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Are You Planning A Bike Trip This Winter?

Jan 5th 2016 at 4:11 AM

Motorbikes see many a winter standing out in the cold, or cooped up in the garage. Perhaps, you could lend an all new meaning to ‘enjoying winter’ by planning a bike trip. Some people might advise you against it but you can bet the voice of experience to egg you on to go all out albeit with a few things to bear in mind. Riding has its own set of responsibilities that must always be followed. This is especially true for special conditions and seasons, like winter.

Start by being well kitted out. Riding is all about being comfortable in your skin(s). You definitely cannot hand out an open invitation to hypothermia! Biting cold conditions induce low energy levels, slow and delayed responses, shivering and exhaustion. Continuing to ride when you are freezing to the bone may exacerbate problems and also cause stiff or sore joints, frost bite, slurred speech, fuzzy thinking and loss of memory.

Count on thermals specially made for motorbikers and winter sojourns. It is the first, best way to keep the winter chill away. Choose material that keeps you warm, absorbs sweat, stays waterproof and does not restrict movement. Keeping your head and hands warm is critical. Wear a balaclava and gauntlet-style gloves to prevent air from entering either into your, helmet, jacket, or from reaching your fingers and turning your hands cold.

Having an effective windscreen is a great advantage. With a little more money to spend in the right place, bike modifications like a heated electronic grip, seat and foot warmer go a long way in helping you cover long distances at lower temperatures.

If it is more than a quick spin that you’re taking while it is freezing outside, try and stop over often. Treat yourself to a sweet, hot and nourishing cup of coffee, milk or cocoa and energize yourself. Remember to sip water or juice or what-have-you at regular intervals to keep the body hydrated. Keep your beverages non-alcoholic and preferably, non-aerated.

Eat healthy. Food rich in nutrients, carbs and fruits boost immunity, balance metabolism and keep you warm. For some excellent pit-stops for delicious food along cold, treacherous routes, give the trails of seasoned bikers a dekko on

Finally, what should keep you going, is a good pair of tyres. But, as the weather gets colder, tyres start losing traction. When you do stop midway to warm yourself up, your tyres might grow cold. A simple warm up for tyres should keep you in good stead. Consider the traction of the tyre and heat it up by applying the brakes hard and then accelerating quickly. Do this a couple of times till the tyre grips the road effortlessly all over again.

Keep these simple things in mind and keep a safe distance from other vehicles while you ride through winter.

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