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Thread: Rememberin' what you forgot.

  1. #1
    2 Wheeled Troubador oldhway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Rememberin' what you forgot.

    For those of us who ride in the north, the riding season is starting. While I usually try to ride all year, this past winter I wasn't able to get out.

    Well, last weekend I finally got out for a bit and I am always surprised how rough my riding is after a several month lay off. My clutch work was not stellar and at one point when I was turning onto a side road, a car passed me from behind who I hadn't realized was back there.

    All reminders of what I forget in the off season.

    So what is your get ready for riding season/remembering what you forgot plan to avoid getting squashed by a cage this spring? Do you have an active plan or do you assume it will all come back quickly?

    Last weekend's ride convinced me that I should actively try to remember what I forgot before I get on the bike.

    Ride well and hope to see lots of folks on the road this year.
    Steve Marquardt

  2. #2
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    For me;

    Starting a workout regimine, not too streesful, but a workout to limber up those less used, all Winter riding muscles. Stretches do wonders and a little weight, cardiovascular activities, like walks, bicycles are great things to consider. I too am aging at 57 now and have found myself trying harder every year to keep fresh. 57 you say? Its still relatively young, but you know! Get that blood flowing to the head and young feel refreshed and ready to ride in short order. I do. My best friend, passed on now, but turned 80 before he did and was a real workout phenom and rode his many BMW bikes, late in life...I hope to beat him. Happy Trails, Randy

  3. #3
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    London, Ontario
    Throughout the winter I try to keep fit with daily morning power walks. On an average day my totally walking varies between 8 to 16 kilometres. I moderately lift weights three times a week and a couple of days swim laps. (Virtually no snow to shovel this winter.) That's for the body to be able to walk the bike out of the garage and be somewhat fit for riding.

    However, to keep mentally reminded of what I should be doing, I re-read David Hough's three books, (read one this week) as well as a couple of other riding skills books. Being somewhat of a wush, I don't ride (could have been doing it for over a week here) until we've had a few days of good rains to clean up the streets and roads of all the sand, gravel, salt and winter garbage that has accumulated.

    Once I do get the bike out, I know a parking lot that isn't used and I practise U turns and quick stops. I visit this parking lot frequently during riding season. My seasons first rides tend to relatively calm to get back into the groove with the bike.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Knights of the Roundel #333

    2021 Great Falls MOA Rally Volunteer Chair

  4. #4
    I agree with the previous posts regarding exercise! It enables the body and sharpens the mind, giving us a base that allows for better riding. That said I don't just go out and ride. Rather I focus on skills, albeit only one or two things at a time. It can be as simple as looking where I want to go. It usually involves but one focus, though it may include two if one naturally follows another, i.e., countersteering and line picking in curves. I think this is a good way to ride most of the time, but especially so when returning to the bike after a long winter hiatus.

    Like Paul I also practice U turns, quick stops and figure eights. Parking lots are nice for this but I try to find some two lane empty blacktop for the U turns and stay within the confines of the two lanes, avoiding the paved shoulder if there is one. It is of interest how few riders are proficient at U turns.

  5. #5
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    New York City
    I try to ride all Winter, but for about a month, snow, ice, freezing weather and work combine in such a way to keep the bike parked and covered. That was the case until last Wednesday, when I pulled the bike out of the garage on a warm (55??) sunny day for a brisk lunch-hour ride around the city.

    Once I'm rolling towards the garage's exit (I park in a private parking garage with many cars and bikes) and see the sidewalk, everything about riding in the city comes flooding back to me. Pedestrians are everywhere. Trucks, buses and giant SUVs are parked right near intersections. Views can be obstructed. Cars -- taxis, especially -- attempting to fill in as much of the empty spaces in the traffic pattern as they can, will sidle up and into to your tiny bit of turf at traffic signals. And underfoot, what the weather and temperature fluctuations didn't do to the surface of the asphalt, the immense weight and volume of traffic will have: potholes, road defects, sunken or raised manhole covers and edge traps are everywhere. All of this adds up to a raised awareness of the enormous responsibility of riding in an (insanely busy!) urban area.

    But there are upsides. Situational awareness and technique (the city is built on a grid plan, so just about every intersection will offer the opportunity to practice stopping for instance, and 90?? turns from a stop.) can and should come together in a seamless way and if you're familiar with the layout of the city and its potential dangers, riding here can be, dare I say, almost enjoyable.

    And that hour, in the sun and "warmth" of a 55?? Winter's day, with a view of the Hudson and the burgeoning greenery of slender Riverside Park on either side of me, was a pretty enjoyable expenditure of time.
    Last edited by tessler; 03-14-2010 at 02:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Rally Rat PAULBACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Ballston Spa, NY; South of the Adirondacks, North of the Catskills and West of The Berkshires and Green Mountains

    Rain, Rain Go Away

    It is raining like crazy but that is good news since the salt and sand will be washed to the shoulders - in most cases. But there are places where the shape of the road collects sand and small debris which can be unsettling.

    Once the battery is back in the bike I will start the season in nearby parking lot practicing slow lock to lock turns. If I can remaster the slow turn that will be a great start.

    Have to admire Tessler - start riding in NYC. What a mensch!

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Trying to develop skills

    I'm a newbie rider at age 58, so have a double challenge.

    This weekend was too rainy for me to be out on the road, so I put in about an hour of riding exercises in the apartment building's parking garage. I have 6 tennis balls that are cut in half, so I headed to the lower level where the traffic is minimal and laid out a line of tennis balls for the slow weave exercise. Once I felt like I had that friction-zone under my belt, I reduced the spacing and worked some more. It was good exercise, and after a several runs I could tell that I was getting the hang of it. I'm really glad I decided to take the time. I think I'll work on these slow speed skills more over the next few weeks.

    I'm also considering a refresher on the MSF course. Or, maybe just ride with some friends who can keep an eye on me and offer tips.

    Have a good week and a Happy St. Paddy's Day!

    '95 R1100RS "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian!" Henry Ford

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Payson, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by piperjim View Post
    I'm a newbie rider at age 58, so have a double challenge.
    I'm also considering a refresher on the MSF course.
    I started where you are now! I signed up for the experienced riders course this year (don't consider myself experienced at all!) but it'll start the season out right.

    Safe riding, Jim.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Manitowoc, Wisconsin
    Managed to get in some riding in january and February, but now it might be more constant. Yes, have had to deal with sand, salt and slush on the roads. Most recently when riding home at 6am it's the dark and fog. Just the other day it was visibility of maybe 30 yards in the fog, with the temp hovering around freezing, and the deer were moving. Today the sun was out, breezy, and a lot of bikes were coming out of winter storage.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador, WI Airmarshal
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep

  10. #10
    I had taken a break of about 7 years from the time I sold my Maxim until I bought my RT nearly 2 years ago.

    It only took about a quarter mile out of the driveway to have the basics back, but several weeks to hone my balance, shifting, and slow speed maneuvering back to where I had left off. Been improving over where my skills were years ago, but the RT is so well balanced and so smooth that it makes it easy.

  11. #11
    Maybe its because I have been riding for so long, but getting on the bike after any length of time off, as soon as my feet leave the ground on the ititial take off from the driveway, it feels as if I never left. Its as natural as walking (and takes less effort, I can ride 300 miles at a go, don't think I could walk that far at once!) There is generally a greater re-learning curve when switching between bikes, since the two I own are so differant, an LT and a 78 airhead, than anything related to length of time off either. Though even with all the snow we had this year, I got out at least once a month. The one hardest part is remembering again that no one sees you on a bike...scan scan scan...


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