written for Countyline Publications and printed in Wisconsin and Illinois Biker Information Guide – first quarter 2010 by Bill Gade, Tour on 2 If you did not ride to the Big Border Rally because it was too cold, you missed a great time. It was an unusually cold October weekend, however living in the mid-west unusual weather tends to be normal. If you are serious about riding your motorcycle in our area you will have to deal with cold weather.  Recently I participated in a Patriot Guard Riders mission for a fallen Army Soldier. When I left my house it was 25 degrees and I had to ride 65 miles to get to the airport where the escort was to start.  I made it there just fine because I used the right layers of clothing and technology to keep warm. I use heavy weight polypropylene long underwear as my first layer. If you wear a cotton base layer, and you sweat, you not keep warm because moist cotton conducts your body heat away from you. Synthetic long underwear keeps away the moisture and retains your warmth.   In my boots I use the toe warmers you can buy at most stores. For the next layer I wear a pair of jeans, a turtleneck shirt, sweatshirt and a electric vest before the leather goes on. I put on my leather chaps and jacket as my final layer.  I wear electric gloves and vest that allows me to keep warm for longer rides without the bulk of wearing many layers. If you do not have electric gloves I suggest a pair of glove liners to wear along with your heavy gloves. Wearing a full-face helmet prevents body heat from escaping from the top of your head and a neck gaiter to keep the cold wind off your neck. If you wear a half-helmet, wear a facemask to protect your skin.  I see riders all the time riding in cold weather with nothing on their heads, face or ears and I get cold just looking at them! There are expensive riding clothing made to protect you and keep you warm but wearing your “normal” clothing and investing in glove liners, synthetic long underwear, or electric clothing are a more practical approach to staying warm.  That day I rode with Patriot Guard Riders the temperature never went above 45 degrees and I rode 280 comfortable miles. Wearing the right riding clothing will not only protect you but it will also keep you warm! Ride Safe and Warm! PS: I encourage all of you to support join the Patriot Guard Riders. You can join online at www.patriotguard.org and it costs you nothing to join. It is a simple way to support those that protect us and our freedoms. Ride Safe, Bill Gade