Sunday, February 4

Ten Ways I Cope with Winter Doldrums!

1. Surround yourself with maps. Dream, plan, locate places to visit—even if you never venture far, dreaming is free and yours might come true with the right planning.

2. Read or reread the motorcycle classics. Dust off David Hough’s books, Pat Hahn and other instruction books. Re-read Pirsig’s, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Helge Pedersen’s, 10 Years on 2 Wheels, Melissa Holbrook Pierson’s, The Perfect Vehicle: What is it about Motorcycles and Ted Bishop’s, Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books. Escape in the words of kindred souls…

3. Watch movies with motorcycles in them. Just this morning I was given a most unexpected treat! I saw a movie called “Silver Hawk”—totally unrealistic, hokey, post 21st century hi-tech and requiring few critical thinking skills--but sheer delight nonetheless! Think: female super(man), martial arts mistress on a BMW that she programs to come when summoned. The Beemer can ride with or without a rider. With a -2.6F temp and a wind chill of -19F, (at 8a.m. today) any movie—even one I would ordinarily deem unworthy of my time seems to transform into a masterpiece if it's frigid and a motorcycle makes an appearance. Google a list of motorcycle movies and see the bad, the good, and the really bad ‘cause it’s better than nothing.

4. Try to search to the bottom of the Internet for all the motorcycle and motorcycle-specific sites. Because there is no bottom, you’ll keep busy throughout the winter: WARNING: This can be addictive and you might need a 12-step program or a short winter to snap out of it.

5. Did I mention surrounding yourself with maps and musing about far off places?

6. Join a new motorcycle forum—no matter how many you already belong to.

7. Regularly visit your favorite independent bookstore or big chain and read the motorcycle magazines you don’t already subscribe to, which may be difficult if you subscribe to everything. If so, concentrate on all the magazines from the UK.

8. Create a long list of motorcycle farkels/farkles. Don’t let money hold you back; you aren’t required to buy anything—again, dreaming doesn’t cost a cent. Purchase what you can or nothing at all.

9. Order back issues of your favorite magazines. Don’t forget to read all those articles in your subscription that you only skimmed over when they first arrived. For me, these tend to be the magazines that arrived over the summer. I'm more deliberately selective in my mag reading then as I'd rather be out riding and I know I'll need these unread articles to pull me through the winter melancholy.

10. Invoke lots of exaggerated whining! Do this particularly whenever you look out the window and/or someone refers to weather. Then when the riding season starts, family and friends will gladly welcome the good weather and encourage you to hit the road. If the whining has been effective, they might even push you out the door!