Winter is Coming
For many of us who experience the white season, we are once again faced with the hurdle of getting through another winter. Some say that we ALL get a sliver of seasonal depression, but we motoring enthusiasts have our own special variation(s) that make this time of year a bit… odd.
It’s mid-November now, and I am mentally preparing to park my motorcycles for the off-season. I MIGHT have a few more opportunities that I will be happy to exploit, but by and large, any two-wheeled fun after October tends to feel like borrowed time and can’t be expected. I also am watching the forecast often to decide when to swap my 200tw “sketchy in rain, downright impossible in snow” tires on my FRS to the OEM wheels with winter tires on them. I don’t actually drive that car too often in the winter anymore but I like having the option if I feel like it.
So like many of us, my season of fun is about to go on hiatus, hibernating until the springtime. However, that’s not the worst of it. I don’t know about you but my particular ‘flavor’ of the winter blues is a bit crazy.
You see, I absolutely LOVE my car and my motorcycles. I’ve had lots of both and really have made mostly great choices in the stable. However, there’s something that happens - usually around mid-February - that really messes with my head. I suddenly want to sell them all and start over.
Even if I were to ignore the financial deficit that this amount of maneuvering would cause, it’s just an insane mindset. It’s so odd that after a couple of months of not using them, I am itching to get something different. After just two months? I have shoes that I haven’t worn in YEARS that I have no desire to replace, but somehow I get it into my head that I am going to flip 2,3,6 vehicles that I am VERY fond of?
The funny part is that this has become SO predictable. As in… EVERY. SINGLE. WINTER.
It sneaks up on me every time though. It’s a combination of a few months of downtime, the holiday season is over, there isn’t much to look forward to from the first days of the year until perhaps April… Then sprinkle in the one-two punch of the Chicago Auto Show AND The Chicago Motorcycle show in early February… There’s nothing like seeing new fresh metal in person for 8 straight hours to make you forget about the one(s) in your garage under a cover.
I start trying to figure out what everything is worth, and what I will replace each thing with (or not), and the places I’ll go on each. Then the anxiety of payment for each move starts actually stressing me out and I am planning on how to save extra money each month for the foreseeable future to even it out. It’s all crazy.
I have friends who have to talk me off a ledge about insanely dumb plans every March. The truth is, I have never actually gotten the plan into motion - it’s all just pipe dream hypothetical chess moves for some perfect garage lineup - usually involving a car that my friend repeatedly tells me he won’t allow me to ever buy (we’ll talk about that in a later article).
But it hardly matters. By March, I might not have ridden a bike in as many as 5 months if the winter came early. My muscle memory forgets how fond of my own stuff and my head has been filled with the shiny new eye candy at the shows. The brochures I took home for some stupid reason have been flipped through 20 times. All my excitement, anticipation for fairweather motoring (two wheeled or four) and anxiety about being mostly indoors for 4+ months is fueled by those dumb brochures, cell phone pics from the show and rarely is pointed to the (really cool) stuff on the other side of the garage door. It can drive a guy nuts.
And yet, just a few weeks later, the snow thaws and we start to get our toys out. And as predictable as the ending of a Rom-Com, it all works out in the end. The first time out of the driveway in my FRS or on each bike is always the same. I can barely go 3 miles before I say out loud (to myself as well as the vehicle) oh man, I love this thing, and pat the dash or gas tank like the playful puppy-like companion it is. Just like that, I’m back in love, and immediately laugh at the torment I put myself through all winter long thinking I wanted to sell it for something else.
I think it’s because like most car/bike fans, given infinite money and garage space, we would have an infinite list of things we’d collect - A.K.A. the Jay Leno contingency.
I LOVE my car. I truthfully am “stuck” in a situation where there’s nothing within a reasonable price that I will ever have money for that drives or looks better to me. Plus, it’s been paid off for years now. Sure there are a few cars that if somebody randomly offered me to trade straight for I’d do it, but I’m not holding my breath for somebody to leave a note on my car begging me to swap keys for their Boxster Spyder or GT500 without bringing at least 50k to the table. But that’s fine. I feel fortunate to have a terrific sports car that I love. But until I’m Jay Leno I will always have something out of reach that I daydream about. Everybody has that about something.
A long season of daydreaming without a reminder of how good you have it is a bad combo. Once again, I'm preparing for the winter blues, and I always THINK that since I’ve identified it and am aware of it that it won’t actually happen this year. I did a bit of swapping around in the motorcycle department in the garage this year so I am not too worried about that, but my car is heading into it’s 8th winter season and that’s ripe for daydreaming.
I have a few plans to help. I have actually stopped covering things up in the garage in the winter. I think seeing them and even just sitting in/on them for a few minutes in the quiet garage will help. I’m also going to try to drive the FRS a bit more often this winter just to not have it sit as much - there’s plenty of cold days that aren’t absolutely gross outside and I need to take more advantage of those.
If out of sight=out of mind, I’m going to try to keep my eyes on the prizes I have already “won”. Fingers crossed.
I write and I know things. I am also the resident motorcycle expert at Everyday Driver - check out the Cycle Report on our YouTube channel - www.thecyclereport.com - The views and opinions expressed here are my own and may not align with the founders of Everyday Driver.