It always happens around this time of year as we wind down the family vacations and get ready for back-to-school. Many people get into the mindset that summer is just about over and therefore riding season must be finished as well. What? Please find that date for me on your calendar that says “end of riding season.” In fact, there are approximately seven weeks of summer left so please don’t make room in the garage for your two-wheeled piece of sanity just yet.
Riding season is far from over and the weather right now couldn’t be any better. If we take a look back to the beginning of the year, we had a very damp start to say the least. On more than one occasion I found myself coming through the back door with water running off of my rain suit onto the kitchen floor from what seemed to be a very long ride home in the rain.
Once the rain moved out, the infamous fifty days of sun that Pittsburgh is granted each year settled in on the city and the hot temperatures made it difficult for even the most seasoned rider to stay put on Carson Street while waiting for the next light to turn green.
As we move into August and look towards the next three or four months of riding, we’ll see temperatures gradually getting cooler. Riding will become much more comfortable. Instead of a sweaty t-shirt and the sting of sunscreen in the eyes, we’ll have the option to dress in layers once again while we enjoy the rolling hills, the relaxing winding roads, and the beautiful fall foliage that Southwestern Pennsylvania has to offer.
Some of my favorite daytrips include rides to Ohiopyle, the Laurel Mountains, Conneaut Lake, and Wheeling, West Virginia to name a few. If you’re looking for just a night out, there are “bike night” events at many area bars and restaurants all over town. In the south you can check out the Quaker Steak and Lube at Southland (Wednesday Nights) or you can head north to the Quaker Steak and Lube in Cranberry (Thursday Nights). If you want to stay close to the city, you can always saddle up and head over to the Double Wide Grill on Carson Street (Sunday Nights).
In addition to the weather being perfect, August is the best time of year to get into the sport of motorcycling in my opinion. By now most motorcycle manufacturers have their 2009 line-up unveiled and ready to roll onto the showroom floors of local retailers. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in what a specific manufacturer has to offer, you can be first-in-line with your deposit so that you can own a two-wheeled machine that has all of the options you could dream up in any color you could imagine.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for bargain, many area retailers are aggressively pricing their 2008 models to move so that they can clear their already picked-over showroom floors to make room for the 2009 model year bikes.
Even though the calendar sites September 21st as the official last day of summer, the best riding is still to come all the way through October and even into November. Here’s hoping to see you on the open road!
The writer is Sales Manager at Hot Metal Harley-Davidson located in West Mifflin.