Thursday, December 03, 2009

Coldest Commute Yet!

I try and ride, on either one of my two motorcycles, every day...which of course includes days when I have to go in to work and earn money to pay for more riding.

The rule of thumb I use as to which motorcycle to take is if temperatures will be at 60 or above then it's Brigitta's day to go out. She's my 1987 R80 Airhead Beemer with a minimalist bikini fairing so on cold days, you can really feel the windchill effect!

Today, it was a chilly 7 degrees Fahrenheit when I left the house on Natasha, my 1996 Ural Sportsman Sidecar Motorcycle. There was a thin covering of ice/snow on the neighborhood streets but it became "mostly" clear roads once I was out of the neighborhood. By mostly clear I mean you had channels in the thinly covered with snow/ice streets left behind by other traffic.

I stayed on these channels of course and steadily made my way to the Gartrell road entrance to the E-470 slab. The toll road authorities keep this road pretty clear during bad weather and today was no exception. I was definitely the slowest vehicle on the tollway but I didn't care, I just stayed on the far right lane and let the speeding cagers find any possible ice spots in front of me.

However, none were to be found and I got off at the Peoria Street exit and less than ten minutes later I was parking Natasha at my work location's parking lot. The temperature had climbed to 7 degrees and is projected to reach 18 today; this makes it my coldest commute ride yet! The tips of my fingers were starting to get cold as I parked, but the heated grips kept the rest nice and warm.

The thing to note is that the official start of winter is not for another ten days.....I think maybe Colorado is seeing an early preview.

The ride home was uneventful, the temperature had soared to a brisk 16 degrees Fahrenheit but I again wimped out and turned on the heated grips. The roads were mostly clear and dry and traffic was smoothly moving. I stopped at the undeveloped cul-de-sac to try and catch the sunset but the clouds obscured the mountains of the front range.

As darkness fell, the cold seemed to get stronger so I hurried home. I am happy to report that although Natasha did take a couple of minutes to warm up once I started her, she did great the whole ride home. The batwing fairing and leg protector shields really help in keeping the cold wind off me during these rides.


Unknown said...


I'm still thinking/worrying about your power consumption with your heated grips. Perhaps you installed a heat troller, and not just a reostat which just shunts and turns wasted power into heat. That is really cold where you are. We are just hovering a bit above and below freezing. Lots of ice and frost in the mornings so roads are too slippery for 2 wheeled machines.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

redlegsrides said...

no worries for now Bobskoot, I use the "spare" small motorcycle battery to power the grips....I recharge them at night with a battery tender.

they draw about .7 volts for one day's worth of commuting time (about 1 hr) at full power.

today's ride to work felt colder even though the temp was 3 degrees higher than yesterday.

redlegsrides said...

did the calculations, 9 degrees at 55% humidity and fastest speed of 45mph during today's ride into work...-17 fahrenheit. Brrrr

SonjaM said...

7F plus windchill is a bit nippy I guess. (had to look it up since I am on Celsius). Please drive safely in this weather conditions! Cheers, Sonja