Winter Doldrums (at least for those of us in the northern areas)

Deckyon

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Yep, this time last year I was riding like mad, getting the 600 mile break-in done so I could get out on the road and have more fun.

This year, the sub-freezing temps are keeping me off the road. Sure, I have heated gear, but that wont melt the ice on the roads, which look a lot like simple dark spots on the gray salt-covered asphalt. Just not worth risking a wreck for me.

So, to help with not riding I am going through and rechecking all my camping gear and trip gear for the upcoming season, which included upgrading my sleeping bag to a Military 4-piece system, new Top Case and reworking how things are packed up. I am looking to get one bag set up as my camping bag with tent, footprint, chair, sleeping pad, pillow, stove, pot and water bag so it can be a grab and go style of system. I want to get everything in my panniers and camp bag save for a few odds and ends that will go in the top box. Since it locks, I want to keep it empty when I get to a destination so I can put my helmet and jacket in, or carry back beer and food easily.

What is everyone else doing to fill the doldrums of an ice-cold winter?
 

dduelin

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I learned early in MC camping to carry my bedding, a towel, a set of dry skivvies and my coffee making bag in a roll-top dry bag separate from everything else. When I set up a tent after arriving at camp in the rain I'm assured of a dry bed and something hot to drink. If it's raining when I strike camp the dry bag can be tossed outside of the tent into the rain and my bedding and stuff in it stays (relatively) dry. I carry the dry bag across the seat. I try and keep the tent separate from everything else as it always seems to be wet or damp when packed in the mornings.

Just my method....whatever works for you is good too.
 

Deckyon

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My camp bag is a roll-top dry bag. And the new sleeping bag comes with a gore-tex compression bag. I have a separate dry bag for clothes and my coffee is sealed up tight in camping tuperware.

When I lived in Colorado, we went backpacking every moment we had leave, and 90% of that translates to moto-camping. Just dont have to worry about the weight as much.
 
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670cc

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Winter is the time to get maintenance and modifications done, and shop for new accessories. This winter I'll be setting up for a bit more adventure style riding, with HBP's skid plate and possibly a second set of wheels with more dirt oriented tires (a dream, anyway). Got tool tubes and an MSR bottle to mount, too. I'm even starting to prepare for an Alaska trip in 2018.

For a least a whole day I seriously thought of buying a CB500X and doing a Rally Raid conversion, but that's on the side lines for now. I looked at buying a dual sport, too, but their feeble fuel capacity makes them impractical. Going back to work on a Monday brings back reality and dampens some of those wild ideas.

In spring and fall, I'd rather be riding. Mid summer is too hot for anything but water sports, so winter is when all the work gets done. Actually, the last few weeks have been dedicated to setting up a new mountain bicycle and refurbishing some older bikes we bought in the early '70s.
 
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Deckyon

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I am looking to do an Alaska or four corners trip 2017 or 2018 myself. Comes down to getting my house squared away and dumping all the extra crap I havent touched in years. Most is hitting the dump, but selling the rest. I pretty much made the decision in the next 5 to 7 years to sell the house, bank the money and hit the road. With my house already paid off, I can keep every cent from it. Getting the extra stuff gone is just the first step.

And no, I have no plans on changing bikes, my NC700X is going with me.
 

Old Can Ride

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In the winter time I RIDE, in the south, around home, and in Mexico. Do lots of winter RIDING. In the summer I RIDE up north, places like Alasaka and Canada. Do lots of summer RIDING. In the spring and fall I RIDE east and west. Do lots of spring and fall RIDING. I avoid the deserts in the summer and the mountains in the winter.

Most times I just fix things when they break on the road, but I keep RIDING and Camping.
 

drdubb

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I'm currently prepping for a cross country trip. I have three weeks and the problem is deciding what to leave out. I don't think I can maintain 400 miles per day for 21 days.
 

Deckyon

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One of the guys I met a while back went on about the 3x rule for clothing. First, dont take anything you cant throw away. The 3x rule as explained by him was taking 3 each of shirts, socks, underwear, pants/shorts. 1 to wear, 1 to wash, 1 to dry. If something wears out, buy something new.

If you have time to sift, there is some great info here, but you have to give/take with the fluff. https://www.reddit.com/r/ultralight

For help in tracking the gear you are taking, and seeing where you can cut the fat, so to speak, check out https://lighterpack.com/ Here is an example of someone's list for their trip. https://lighterpack.com/r/b9fgn7 He is doing an around the world backpacking trip.

I am starting to get to this point of packing as well. Some of these tools are overkill, but if you are looking at an expanded trip, it doesnt hurt to list everything you have as well as see it spread out on the floor. The one thing about that lighterpack site is it is great for balancing out the weight.

Here is another site to get some excellent information on packing for a very long trip (his was around the world) with a minimalist pack - https://minimalmotorcyclist.wordpress.com He did a talk at the Horizons Unlimited Meetup back in October. He showed us everything he packed for his round the world trip on the bike, then unpacked it to see everything he had, then repacked it onto the bike. Even with the questions and demos, took less than an hour.
 

potter0o

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For the Winter I am slowly working on a handlebar repair. The tipping point I think will be the local motorcycle show this weekend. Things I'm looking to upgrade for this season would be engine guards, top case with mounting racks, replacement summer gloves and a slow speed riding course.
 

Grey1one

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Now that my plastics are off to the painter, I plan to install the sub harness, etc and wire up some stuff the way it should be done.
 

SergeantChuck

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What is everyone else doing to fill the doldrums of an ice-cold winter?

We just got our first taste of some very light snow and ice this morning. Taking a couple days off myself. Hopefully you have a heat wave headed your way in the near future so you can get out for a couple days. I can't imagine going more than a week without riding.
 

drdubb

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I might miss riding every week for the first time in recent history. Forecast is snow and ice this weekend.
 

MichaelJohn

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I feel bad for you guys that can't ride much in the winter. We have been getting quite a bit of rain (finally) in Northern California and I'm not a big rain rider so I get cabin fever if I go more than a week without riding. Last weekend I just couldn't take it so I went out anyway, got wet, but still enjoyed it since it wan't too cold. I lived near Lake Tahoe many years ago and although white winters are beautiful, snow and ice are not my idea of a good time on 2 wheels - and I had my share of problems on 4 wheels too. There is nothing quite like doing a slow 360 on an icy road and not being able to do a darn thing about it.
 

the4Dman

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SKI, SKI, SKI I average 35 SKI days per year, I.E. Jackson Hole, WY for 5 days next week. you'd be surprised how the mechanics and balance required for Skiing relate to riding the motorcycle, and the rush is the same in terms of excitement.

oh, and I don't want to hear it, you're too old...I am a certified Ski instructor, I had a woman learn to ski on her 76th birthday, she did great. I regularly ski with folks in their 80's.
 
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