So many thanks.
From our RideApart family to yours, we wish you a wonderful holiday surrounded with people you love. While you enjoy some festive turkey and grits and hopefully spend a minute or two being thankful, we decided to give you some inspiration. The team has a lot to be thankful for when it comes to motorcycle-related blessings so we decided to share with you.
What am I thankful for? I'm thankful for you, the commentariat. Over the past year we've grown RideApart from a pokey little motorcycle site without much vision or drive into the juggernaut it is today and we couldn't have done it without you. Content doesn't mean anything without readers, and without you here every day reading along, talking trash, er, having well-reasoned discussions in the comments, and holding our feet to the fire when we mess up it'd be pretty lonely. So, yeah. That's what I'm thankful for this year. Thanks for everything, keep reading along, and here's to an even better, more enjoyable 2020.
I’m thankful for heated gear, both this year and every year. It keeps me riding into the season longer than I could otherwise since I live and mostly ride in and around the Chicago area (and surrounding states). I no longer have a ridiculous commute to work every day but when I was doing 80 miles guaranteed every single weekday, you’d better believe I was glad I’d made that gear.
For me, heated gloves and a heated jacket liner are enough, as long as I layer up and wear a balaclava under my helmet. If it’s not icy, there are years where I’ve been able to ride the day after New Year’s because the heat works that well!
I'm thankful for brick and mortar shops. Many people order gear online these days but physical retailers are still preferred by some. Last week, it finally started raining in Los Angeles and I needed rain gear sooner than the two-day delivery offered online. Not only did I purchase the jacket and pants that I needed before the storms rolled in but I was able to try on numerous sizes and styles before making my decision. That's not possible online. I'm also currently in the market for a race suit and look forward to exploring all the options at my local shop.
I'm thankful that our sport and industry keeps growing despite the obstacles. I'm thankful that manufacturers keep exploring new technologies and new ways to inspire riders of all types. Most of all, I'm thankful for the biking community who is always a source of joy and energy throughout the year.
This is an easy one for me: heated, indoor motorcycle parking at home.
For the past 10 years I've lived in a house with no garage, having to work on my motorcycles only when rain and darkness (and snow) held off, or in a borrowed garage away from most of my tools. A good day for a ride was also a good day for wrenching and I had to choose between the two. I've since moved into a house with a garage where I can work on my motorcycles even when the sun isn't shining or during those hazy summer evenings when the mosquitoes would otherwise carry me off.
My tools aren't cold, the bikes aren't cold, I have shop lights and electricity, and a work stool with wheels on it that glides over the cement floor like it never would over a craggy old asphalt driveway. My bikes stay with me throughout the winter and I won't have to chip any of them out of the ice come springtime. I have winter upgrades and maintenance planned that I haven't been able to do since 2009. I can't wait for the inevitable blizzards to blanket New England so I can get to work installing heated grips, swapping out chains and sprockets, mounting and wiring up aftermarket lights and horns, and getting to a bunch of long-overdue suspension maintenance and upgrades.
I'm thankful for my motocross boots.
This past summer I bought my Kawasaki KLR 650 to fill a huge gap in my motorcycling experience: dirt and off-road riding. I bought an affordable pair of O'Neal Rider motocross boots for protection against the inevitable drops and falls that come with learning this new skill. They may be overkill for trails, but I have no wish to repeat my non-motorcycle related broken ankle experience of a few years ago. These boots have saved me from at least one twist and fracture identical to that previous incident. Even with the boots I was sore for a couple of days but I still walked (limped) away and was back to normal soon afterward. For that, I am thankful.
... and finally, yours truly
Doing the work we do is already a lot to be thankful and without sounding too sappy, that's something I appreciate on a daily basis. Since Director Jason already got the ball rolling on the cheesy thanks, here is mine. What I will give thanks for today is—cue all the cheese—the world. Hear me out. Beyond the whole "the world is a wonderful place" spiel, I'm thankful that almost everyone gets to go anywhere they please nowadays. A new adventure is never far away and tackling those adventures on motorcycles is becoming easier. We get to be curious about other places in the world and explore them and I find that to be an amazing thing. I've taken advantage of that liberty and plan to do so again in the future. The world truly is a wonderful place.
So rocking RA readers, what are you thankful for?