Saturday, January 06, 2007

Coping with Cabin Fever

OK, I'll admit it's only been a little over a month since I put the Silver Streak away for a long winter's nap; but I'm already noticing advanced symptoms of cabin fever. Buying insane amounts of motorcycle magazines, watching "Long Way Round" over and over again, making a list of farkles from the Aerostich and Touratech catalogs... all are symptoms that this dreaded disease has progressed much faster this year than usual.

Luckily for me, I've discovered a few ways of coping that just might get me through the next 3 months without a complete breakdown:

  • Planning a few trips: I'll sit down at the computer for a few hours and research different areas that I'd like to see on an eventual two-wheeled journey. Then I plug it all into MapSource and try to plot which route would be the most interesting. Sure, I may never get around to doing all these wonderful trips I've been planning, but come spring I'll have a nice list to choose from!
  • Spa: Not for me, of course, but for the bike! If you've got a heated garage or storage shed (or you simply store your bike in the livingroom), then winter's the perfect time to catch-up on maintenance and accessorizing. Even if my bike is in tip-top shape, I still enjoy the opportunity to tear the whole thing apart just to put it back together again. I make it a point to be as familiar as possible with Silver's inner workings.
  • Gym: This one is for me. Motorcycling is great, but it isn't exactly a workout (unless you're constantly dropping it). I love working out at the gym in winter, the physical activity helps to counteract the winter blahs; plus, when riding season finally comes around, I'll be in good shape to take on that BunBurner run ;-)
  • Live through others: I'll spend more time reading blogs and forums. Somewhere out there is warm weather, and you can bet there's a motorcyclist taking advantage of it. Lucky for me, many of these warm climate bikers are also bloggers. I'll also subscribe to motorcycle-related podcasts; 15 minutes of hearing someone talk about motorcycling can do a world of good.
Another guilty pleasure is wasting time on YouTube or Google Video and checking out some motorcycle clips. Through these videos I've been riding in the Sahara, the Swiss Alps, the French countryside...

Anyhow, for my cold weather friends who may be hibernating (like me), I wish you a speedy winter. To all warm weather bikers out there: keep blogging!


Gary said...

Lucky? Get a scooter. Ride in Winter. No cabin fever.

Ride well,

Lucky said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Gary... I'll admit that the thought has crossed my mind more than once. What is it about scooters that make them so much better in the snow and muck, anyhow?


gary said...

I summed this up once back on "The Baron in Winter" last year, but here it is again:

1. Lighter weight than most full-size bikes.

2. Lower center of gravity.

3. Most importantly, "twist and go", automatic scooters leave both feet free as ready outriggers. No braking or shifting with the feet.

4. Feet-free means you can wear the biggest, warmest boots you can find.

5. You can cover the rear brake with your whole left hand, which means you can wear MITTENS!

6. Scooters tend to be cheaper than motorcycles, so you don't worry so much about damage.

That pretty well covers it, although if we put it to the riding public, I'm sure some other reasons might pop up.

Ride well,

Steve Williams said...

I will have to second Gary's suggestion about a scooter. They are manageable in the winter in a way that a heavier motorcycle wouldn't be. I ride my Vespa year around and even in a bit of snow as indicated in posts on my own blog Scooter in the Sticks. Gary is responsible for my own year round adventures because of his trailblazing work on the Baron in Winter!

I do like your suggestions about how to deal with Cabin Fever. There are still days that I can't ride....

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Lucky said...

Steve - good to hear that this whole winter scooter thing is catching-on (Gary, you may have started something)! But a Vespa? Wouldn't you rather have a Korean scoot with Tupperware body parts that won't rust? Seems awful to put such a beautiful Italian through the slush and snow.