Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nuances of Temperature Changes While Riding

Orchestrated cloudscape (36850003)Image by Shutterhack via Flickr

Riding a motorcycle truly utilizes all your senses. I have written about the sounds, smells and the effect of the sun while riding previously. Another one of the nuances of riding that I really enjoy is touch. You have a heightened feeling of temperature change as you ride.

While riding in a vehicle you are protected from the elements and will never notice the subtle changes in temperature that you can while riding a motorcycle. When standing, walking or running the changes are generally to slow to notice. There is nothing better while riding on a hot day than to take slight dip in elevation and feel a pocket of cooler breeze against your skin. I think that is one of my favorite things that I enjoy about riding.

If you ride on a regular basis you will pick up on patterns of temperature changes while you ride. This is because hot air rises and cold air sinks. If the road you are traveling suddenly takes a drop in elevation you generally can actually feel the drop in temperature as you descend. Since cold air seeks lower elevations, naturally you will find it along creeks and rivers. Of course, the opposite of this is true as well. In Texas you can sometimes feel these temperature changes on longer bridges and overpasses.

Another factor that comes into play is the location of cover. Trees and buildings also block the wind and as the day warms up they will hold the cooler air at bay. There is a small wooded area with a creek in it by my house and usually on a hot day I will feel a nice cool section of the road while riding through the area. I don’t know why it feels so invigorating but I guess it just makes you more cognisant that you are alive.

Some temperatures are just not comfortable and you better have the correct riding gear to compensate for it. Hot weather gear for summer, cold weather gear for winter and rain gear for the rain. It is fun to race a storm to your destination before it starts to rain, or to stay out in front of a storm. Tornadoes, lightning or hail is not something you wish to tangle with on the back of a motorcycle.

Having your senses bombarded with information is just one of the things that make riding a motorcycle so exciting and enjoyable. Feeling the temperatures change as you ride is quite exhilarating and is definitely one of the reasons I prefer to ride.

Ride on,
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