A Motorcyclist’s New Year’s Resolutions

2012-a-motorcyclists-new-years-resolutions

Lieback’s Corner (#15) / 01.02.2012

Since about the age of 25, the whole New Year’s Resolution thing slowly faded in the same continuum as my metabolism.

I’d make a resolution, and like the story of so many others, it would disappear from obtainment, usually by the time the snow melts here in Northeast Pennsylvania.

But they were never major, life-altering resolutions. I never said I’m going to work out more. Or not enjoy the occasional bottle (or two) of wine and a cigar while hunkered down in some hotel after touring around parts of America via two wheels. Or enjoy 10 hours of playing cards in some smoky casino when the urge arrives.

No. These things are enjoyable, if taken minimally. And at the age of 32, that’s just what I learned to do. Take the vices and enjoy them at those certain moments in life, not every weekend (or day) such as my reckless but enjoyable 20s.

My resolutions of the last few years were more of little things to better prepare for a much larger event later on in life. Last year’s big one was as many track days as possible to prepare for 2012 WERA. Well, double-hernia surgery and some odd, gall-bladder issues put that on hold.

Another was to ride more, regardless of weather. That one I stuck to, and can say I was very successful at; in 2011, I rode nearly 30K combined on my personal bikes (Honda VFR, Suzuki V-Strom, Honda CBR). But there were many more miles due to test bikes and track days. Although 30K was much here in the Northeast that has four seasons, this was still down from 2010 when I rode around 36K on my machines.

So the goal for 2012? Ride around 40K miles, and this time maybe keep a log of miles on the test bikes that I’ll take touring. It all started today, with a short 65-mile ride on my favorite back roads and some dirt roads in a local state park.

Yes. Jan. 2, 2012, riding the V-Strom in Northeast Pennsylvania. The temp was around 22 degrees in the mountains, and near the end of one of the park roads, the snow began (picture above). But if you want to obtain high mileage as a personal goal, or um resolution, the cold weather and inevitable snow must become a small obstacle.

And of course, like always, I ran into the cold-weather hiker or some men trolling the state park roads via huge, four-wheel drive pickups. While taking the above photo, a man rolled his window down, looking at me like I was crazy. He asked, “you must be freezing.”

Some people just don’t understand the quality of gear we have as motorcyclists nowadays, gear that will accommodate a rider under any circumstances. I can honestly say that my generation of motorcycle madman is spoiled. We have anything we need for any situation of riding, regardless of rain, snow, temps over 100 degrees, etc.

I wanted to explain to this man that of course I was comfortable, and beyond warm due to things such as those huge Touratech handguards and heated grips on the bike. But I agreed just to satisfy his curiosity, and get back to enjoying my down time, replying a short, “you bet.”

But regardless of what people are thinking out there, my first ride of 2012 is complete, although a very short, 65 miles. That’s a great start to one of my rehashed resolution.

And of course, there are other resolutions. I recently emptied my Ducati fund to put a ring on the woman’s finger. I realized I’m not getting any younger, and considering Pam loves my sense of adventure and deals with my endless traveling via motorcycles, she’ll make the best lifelong partner.

My resolution regarding Pam? Have her on the back of the motorcycles more, considering she loves riding as a passenger. But since she doesn’t like this finger-numbing weather, even with those bulky Held Freezer Gloves, I likely won’t get to start that resolution until spring.

There are a few more, but I’ll likely forget them within a few weeks (or a few days), so there’s no reason mentioning them.

One thing I’ve also learned about resolutions besides the fact that they vanish is that when people share a similar goal, it’s much easier to obtain.

So if you’re crazy about motorcycles, and have made a resolution to ride more, I hope we meet somewhere out there on the road in 2012.

Hell, if the bikes are parked for the night, maybe we’ll even share a bottle of wine or two.

Stay Twisted; Throttle yr Soul
– Ron Lieback

Lieback’s Corner is the Online Editor’s column, which delves into RL’s recent motorcycling mind breaths and wanderings.