This blog concerns a yearly motorcycle tradition Rooster and I participate in on New Years Day. The Frozen Buns Run is always a very cold ride. #motorcycle #Indiana motorcycle #Abate #Frozen Buns Run
Frozen Buns Run
There is a New Year’s tradition with bikers in our neck of the woods. It’s a wacky ritual, but we do it anyway. On January 1st motorcycle riders gather on the courthouse lawn at 1 p.m. kickstands are up by 1:30. We attempt to ride one mile for every degree showing on the thermometer. Of course, there is the short ride which is to ride a block to the VFW where there is warm food waiting for everyone. Last year only two brave souls chose to endure the torture. It was -10 with a wind chill of -31. There was a covering of ice and snow on the ground which made navigation impossible. This year promises to be warmer.
Why do we engage in this miserable pursuit? Nobody knows. It’s a tradition. Some say if you begin the year riding it will bring you luck. I don’t know if this is true. There have been years where Rooster and I didn’t participate due to work or family issues. The year we went to Chicago with my daughter and her family was more enjoyable than dressing in three layers of clothing and riding a motorcycle in the cold. I didn’t notice a drastic reduction in my luck throughout the following year.
Others will tell you it is to increase the awareness of motorcyclists sharing the road. I believe this is true because we sure do look like a pack of fools on our motorcycles spitting in the face of frostbite. My theory is the Frozen Buns Ride is a form of masochistic one-upmanship or ‘one-person ship’ if you want to be politically correct. However you want to say it, the person who rides the Frozen Buns Run has bragging rights for the upcoming year. If they purchase the t-shirt, the biker can even advertise.
The second confusing element about the Frozen Buns Run is the name itself. Anyone who has ever gone on the ride will tell you their derriere was the warmest part of their body by the time they finished. This is especially true with the modern invention of heated seats. In my experience, it is the face that freezes first. There’s not much you can do to protect it from the elements. They should consider changing the name to the Frozen Face Ride for Deranged Bikers. Anyone crazy enough to mount two wheels on a cold January morning is a little unhinged.
This year the temperature was a warm 35 degrees. We’ve been lucky. While most of the mid-west had to deal with a major snowstorm, we only saw a couple of flakes. The roads didn’t even have a trace of ice or snow when we crawled out of bed this morning. The sky was overcast. We heard rumors there was sleet sixty miles north of us. The precipitation hadn’t materialized by the time we were ready to ride.
Rooster was elated to go after he pulled the Dark Horse out of the shed. We both wore our road construction jackets and three layers of clothing. We were warm and toasty as we made our way downtown. There was a much larger crowd gathered in front of the courthouse than in 2018. At last count, seventy hardy souls participated in the ride. My grandson and his new friend even made an appearance. I always like riding with David. We stood around for about a half-hour shooting the breeze with people we haven’t seen for a while. An event like the Frozen Buns Run has a way of connecting the biker community.
We decided to do the short run this year for several reasons. Someone decided we need an extra dose of good luck in 2019 and made the long ride a forty-four-mile excursion. It was warmer than last year, but not that warm. Secondly, there was some good food waiting for us back at the VFW. Theo Hawkins had put his playlist on the stereo. He was an air traffic controller in the air force from the Vietnam era. He can tell you the significance of where he was in the world when he added every one of those tunes. We didn’t want to miss out on one of his stories.
The short ride was eleven miles long. We rode a jagged route through our small city. People waved from their warm cars as we rode past. We were so well layered the only part on our bodies that felt the cold was our face. We got snarled up in traffic when two cars got in the middle of the pack. By the time we pulled into the parking lot of the VFW, most everyone was ready to eat. A few hardy souls took off to join the long ride. There’s always someone in the crowd who is a glutton for punishment.
We hung out for a couple of hours listening to tall tales and catching up with what was going on in everyone’s life. It was a fantastic way to spend New Years Day. If the reason we take one of these rides is to ensure good luck for the upcoming year, 2019 is going to be one amazing journey. We were blessed with a warmer than expected for January dry day, we enjoyed a nice afternoon of comradery, and everyone walked away with a positive outlook. You can’t ask for anything better than that. Rooster and decided to take a long way home.
We rode through the park. The Christmas lights were still lit and on display. There was a crispness in the air that wasn’t there earlier in the day. We’d make it home before dark. I might even be able to write this blog in time to post it before I went to bed. Life is good. I made it home without a single trace of frostbite. I didn’t experience the burn which comes with thawing out from the cold.
I’m looking forward to the adventures Rooster and I will experience in the coming year. You never know where we might end up going. Life can come at you like a speeding locomotive, but we have luck on our side. We rode the Frozen Buns Run.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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