Opinion: Passing the time

Well, it’s officially winter. Like many of you I’m sure, I held off on putting my motorcycles away for as long as possible in hopes of one or two nice days where a ride might be possible. But as sure as death and taxes, that first snowfall was promptly followed by plows liberally spreading salt with reckless abandon. Not only does it reduce traction on cold pavement, but I don’t want it getting up into all the nooks and crannies to cause issues down the road.

So, what to do now? It isn’t even Christmas yet and I’m already itching to ride. If only there was something like a cigarette smoker’s nicotine patch to calm the withdrawal symptoms associated with PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome). There are, however, many things you can do to pass the time until spring comes.

Winter is a perfect time to finally get around to those modifications or upgrades you’ve been planning. If you don’t have a proper insulated garage or workspace, just drain the fluids and bring your motorcycle inside.

I’m a firm believer in constant improvement. Regardless of how experienced and talented a ride you are, you can be better. Signing up for a track program will drastically increase your abilities and reduce reaction times, but that kind of riding may not be up your alley. There are other options out there though, including courses for group riding or even instructor training. Someone has the teach the next generation how to ride properly, why not you? It’s a way of paying it forward and becoming more involved in the community. Plus, having skillful and respectful riders out on the roads is better for everyone.

It may not seem directly related to riding, but staying in shape is important. Indoor workouts like swimming, Pilates or circuit training can help keep you limber and able to maneuver your motorcycle with greater ease. Have you ever seen a motocross rider with their shirt off? It’s like an anatomy chart in the doctor’s office that’s come to life. Also, you don’t want to have to buy new gear next year because the stuff you have doesn’t fit.

Maybe you favour rewatching your old classic VHS tapes or DVDs, but there are now plenty of streaming options like YouTube, Netflix or TMFF Cinema to catch all kinds of motorcycle content. Not only does it help you enjoy the hobby from the comfort of your couch, but it may also inspire you to plan upcoming trips.

Speaking of trips, you can now travel across the US border and across the oceans if you’ve been fully vaccinated. There are lots of companies that specialize in trip planning and will do everything from planning the route to picking you up from the airport, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the ride.

If the pandemic taught most of us anything, it is that human connections are important. It’s also important to support small local businesses. So why not kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, by planning regular outings to meet up at motorcycle-themed coffee shops or restaurants to catch up with buddies and do some bench racing?

Whether it’s a Lego set or a traditional model kit, taking the time to assemble it will help pass the time and give you something to proudly put on display in your home or garage.

If you’ve got ideas of your own, I’m all ears. Spring will be here eventually, but it’s going to be a long winter.


  1. An old dual sport, a slow pace and heated gear and I’m good to go down to 2 or 3 degrees. 8 yesterday and it was fine, though the wind was bad. If we continue to get up and down temps. I should be able to ride all winter.

  2. My last ride here in eastern Canada was the first week of December to the dealership where I put my bike in storage. The rest of December is usually so busy with holiday preparations that it doesn’t really “count” as riding downtime. The way I see it, there’s actually only 90 days (usually) of not having my bike available to me. That doesn’t sound like a lot…

  3. On Vancouver Island we can ride year round. The lack of daylight is a hindrance if you work 9-5 but you can ride on the weekends if you can tolerate rain. The best bikes for winter riding are dual purpose or adventure bikes.

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