In winter or off-season, motorcyclists are less likely to ride on two wheels for two obvious reasons – cold and dangerous. We looked at how to deal with danger in two articles:
“5 ways to survive on a motorcycle in winter in the city”
“How to prepare your bike for winter riding?”
As for the cold, motorcycle shops offer a huge selection of equipment. Just wrapping yourself up from head to toe is half the battle. Let’s talk about the little things you can do to get a good winter travel experience?
Hypothermia and frostbite
In summer, it is overheating, then burns, and in winter we are frightened by frostbite and hypothermia. Different concepts, the consequences of which are equally unpleasant. But they are sometimes confused because one complements the other. A commonplace example is hypothermia of the whole body and a frostbitten middle finger. To supercool only a finger and freeze the whole body – it already sounds at least strange, I hope this example is enough so as not to get confused in concepts: it is completely supercooled, partially frozen.
Frostbite – “trauma” of a part of the body, in motorcyclists, as a rule, of the limbs. In case of local damage to the body in pilots, part of the femoral muscles still suffers, the area above the knee is the quadriceps muscle, if you hit the anatomy. Frostbite of the extremities is the scourge of winter adventures, arms and legs are blown by the wind from all sides, a smaller area than that of a cable also plays an important role, as does distance.
In addition to the usual ways to get frostbite, being in the cold or blowing an unprotected part of the body with an icy wind, additional factors affect frostbite:
- Wet clothes – wet clothes can get frostbite much faster than dry
- Tight clothing – interferes with sufficient blood circulation and the lack of an air gap does not allow to warm effectively, there is no principle of thermal underwear
- Static position – does not provide adequate blood circulation
- General weakening of the body / illness / injury
Watch for symptoms such as loss of sensation and discoloration / skin condition. Sometimes loss of sensation occurs due to insufficient blood circulation. For example, in your feet, when you ride for a long time and do not work with your feet, your clothes are very tight and your shoes are too tight. Loss of sensitivity alone is enough to stop and check if everything is in order?
Hypothermia – characteristic of the general condition of the body. If you are inappropriately equipped, or the temperature overboard is too angry, then you are still too weakly equipped! Motorcyclists can track hypothermia by paying attention to themselves, looking for the following symptoms: body tremors, lethargy, delayed reaction, drowsiness or confusion.
Very often, the tremors due to hypothermia of the body are not noticed, attributed to the shaking from the ride or vibration of the motorcycle. It is important to distinguish muscle tremors from external vibrations.
Hypothermia is dangerous because a person ceases to adequately assess the situation, does not have time to react correctly, and cannot concentrate on the traffic situation. The inhibition is also explained by the saving of energy in the body. General fatigue against the background of hypothermia +50 to the accident rate, not to mention the fact that such an alignment is generally a great stress for the body.
What to do?
Equip correctly – not out of boredom and not for the box office, they came up with so many options for outfit for winter fidgets. Correctly selected thermal underwear in combination with a jacket, pants or overalls, with comfortable shoes and a helmet, and with warm gloves – removes 80% of problems.
More stops! More movement! In winter sports you will not freeze because you move a lot. But if you are on a long journey, you will have to make additional stops to warm up and let the blood circulate in the body. Yes, it will take time, but it will keep you warm.
Nobody forbids to bask in the heat of the engine either. During stops, pilots usually warm their hands in this way when there is no alternative.
Do not starve and drink enough – a hungry and dehydrated body equates to a weakened and tired body. Have you ever noticed that you feel warmer when you eat? Food is the body’s energy source. You should have snacks with you, they replenish the body’s costs for generating heat. Just having a snack doesn’t mean you’re full! Overeating will lead to sleepiness! Complex carbohydrates will be the best snack on the frosty journey. Vitamins in the form of banal ascorbic acid are a strategic reserve, does not take up much space, adds +5 to health.
It happens that pilots purposefully drink less water and refuel only with coffee, so as not to make unnecessary stops, but to stay awake. In winter, this is a relatively successful plan! Coffee removes moisture. In addition, drinking coffee in the cold is placed next to alcohol, because both dilate blood vessels, and this increases the loss of heat by the body. In the cold, blood vessels narrow, a natural biological reaction, and you expand them back. Therefore, it is better to restore the water-salt balance, as expected, an extra stop will still come in handy to stretch the body.
Have a dry spare set of clothing – not in the sense of carrying the entire wardrobe with its Narnia and skeletons, but to have spare warm socks, possibly also a T-shirt if you do not have thermal underwear. On the road in winter, you sweat and get wet, but as we read earlier – wet clothes +100 to the freezing rate. It will be much more pleasant for you to change into a dry T-shirt and warm dry socks at the end of the route.