But that was back when I felt driven to demonstrate my ability to ride in all but the most extreme weather. After all, my heated jacket liner, gloves, seat and handgrips are more than a match for 30-degree weather. The pavement is warm enough that the swirling snow isn't sticking. And it's a cloudy 59 degrees down at Hammond, La., where I would exit I-55 for I-10 east.
I rode from from Nashville, Tenn., to Indianapolis in weather like this, coming home from Bike Week in 1993. And I rode from Baton Rouge to Indy without electrics against plummeting temperatures and snow the last 100 miles in 1986.
In my 300,000+ BMW motorcycle miles, I've courted hypothermia dozens of times and ridden in crazy deluges more times than I can remember. What I do remember is that however proud I was of having finished those rides, I was freaking miserable when I was doing it.
So that's why I'm sitting comfortably at my upstairs office desk, glancing out the window at the snow occasionally, and sipping more of that 5 liter box of cheap Burgundy wine. I'm warm. I'm relaxed. And I know I'll sleep in a comfortable and free bed tonight.
That's the beauty of being old enough that you don't have to prove stuff to yourself. Maria would call it being old enough to "have the stupid knocked out of you."
Bike Week is, after all, a whole week long, which is several days longer than I care to experience anyway. So I'll keep an eye on the Weather Channel and when the forecast for my route to Daytona suits me, I'll load the bike and hit the road.
In the meantime, it's time to refill my wine glass.