Monday, December 13, 2010

A Two Wheeler at the Tax Seminar

Thursday, December 9 I was putting on my gear while people were sort of chatting and milling around at the end of an all day tax seminar. One of the people saw me putting on my gear pants and commented to me that my ride home ought to be warmer than my ride that morning to the seminar. I said I was looking forward to the ride home, but the ride that morning really wasn't all that unpleasant. It was 33 degrees as I left the house this morning, about 50 degrees for the ride home. It was almost 15 degrees colder for the morning ride to work yesterday. Then the same person said "I don't know how you do it!" I wasn't all that sure how to respond, but said something about just being properly dressed and let it go at that. Then I wondered, am I really that weird to ride in cold weather? I don't see as many motorcycles out on the streets this time of year, but there are some and I know that I'm not the only one who rides at this time of year. I am sure of one thing though. I was the only person that arrived at the seminar that morning on two wheels. So maybe I am a bit unusual. Does that bother me? Naaaah! Let them think what they want to think. If they admire it, fine. If not, fine. I am mostly indifferent as to what they think. I just know how I feel about it. Maybe I am proud of being a bit "greener" than other people. After all, I probably got about 75 mpg getting to and from the seminar that day. Few others, if any, could claim that, and then only if they car-pooled. Maybe I like the challenge of riding in colder weather. Maybe I am secretly looking for admiration and respect from others. I do get a chuckle when I pull up next to someone in a car at a stoplight and they look over at me with this look on their face that tells me they are sure I am crazy. But that isn't it either. I just prefer not giving people the knowledge that one of the reasons I do it is because I enjoy the hell out of it. Now, as you might imagine, tax seminars for CPA's are not renowned for being very exciting. There was one sort of cool thing (I think) that happened that day. Most of the time we get a big notebook full of reference materials at these events. Sometimes there is a lot of paper and my office is full of old notebooks from past seminars I have attended. But just recently they started emailing the materials to us in a .pdf format. If we want to we can print off our own "book", or as an alternative bring a laptop or e-reader with the .pdf file already saved. I think this is a great idea. I brought the laptop and was able to read along as the instructor spoke. Some people brought I-pods, I-pads and other devices. A lot of CPA firms are going "paperless" and we will start that effort ourselves next year. We'll be trying to kill even fewer trees. The day was spent with much thought about changes in tax laws. I also thought about "green" things today. I barely even gave any thought to the temperatures today. The seminar was at a hotel on the opposite side of town. As a result, I had two really nice rides today.


  1. Riding in 33 degree weather? That's balmy weather, with proper riding gear! Or is it us that are balmy?


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  2. Dom,
    LOL, balmy weaher. It was about 18 degrees in the morning the day before and I rode that day. It's below 20 when I start thinking twice and I wussed out today (was about 15).
    I really like riding in the cold, but there is a limit for me as well. I am sure it is not as low as yours. Ride On!

  3. cpa3485:

    you are a rebel at heart despite the rapidly advancing years

    Wet Coast Scootin

  4. Chris up in MN rode at -13F this morning. I don't know if I'm up to that or not, but I do know snow and ice stop me. We have all three right now: cold temperatures, ice, and snow.

    I know one of the reasons I ride in the is the process of figuring out how to do it comfortably. I've really enjoyed making riding in the cold work.

    Nice post.

  5. Dear CPA3485 (Jimbo):

    Riding in the cold has two distinct advantages over riding in the heat. They are: 1) You will not be basted in sweat... 2) No bugs. And if you like it, and it adds spice to your life, then screw whatever the stiffs think.

    By the way, Gerbings makes lithium battery-powered gloves. The batteries recharge every night at home. They are good for 2 hours at 100% power. That would cover your commute. The catalogue says these gloves "are not designed for motorcycle riding." I suspect that means they are not "armored." Well I bought a pair of 12v Gerbings Nubuck gloves ($119), and they are not armored either.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  6. Bobskoot,
    The old bones like it a little less and less each year, but still able to keep after it. Don't consider myself much of a rebel as much as just trying to get from one place to another in an efficient manner.

    Jim ( infinitum

  7. Keith,
    One of the scooter forum sites had a cold weather challenge a couple of years ago. May be doing it again. I rode and made an entry for a 13 degree ride. Was fine except for fingers, and I think I could do a little colder now with a better glove setup.
    There were some videos on the site that were absolutely crazy, one guy on a Honda Ruckus in 10 inches of snow comes to mind.
    Ice and snow will stop me completely, I'm not that crazy. And I know what you mean about trying different outfits and set-ups. That has been a continuous process. I have worn 6 or 7 layers at times and found many ways to survive. It's just those damn fingers. Let me know how those Hippo gloves work for you.


  8. Jack,
    I don't mind sweating, but overall I don't handle the heat as well. And the cold sure wakes me up on the way to work in the morning. I piss people off with how peppy I am first thing after a cold ride. And it has been a long time since I worried that much about what people thought of me.
    I have actually looked at the gloves you mention and think they would be perfect for me and Max. I just have never let loose of the $ yet and I read a somewhat so-so review of them. But I like the idea of battery power instead of a hook up to the bike's electrical system. Just don't think they make batteries good enouogh to power the stereo I want.

  9. Before Chris got his Ural he rode a Kymco Super 9. He tells me that he took a small car battery and put in in the underseat storage and ran his electrics off that. Since I've lived here my experience is we have very few really cold days. My hands are good now for up to an hour at 20F. I'm looking to move that lower. I'm just not sure the number of under 10F days warrants the investment from my somewhat limited income. But, I always say that and then buy stuff anyway, oh well.

  10. Good for you. I like turning up at gatherings like this on my bike, especially when the other people there least expect it. I am not sure I would do it when it is really cold though.