Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wasted opportunities

GolfI had the luxury of spending last week golfing and ‘gator-dodging in and around Orlando. It was a too-good-to-be-true deal that I just could not pass up – especially as the snow was already starting to fly in these parts.
Over the course of 7 days we drove nearly 700 miles to and from various golf courses and just around the area itself, and during that entire time I don’t think I saw more than a couple of dozen motorcyclists on the road. I couldn’t believe it. Here we were in 75-80 degree temperatures, dry conditions, and I saw fewer bikes in an entire week than I would see here in Ottawa on a nice day in October when the temperatures might creep up to 55 or 60 degrees. Now it did seem that every second corner – the one that didn’t have a Starbuck’s on it – had a Harley dealership or clothing outlet, so money is clearly being spent on the industry, but where were the riders?
And this isn’t the only time I’ve remarked on this in the US. I used to spend quite a bit of time in Phoenix and there too I noticed a dearth of bikes on the highways. Now in Arizona there’s at least an excuse, sort of, as 100-plus degrees in ATGATT makes an air-conditioned cage seem pretty attractive. But for those of us who measure our riding season in weeks this all seems like such a wasted opportunity to get out and enjoy two wheels.
Can anyone explain it?

13 comments:

  1. Sorry, I can't explain it. I finally gave up when it hit freezing. Something about the idea of encountering ice that makes me a bit nervous. But I find myself desperately looking for days where it might get up to 37 degrees (my "this hurts my fingers too much" threshold) so I can sneak in a ride. If I had 60s and 70s for highs I would be riding.

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  2. When I lived in Southern California I could ride almost every day; bar the occasional monsoon blowing in off the Pacific, the weather was fairly mild most of the year. Now that I live in Oregon, and am a bit older, I'm less willing to go out riding in the pouring rain and bitter cold. I appreciate that glorious and unexpected sunny day after a week of rain in a way I never did in SoCal. Perhaps those absent Floridian bikers were simply jaded by the constant good riding weather.

    But I think the real question is why were you playing golf when you could have rented a motorcycle and gone riding?

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  3. Maybe it is a case of too much of a good thing. Or, as is the case in Arizona, snowbirds, uhuhuhaaa I mean winter visitors, make riding a hazard. No matter I choose to ride.

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  4. Danny - Absolutely. As soon as there's the chance of ice, I'm off the roads. It's bad enough on 4 wheels.

    Jerry - Got me there! LOL.

    AZHD - Maybe it is too much of a good thing, and like Jerry says, the locals just get jaded. Still, like you, I'd be riding. (Except when I'm golfing.)

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  5. I certainly don't see many people riding around here much anymore now that it has gotten colder.
    I just think that some of them are really missing something. Unless it is really really cold, I find it invigorating.

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  6. Can't explain it in FLA. So. Cal, however, bikes are out all the time. For a lot of riders, it is their daily transporation to and from work... even in rain, which is not often. Funny, I write this... 2 days ago it was raining sheets here for a day. I didn't even want to put the garbage out til it let up, but when I walked outside I saw my scooter man (an elderly guy) ride by as he does every day. I was a little stunned, but smiled and prayed he had a ride home safe.

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  7. cpa3485 - I've also heard the Polar Bear swim described as invigorating!

    KT Did - So Cal is different for sure. Lots more bikes on the road there which means it's a regional thing, so even more curious. With visibility being a problem in really heavy rains (and slippery roads if it hasn't rained for a while) I'm always reluctant to head out in really nasty storms. It's different if you're caught out there, but to start out that way - been there, done that, got all the t-shirts.

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  8. I can explain it. They are too busy sitting inside in their air conditioning blogging about how they get to ride 365 days a year.

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  9. Yes, it was meant to be a funny, not cynical. ;)

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  10. Must be that people in Florida are whimps.

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  11. Wow, I'd be out there if it was 75 degrees; where I am in New England, it's 20s and 30s now. Maybe 75 degrees is too cold for some Floridians, lol.

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  12. Ken - I'm with you there. It's -20C here right now and we have probably 4 more months before riding season is here again.

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