Perhaps, being much-farther along in life, I actually delight in getting attention for apparently-weird behavior I absolutely strived to avoid in my youth. Temperatures all into the 40's, and most folks in the area have mothballed their wheels for the year, but there I go, running to Best Buy, Wegmans and Costco on Melody, straight through November, December, January, and most of February, stopping for the eventual snowdrift and black icing, which on average idles the scoot for about 2-3 weeks out of the entire year. I keep thinking I might need to hook up a battery tender for insurance, but so far I've been fine. (I might replace the battery next year.) When I got the bike (with tons of help from Le Wife), I swore that this thing was my year-round Main Axe, only relenting for the most-severe conditions, and so far, I've pretty much kept to that edict.
Of course, there are changes: This year marked when a lot more of my miles were true shits-n-grins-only excursions, and not just short rides: one run to Phildelphia, and, shortly thereafter, to NYC, which I plan to expand on next year (proposed: Maryland and Boston). I've had more damned fun on the road the last two months than I can ever remember.
Which brings me to Winter. This will officially be my fourth that I've ridden all the way through. And here is where I disclose how I've prepared and survived, and simultaneously solicit advice on Doing it Better, because I know y'all know more than I do (even if I haven't screwed up too badly, near as I can tell):
- Periodic wash-down, and PTFE treatment: Yes, with snow and ice comes plowing, sand-and-salt-spraying, and Melody's made its way through both. This is the best I can do against corrosion, short of just hanging it up for the season, which just isn't me. Also, One of Dowco's best scooter covers, since the detached garage that originally came with the house was in such bad shape that we elected to terabit down, leaving us with a nice driveway (which wasn't at all nice until we spent a ton of money on that). But Mel's spot is nestled between two houses, shielding it from the the absolute worst while idle.
- It's said that the worst thing you can do with a bike is let it sit idle, and after four years together, I'm strongly inclined to agree. Not that it's ever run badly, but the more, and harder, I've ridden it, the better it runs, and the better I've understood its strengths and weaknesses. I've been told that the more i've ridden it long distances, the more I'd go pining for something bigger. Guess what? That hasn't happened. Improvements? Maybe: I'll be looking into adjustable brake levers, which have been the list for a while; farther off in the future are new shocks, most likely Malossi.
- I think I've pretty much dialed that part in: the RevIt! jacket (not sure which model, but in the Sport-Touring mold, not far removed from the Sand 3) I bought used a few years back has been fabulous for Winter riding. My Joe Rocket Windchill gloves are generally good down to about 35°F for upwards of 10 miles, and since I mainly do short hops in Winter, that serves just fine. Since I only ride with a full-face helmet, my head suffers very , very little this time of year. My Wolverine "waterproof" boots have served me well the last three Winters, even though they're technically unlined.
In the sun...
…and after that notorious Snow Ride (already written about)