This time of year tries the very soul of anyone who enjoys warm weather activities. And there are, of course, few outdoor pursuits that require warm weather more than riding motorcycles. There are indoor facilities where a peson can practice their golf swing, or hit a baseball, or go for a swim. But once the roads are covered with ice and snow all but the most insanely avid bikers are finally forced to park their bikes for the duration.
And while golf clubs and other summer gear are stored out of sight, and thus out of mind in the basement or closet, motorcycles generally share space in a cold dank corner of the garage, near our salt covered cars that slowly drip their briny sludge onto the garage floor. An inglorious and ignominious situation to say the least; a sad way to treat man's best friend!
The cord for the trickle charger looks for all the world like part of an artificial life support system as it drapes across the bike and connects to the battery with black and red clamps. Even the flashing green and red lights on the charger remind me of emergency equipment in a hospital room whose sole purpose is to force life into an ill patient.
The final insult is placing the necessary cover on the patient - looking way too much like the actions of a doctor or police officer covering a dead person with a blanket. Yes, my bike lies dormant under its shroud, making neither movement nor sound, trickle charger plugged into the wall forcing vital nutrients in the form of electrons into its electric bloodstream.
But be assured - it isn't dead. It is only resting and waiting. Its gas tank is filled with the food stuff of internal combustion engines, latent energy ready for mechanical metabolism to commence again, anticipating the next inevitable warm spell when it will again shed its cover and come alive with a roar and an overwhelming need to get out and run. And I'll be there with it, sharing in its joy.