Zero Below Zero — Kyle's Not Lost...
We ran a story in January about Aerostich's wild plan to test the Zero FX in freezing Duluth, Minnesota. With their permission, we will be sharing the blogged thoughts of their select group of testers. Stay warm and enjoy!
Sometimes after arriving home after my daily commute, I’ll take a look at my phone and find a text message from my wife asking “Where are you?” or “Are you on your way?” or maybe even “Are you lost?” Often these little prodding messages are well intended, meaning dinner is about ready (or the kids are bickering about something and getting on her nerves...) and she’s just trying to gauge if I’ve left yet or when I’ll arrive. Most times the delay from getting home at the same time every night is due to finishing up work tasks or a late meeting. But, also, there are times when I try to squeeze just a bit more riding time out of the standard daily ride. That was the case yesterday and today on the Zero.
The ride home last night was my first time back on the FX since Feb 15th, and it felt great to be back on two wheels. With the sun staying in sky a little longer as we near Spring, the bright skies and dry roads beckoned for at least a little bit of deviation from the standard route today. Nothing too outlandish, as I knew dinner really was almost ready and I had to get ready for my son’s Cub Scout meeting this evening...but a change of scenery and a few backroads through other neighborhoods created a fun diversion and the opportunity to stay in the saddle for at least a few more minutes than usual. Noticed more drivers and pedestrians taking a longer look at me as I quietly rolled by or silently sat next to them in traffic this afternoon too. Several offering nods, waves and smiles of approval. Like a Spring flower emerging from the cold ground where only a short time ago there was snow, maybe seeing a motorcyclist is also a sign to them that warmer weather really is on the way. It is indeed...but it sure has been a great experience to be able to ride all winter long, testing the limits of both bike, gear and rider in all the cold, snow and ice that Mother Nature could muster.
READ MORE: 5 Quietest Motorcycle Helmets | RideApart
The morning commute today created the same siren call to seek a longer, alternate route. Who was I to not heed that call? With the heated grips turned on and my WarmBib plugged in, I was toasty warm despite the 15ºF outdoor temp, as the Zero buzzed south towards 40th Ave West. This stretch of road has been redeveloped within the last few years by blasting away rocks to create a wider corridor and a fun, twisty series of switchback like turns as the route makes its way downhill toward the lake. The exposed rock walls along the way are covered with impressive ice waterfalls this time of year, begging for a quick photo stop. This morning detour doubled my normal 5.5 mile direct route and provided some nice scenic vistas to enjoy before arrive at work to start the day. With a smile on my face and filled with energy and excitement from the ride, I plug in the Zero to the charging cord near the garage door and walk into the Aerostich factory to begin the workday...but already, thoughts are brewing about what the route home tonight might have in store. It might take a little longer to get there, but I won't be lost.
Kyle - Aerostich Marketing and Graphics. Everyday ride is an ‘08 Kawasaki Versys, used to commute about 4500 miles per year.
Rider factoid: Enjoys riding in the rain and the jealous looks of youth soccer players (and a few mom’s) when dropping off his daughter on the bike for soccer practices and games.