Why do I live here?


Life in Minnesota sucks when your only hobby is riding on two wheels

The feeling that a Minnesota motorcyclist gets on the first ride of the season is indescribable. We sit up here in a frozen prison and look at our motorcycles sitting in the garage dormant. Winter wonderland, my ass.

We mark time up here based on the weather phenomenons that happen on a yearly basis. For instance, ask any Minnesotan over 35 about Halloween 1991. You’ll definitely get an answer. Thirty one inches of snow fell that day and people are still talking about it.

I’d say that for those of us with a motorcycle addiction, the winter of 2011-2012 was equally remarkable. I was still riding during the first week of December 2011 – something that rarely happens around here. Most people are wondering if it will be a white Christmas and making guys like me try not to kick them in the shins.

There was hardly any snow that winter and it was great. The temps made me put my bike away for the winter, but the extra riding season made it okay that year. Of course, I was still antsy about getting back on the bike in the spring.

The roads looked fairly clean and clear of any residual snow and ice early that March and it was going to be 60 on the 6th. I took my bike out of hibernation and walked with it gently over the couple of chunks of ice that I neglected to scrape off and took off down the street.


And then embarrassing.

What I hadn’t noticed on the street was the thin layer of frost on the ground due to the fact that the sun was shielded by the trees in the neighborhood.

The back tire swooshed back and forth, I instinctually shifted to neutral, and then the bike and I went down. I managed to slip my leg out from under the bike and we spun twice. On one spin the bike and I moved in concert, but I stopped spinning quicker than the bike did, and one side of the handlebar caught in the neck of my jacket and twisted the throttle full bore.

So there I laid for a moment thinking about what had just happened. Motorcycle winding out at full blast and me on the ground laying next to it. It took a little doing to get the throttle out of my collar and then I slowly and gingerly took the walk/ride of shame back home. I had just learned that it was too early to be out riding the humiliating way.

So, now as I sit for days on end not riding my bike because the high will be 40 for the day or it’s raining or there’s a trace of snow on a May day (two days ago), I think about why I live in this motorcycle forsaken tundra.

I’ll have to get back to you in June on that subject.

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