For those of us in the colder States, riding season has just drawn to a close. The leaves are off the trees, the first snowfalls and accompanying salt dumps have dirtied our favorite roads, and we're bracing for another round of death by polar vortex.
But hey, it's not all bad news, right? There are good things about not riding... for a few... months... Here are our top reasons to be thankful to be off the bike this winter, for the optimists among our readers in the great white north.
Your Bike Needs a Break
You've been so busy riding the wheels off the thing all year, that you may or may not have neglected some basic maintenance. Now's the time to get that long-procrastinated oil change done, swap out those brake pads, change the chain or flush the coolant. It may be a little less comfortable doing it in a chilly garage, but if it was nicer out, you'd be riding anyway.
Whether or not you winterize your bike is up to you (I haven't in years), but at the very least it's time to put a wrench on the things you've been ignoring since last spring's thaw. Since wrench time won't cost you riding time while it's cold and sleeting outside anyway, you can be as methodical and obsessive as you want. And as an added bonus, a retreat to the garage for some bike time is a completely valid excuse from uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner conversations with your relatives (we think).
There's Racing to Watch
Sure, race season is over, but let's be real. You missed most of it, because you were out riding on the weekends, not sitting around watching other people ride. Now's the time to catch up, and thanks to some crazy cheap offseason video passes from MotoGP.com and WorldSBK.com, it's easier than ever. (Pro-tip: MotoGP.com is offering a Black Friday special on Offseason video passes on Thursday and Friday!) So go ahead, perch your laptop on the fuel tank and go on a 19 hour binge-watch of motorcycle races! It's better than whatever sparkling vampire zombie reality talent show your friends are watching.
This is editor Jesse Kiser's garage in North Carolina.
Your Garage is a Disaster
Every spring, you vow that this is the year you keep the garage in order. You promise you'll put tools away when you're done, hang your gear up, and keep the shelves of parts and fluids as neatly organized as the pharmacy aisles at Target. And by June, the place looks more like the garbage compactor on the Death Star. While you're out there taking care of your bike and watching the 56 races you missed during the summer, why not straighten the place up a bit? Who knows, you might even find that pair of safety wire pliers you've been looking for all year.
Your Significant Others Require Your Attention
Let's do a quick exercise. Close your eyes, and try to picture your wife's face. Try to remember your boyfriend's favorite restaurant. List off your kids' middle names. Having trouble? Maybe, and just stick with me here, you should take the opportunity of the winter to spend some time with the family. Crazy talk, I know, but they'd probably appreciate it. If your dog growls at you when you take your helmet off because he doesn't recognize you without it, all I'm saying is maybe it's time to remedy that situation.
If you do a good enough job, they may just tolerate another summer of only seeing you when your bike's in the shop.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
I mean sure, it'd be cool to live in one of those places where you can ride year 'round. I suppose the novelty of going out for a Christmas morning blast through the Arizona canyons wouldn't wear off quickly. But then, riders in warmer climates will never know the unbridled ecstasy of that first spring ride, after all the weeks and months of waiting and dreaming! They won't understand the bond you've developed with your bike, as you sat on the dingy couch next to it in the garage, sipping your beer and staring at her lines for hours on end. The annual forced sabbatical from your motorcycle only makes you more appreciative of those perfect summer days where the traffic is nonextistant and the pavement beckons you interminably onward.
READ MORE: 11 Tips for Riding Off-Road… - RideApart
What are you looking forward to this offseason? Let us know in the comments below!