Lovely Day for a Ride | News
Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM) - Motorcycle riders are a rare breed. They live for the wind in their face; and what better place to enjoy that feeling than in west Michigan.
As we all know, the weather can and does change often; but you won't hear this hardy bunch complaining.
Lisa Gundry,who's been riding for 12 years said, "All winter long, we just can't wait for the weather to get here and to have it be warm enough to ride so it feels like you're wimping out if you back off because it's too hot. I have found that any day on a bike is a good day."
Michael Leugs, Ride Motorcycle GR said, "Once you're out on a trip, you take what you get. You can have a beautiful day of riding followed by a rainy day. You put on the gear and you go do it."
Thousands of motorcyclists gather in Muskegon for Bike Time. But, with the fun, there is also responsibility.
Ride Motorcycle GR member, Dennis Johnson said, "You know, everybody has a right to be on the road, you just hope everybody's respectful."
"You know, they say there are two kinds of riders. Those who have had a crash and those who will have a crash." reflected Michael Leugs. "If you love it, you're gonna do it despite the risks. You're gonna take certain precautions with the gear you wear. But you're gonna accept a certain amount of risk."
But sometimes these enthusiasts have to endure a lot just to enjoy the open road.
Even though all those riders look tough, the activity actually makes them quite vulnerable.
The leather isn't just for show; it provides a level of protection they just can't get from jeans and a t-shirt. A level that they need even when temperatures reach triple digits.
Geoff Evans also has been riding for 12 years. He said, "For me, 80 degrees is typically my threshold for if I'm going to wear the heavier gear."
Of course, that heavy gear means better chances of surviving a crash. For some riders, it's worth it.
Dennis Johnson, "I've ridden when it's 104 degrees across North Dakota and you still put the gear on. I'd rather be uncomfortable because of the heat than because of the scrapes and bruises and maybe a broken bone. It's not as uncomfortable as it looks."
Lisa Gundry wasn't even joking when she said, "I have a whole closet that's dedicated to riding... and it's not fashion oriented, it's all safety."
To get the same kind of protection that a leather jacket might offer, I'd have to wear multiple winter jackets; and I'd still probably end up with some scratches if I took a spill.
So, even when the mercury is boiling, it's always safety first.