George_Tranos_Outside_EdgeThe Outside Edge

by George Tranos

Living here in the northeastern United States provides us with the beauty of the change of seasons. Now that fall has arrived, we are blessed with the glory of nature. As daylight fades and the days shorten, the trees lose their leaves giving us a wonderful show of color. Green, orange, yellow, brown all mesh with the earth and sky in a marvelous display of the cycle of life. So too our motorcycle season slowly winds down as the temperature cools.

With our hotter than usual summer, some riders are looking forward to the cooler fall weather. Riding jackets and motorcycle pants can help when temperatures lower. Heated grips and riding gear also can aide riders to help them keep warm. During the change of seasons, the hours of darkness increase and mornings can be downright frosty. A shift in riding strategy is in order. During the summer, riding in the early morning is preferable to avoid the heat of the day. In the fall, delaying departure until the warmer part of the day and riding in the afternoon helps make riding more pleasant.

One of the wonderful things about being a motorcyclist is it provides you with an opportunity to meet and speak with others who you might not ordinarily talk with. Simply riding your motorcycle and stopping at the gas station, restaurant or grocery store can be impetus for others to engage you in conversation. “I always wanted to get one of those,” or “That looks like fun,” can be invitations to share our passion with others. A trip to work or weekend ride can become a happy adventure filled with random encounters with friendly and inquisitive people.

In today’s fast paced world, social media can provide other possibilities to showcase our hobby. Just posting a motorcycle related photo can elicit many comments. The great part of motorcycling is that we actually do something – we ride! With instant communication technology and the ability to post our feelings and activities at any time and in any place, showing someone doing something they love in a positive and outgoing way is a major accomplishment and a departure from the mostly negative complaints that sometimes dominate that medium.

This past July, my wife and your Motorcycle Tips, Tricks and Techniques author, Diane Ortiz, was a ride leader for the Sister’s Centennial Motorcycle Ride (see her column for more on this). This was a wonderful event and great opportunity for her. It was also a big change for us both as she was to be away for almost a month. This was difficult on both a personal and professional level. Being apart for a long time provided challenges and we both had to adjust to cope. I had to do many things that I don’t normally do when she is around which gave me a greater appreciation for what she does when she’s here!

To grow, we much each change and adapt to new situations and be open up to new possibilities. Just as the weather cools as the seasons change, we must personally try to embrace all of the prospects that appear in front of us. Cliches sometimes are truisms. As one door closes, another one opens. This is something we all encounter and have to learn to live with. As the fall season begins and winter is not far ahead, please enjoy the time you have left to ride. Enjoy the best part of the riding season and embrace the change that is ahead. After all, we should try to appreciate all of the seasons and times of our life.