In July of 2006 I acquired my Harley. Shortly there after, we went down to one car and the bike. I think it was due to money. That sounds right. We didn’t have any and we sold my old CB400 and a Cherokee for money leaving us with our Pontiac Vibe and the Harley. At the time I was workig as a case worker for DCF and I had a meeting in Starke, about 30 minutes away. By the time of this meeting it was now winter. By Labor Day I had sold both vehicles so it was sometime in the winter after that. As I left the house to go to the meeting it was 44 degrees. I bundled up with gloves, jacket and scarf wrapped around my face. I was fine until I made it out of town. Then I realized that 44 degree weather + 70 mph = impossible to breathe. I literally thought I was going to suffocate while driving the motorcycle. I pulled over and readjusted the scarf. It helped. I learned that morning that when riding a motorycle in cold weather, especially with an open face helmet, breathing is no longer automatic. Every breath is a hard-earned victory in the battle to stay alive.
Fast forward 3 years and I was leaving to go to work this morning on my GSX-R1100 and it was 37 degrees. I put on my coveralls, gloves, armings (like a legging but for the arm), my balaclava (works tons better than a scarf) and my full face helmet. As I exited the apartment complex I was reminded that breathing is no longer a privilege under these circumstances, but a hard-earned victory in the battle to stay alive.