Just back from our whirlwind tour of southern film festivals, Eric and I took the opportunity to jump on the Harley for a crisp ride to New Harmony. For riders, April [hallelujah!] means the opening of a new riding season as we look expectantly at each five-day forecast for bare-minimum temperatures that will provide a window to hit the road.
Five years ago, that was 45 degrees. The threshold seems to climb higher with each passing year.
My highly scientific calculation for rider comfort is this: subtract 20 degrees from the actual air temperature and that’s what it feels like on the Harley. It’s kind of like figuring wind chill but much less picky. And scientific, truth be told. For example, if the air temp is 65 degrees and the sun is shining, I can layer up enough to be cozy on the motorcycle. Much colder than that, I’m going to freeze.
This also explains why you may be comfortably riding with windows down in your car but pass a rider layered in leather. Sixty-five degree air hitting your face at 65 miles per hour is chil-ly.
Now back to my story…
We try to ride at least once each month through the winter season but those rides are mostly for bravado and so that we can say we rode in January, February, and March. Truth be told.
Yesterday was the perfect opportunity to have our first, REAL 2015 outing on the motorcycle.
so. much. fun.
From the back seat, these are the season-specific, olfactory souvenirs I put in my virtual scrapbook for 4/26/15:
Fresh cut grass mixed with wild onions
Blooming bearded irises
Freshly churned farm fields
Wafting wood smoke from winter-weary burn piles
And just south of Poseyville, the Wehmer Hamps Hog Farm. Even that is a symphony to my nose.
That’s the thing that motorcycle riding, as a passenger, does for me. I see everything without a frame, and I smell EVERYTHING- the good, the bad, and the ugly without a filter. A 365-degree view of life and living, and all the wonder, joy, [and yes] smells that each season brings. I hope to reflect even more on that this year.
Just a reminder: As the temperatures warm, more and more people you love are unplugging their battery tenders and are hitting the pavement. [I also offer this PSA for all my friends on bikes without motors.] LOOK BEFORE YOU PULL OUT. BOTH WAYS. TWICE. PLEASE. A (very nice, I’m sure) gentleman got a wag of my gloved finger yesterday at the corner of Indiana 66 and First Avenue.
Mom, it wasn’t that finger.
Further, don’t forget to review last year’s post titled What to Say to a Motorcycle Rider so that all the HOGs in your life remain your loving friends.