iding a motorcycle year-round is no easy task. Impossible in some places. However, a lot can be learned about staying warm and what not to do from those who brave the cold and wet of winter atop two wheels. And with that, I share some advice following a cross-country motorcycle ride in the depths of December that took me across Arkansas, through Texas, then directly west into New Mexico, Arizona, and eventually the Golden State, where I consumed some long-awaited Christmas cookies. Hopefully these insights help you prepare for your cold ride, or whatever you’re doing outside in the winter. Start With Your Extremities… Your fingers freeze first. In the spring and summer when temperatures are warmer, your body pushes blood to the surface, increasing heat loss. When it’s cold, however, your body constricts the same blood vessels that dilated on your sticky summer ride. This works well for preserving the body around the essentials: heart, lungs, and brain. But it’s no good for the small bits and pieces (fingers, toes, etc.) that rely on blood flow for warmth. That being the case, keeping your extremities warm is essential. An inability to operate a clutch lever and other controls can spell disaster on a motorcycle.