Today, I was finally able to do some winter motorcycle riding where I live. The weather cold and below 0 degrees and now it has finally went back to normal here in Minot North Dakota. So I began my motorcycle winter riding gear ritual;
- Put on my old Army camouflage pants and leather chaps.
- Slipped on my thick warm socks and threw on my winter riding boots.
- Then I put on my cold weather poly pro and my leather Jacket.
- Safety airbag vest.
- Freeze out hoodie and ear plugs.
- Full face helmet and Oakley sunglasses.
- Heated gloves that plug into the bike.
Now this ritual for riding changes depending on the temperature that you plan on riding in, today the temperature was 40 degrees and with the wind it felt like 32 degrees. A nice temperature for this time of year in North Dakota. After getting all of my gear on I started my Indian Motorcycle and was ready for some winter motorcycle riding. I closed the garage and made the usual turns onto the main street which led me to the front gate of the post. I arrived at the Stop sign by the entrance of the military post and made a left turn onto Highway 83 riding north. Funny because, if I continue on 83N for approximately 45 minutes I will be at the Canadian Border and can cross over to a whole new country with all new adventures.
But today I rode along the road and the wind around 15 MPH and the passing trucks did not help as they passed me by. Not too many of cars today I guess people still working. Yea, I remember how that felt to be a worker but now that retired from the military I ride during the day and it is wonderful. As I rode I noticed the left over snow and the openness of this great state, everywhere you look you can see for miles and miles, when you ride in North Dakota you notice everything as you ride because of how vast it is. But when you see something cool then you know that the ride was definitely worth it.
Up about 10 miles on 83N I see a sign on the right for Lake Darling 12 miles so I make a left and ride on. I notice the farms and corn fields on either side as the wind is calm but you still feel the chill as you ride. As you get closer to the lake located in the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, you begin to see the lake coming into view on the right and it is beautiful.Upon arriving I can see that the lake still has some ice sitting over the surface the temperatures are not warm enough to melt that ice. And, all of this I see while I ride my motorcycle, sure I could drive my car and seen the same scenery but I would not earn it like I just did from the environment. I arrive and stop to take in the view and snap some pictures of this great ride. After some time of taking in the views, temperature and its peaceful moment I start the bike and head back.
Riding back I see one car in the opposite lane in all the 12 miles heading back, this place is awesome for riding a motorcycle. There are never that many cars on the road, you can be on your motorcycle going 75 MPH and never catch up to the car in front of you due to the roads bing so long. So I try to keep her under 70MPH and take in as much scenery as I can. And I do, I see more left over snow, some cows and more corn fields. I finally reach Route 83 and turn right and head south back to post doing 70-75MPH a few more cars but nothing significant on the way back.
I arrive, make a right and am back on post heading home knowing that soon this ride will be over. There will be more days this week and I will ride again even if the weather is 32 degrees or warmer. Although riding in much colder weather you do need to be careful of black ice, ice patches and the threat of snow while your riding. But do not let this deter you from winter motorcycle riding its an awesome adventure for anyone who wants to build more experience in their riding arsenal. I recommend winter riding to everyone because not everyone rides in the winter but they should.
Stay Warm and Keep Riding!
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