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Seven ways to shake those winter motorcycle blues

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'Twas a cold day of winter and all through the garage, not a bike was whirring, icy roads a barrage.

Yes, winter is upon many folks across the country. And yet, the motorcycle bug still picks at the brain, wishing for warmer weather and twisty roads. The motorcycle blues can take a firm hold if not careful.

It doesn't have to be this way. Sure, riding may be out during most if not all of winter (depending upon ones domicile location, that is). Here's seven things that can keep the blues at bay.

1. Find a motorcycle show or similar event. Organizers often put motorcycle gig's on in the frozen tundra areas of the country. And these are indoors, in a nice cozy convention center or arena location. Check out Progressive International Motorcycle Shows for one. Do a Google search, see if any local, regional or national events are within a reasonable travel distance. These shows are just the thing during the lonesome winter months.

2. Subscribe to motorcycle magazines. Many might say that print media is dead, but it's not. Magazines like Motorcyclist and Cycle World offer up some of the best moto-journalists in the biz, stuff not found on the average bike blog or web forum. Monthly mag's hitting the in-box are also something fun to look forward to.

3. Get involved with a brand or model specific web forum. Discussion forums about a certain bike or brand keep the brain active while like-minded folks discuss bikes, mods, past rides and future plans, all sorts of fun stuff. Just one quick Google search can open up a world of new friends and great folks. Yes, there are some attitudes on these forums, but overall these forum users are very intelligent and well versed in pretty much every aspect of a particular bike.

4. Find a motorcycle podcast. Weekly biker podcasts are done by folks who just love anything to do with motorcycles. The Pace podcast and Wheelnerds are both worth checking out.

5. Hit the local dealerships. Many motorcycle dealers in cold areas stay open year-round by carrying winter riding machines like snowmobiles and ATV's. Pile a few riding buds into the family truckster, go have lunch, talk bikes and kick the tires at the dealer. Winter deals on apparel and other gear are sometimes deeply discounted, not a bad time to consider new boots or gloves for the spring.

6. Do that modification or upgrade project. If the hibernating beast lives in a warm garage with tools available, how about doing that upgrade or modification project? Many bikers install new windshields, crash bars, chrome, do engine mods, all sorts of fun stuff over the winter months.

7. Purchase or re-read a motorcycle riding skills book. Wintertime is often the best time to open up that riding safe book collecting dust in the closet, or purchase a new book. David Hough (pronounced 'Huff') is a well respected author with a bunch of books to his credit. Riders can never be too educated when it comes to safe riding.

Wintertime might be no-joy in regards to swinging a leg over the machine, but it doesn't have to be without motorcycles. Avoid the blues by keeping that grey-matter area that controls the love of motorcycling active. Use imagination! There's often lots of fun motorcycle stuff to do when riding isn't an option.

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