There’s something incomparably exciting about going for a motorbike ride in the midwest in January.

There’s something even more exciting about seeing a small scattering of other people who are clearly as mad as you are, also all out on bikes and enjoying the respite — however brief — from what passes for normalcy this time of year. Weather-wise, at least.

Perhaps it’s the sense of doing something you’re not supposed to. I mean, while the temperature isn’t in the negatives, it’s also not exactly balmy. I’ve got a heated jacket liner and gloves that plug into a harness that’s attached to my bike’s battery, so I’m actually pretty toasty. But I always get asked if I’m cold, and explaining how heated gear works always elicits a look of amazement on the other person’s face. Yes, such a thing exists, and yes, I’ll be grateful forever that it does. (My gear is made by Gerbing’s, and they have in no way compensated me to mention them. I have, however, been a happy user of their gear since 2005, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.)

Unfortunately, there is some pre-emptive strike salt on the roads. Luckily, where I went today didn’t have enough to make my tires turn white. That stuff is unfortunately quite slippery (oh, the sting of salty irony), so I was lucky.

The weather’s not supposed to get super-cold again until Thursday, so chances are good I’ll be enjoying it on two wheels for the next few days — during the day, at least. Still a bit cold for night-riding, even with heat.

If you ride, what weather conditions stop you from riding? I’ll happily keep going until there’s ice on the ground.