots. I find going round in circles and leaning over a long way decreases the distance I have to fall, and the anasthesic effects of the alcohol lessens the pain considerably. Sometimes I even make it a whole week before wrecking. Life is good.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. witttom says:

    My mental sharpness fluctuates throughout the year based on how much time I’m spending on the road (it not just Winter that can make one rusty). I’ve noticed recently that my saddle endurance (butt tolerance) is lacking significantly. I’m very rusty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MotoADVR says:

      Makes sense. I’ve been through Oregonia at least three times this season, the same old roads just snuck up on me a couple times… really odd. My ultimate point mostly being: be prepared, stay sharp because every “that was close” could have been your last.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob says:

    The first weekend out is spent on the little Suzuki, doing slow drills in the school parking lot and then a short ride to get the mental motorcycle focus going again. Then, the next ride out is on the big Honda, doing the drills and then on the road for “situational awareness” training in traffic. Both dissolve the rust for me pretty quick.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MotoADVR says:

    Good call Bob. Last year I had a friend, and MSF instructor do some drills with friends. Unfortunately this season we’ve been unable to put that together.

    Like

  5. curvyroads says:

    We are fortunate to live where our winter weather only rules out riding for a span of days, so I don’t really have good suggestions. Keeping intent on the ride, vs. daydreaming is something I sometimes have to remember even without a winter break though!

    Liked by 1 person

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