Home again, two weeks in a row. Feels like the good 'ol days. Do I dare hope to make it three next week?? Got my fingers crossed on that.
Went over to the Harley dealer when I got home and bought a windshield for Miss Velvet. I had a cash credit toward a purchase from when I bought her in June, so I cashed it in and it covered roughly half of the cost. Getting cooler out and that wind hitting you in the chest isn't as nice as it was in the warmer months, so I needed something to knock at least some of that off me.
It was just plain cold Saturday morning, so I postponed my excursion until it thawed out a bit in the early afternoon. Looks like my traditional Sunday morning rides are over until next spring and summer, because it was decidedly nippy this morning as well. Rode out to relatives house, ate dinner with them, then rode back in the dark, my first night ride on Velvet since I bought her, believe it or not. That jacket that was so damned hot in the summer that I had to ditch it at times feels good now and as it gets colder, I'll have to add a sweatshirt or something under it. The fingerless half-gloves I love are put up now too. Ever had frozen fingers?? I could barely squeeze the clutch lever after I rode home last night. So, this afternoon I wore my full-fingered ones. Ahhhhhh -- much better!
I've got to buy a ski mask tobbogan cap to wear under my helmet on cooler days. I've got a full-face helmet, which is warmer in cold weather, but it's such a pain in the butt when you wear glasses that I haven't bothered with it yet. You gotta take your glasses off, put the helmet on (which is still new and hasn't conformed to my face and head yet), then wiggle your glasses' earpieces into the helmet, hoping a lens doesn't fall out, and get them more or less around your ears. Then you have to reverse all that when you take it off. Geez!!! I like my open-face, 3/4 helmets, so a ski mask under them would help a lot. I'll save the full-face one for longer, higher speed road trips, when I want maximum protection.
Of course, when the bitter cold crap gets here, Velvet will be resting in my garage, covered up, until it thaws out. I used to ride my bike all the time in the winter when I was a kid, barring a snowstorm, or the really icy-cold days, and I had enough of my shorts icing up a quarter-mile from home back in those days. Now, I don't think I could take it at all. Guess my metabolism has slowed somewhat as I've aged. You see some of these "polar bears" out all winter on their bikes, but not me. Much below 40 degrees and I want my warm 4-wheeler, with its heater. Whipping through 40-degree air on a bike, it feels like about 20, as you create your own wind chill, and if there's a breeze blowing on top of that, it feels even colder. Not for me. I'm decidedly a warm weather person. Winter sucks and I dread it every year. I have to put up with quite enough of it in my Big Truck when dispatch and Backward Bonnie seem to delight in sticking me ass-deep in as much snow as possible.
I live in the south, so there'll usually be a few warmer days, even in winter, when I can uncover Velvet and exercise her a little bit, but those days are really few in number, once December and January get here. But next year, I've got the whole spring and summer to ride her, and another two-weeks of vacation!
I can't wait!