Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stich Eye View

I scanned this from the inside cover of the most recent Aerostich catalog.  Naturally, its an advertisement for how good they think their gear works.  But it is based on some concept about what is feasible weather for riding a motorcycle.  It also emphasizes that hot weather on a bike can be a real pain, especially if you want to wear protection on your body.

Personally, I'm not up for as much cold weather riding as they seem to sign up for.  Even accepting a little cold weather fanaticism (Aerostich is in Duluth, after all) on their part, I was very surprised to see them identify Phoenix as the place with the fewest riding days per year.

It does bring up the question, how cold are you willing to ride, especially a full day ride?  And how hot is too hot for you on that same full day? 

For me, the answer is somewhere around 40 deg F on the low side and somewhere in the mid 90s on the high side.  I have ridden above 95, even over 100, but I didn't like it and it just wasn't fun.  I have also ridden on days that started in the 30's, but it was never fun, just getting home because there wasn't much choice.

I'm sure others have a wider range.  I'll put mine down to a naked bike with me out in the wind.  That, and not being as macho as I once was.

Finally, I thought it was interesting that San Francisco has 365 days, one day more riding than San Diego, 4 days more than LA.  I guess rain and fog don't count at all.  That seems to be confirmed by Seattle having 356 days.


  1. A very interesting chart. While we of northern climes often look at places like Phoenix with their promise of year-round riding the reality is it's often to damned hot to ride during the summers there, so their riding season isn't really that much longer than ours. The west coast on the other hand looks ideal.

  2. I suppose you have to define what a riding day is. A commute to work? Or a ride somewhere for fun? Commuting when it's past 104° in Phoenix isn't really riding, it's just enduring pain. I know, I've commuted year 'round in Phoenix.

    On the other hand, if you live in Phoenix, even on the hottest day you can be up early and head for the near by 6000ft mountains and ride comfortably all day and then head home after dark when the city temps have back off a notch.

    I suppose riding when it's below 40° or pouring rain is doable for some in Seattle or Maine but normal riders won't do it. So I call BS on Aerostitch's chart, it doesn't seem to be based on conditions that a normal rider would comfortably deal with day in and day out in the colder or wetter climes.