The Winter Slumber Part 1 - Issue #24

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Adam Chandler on Motorcycles
The Winter Slumber Part 1 - Issue #24
By Adam Chandler • Issue #24 • View online
Motorcycle journalists always struggle with Winter. New bikes are out but not at dealers, it’s too cold to ride or travel so I guess I’ll clean my chain and plan a trip 6 months out?

Calling myself a journalist is a stretch so maybe columnist is more appropriate. Winter is tough for anyone living north of the Mason Dixon line. We were blessed with a warmer November but by Thanksgiving, every motorcycle I know of was stored in barns and garages and suddenly my Inbox started filling up with questions from friends about rallies and trips next year and we all started making plans. My plans are just carry overs from 2020 and 2021 so I have it all on paper and just need to take off and do the ride that’s been loaded onto my Garmin for 2 years.
I’d like to share an excerpt from my November issue of this column:
Post GS-Trophy remarks are unchanged. However the lingering pain I feel still in my shoulder is hard to shake. As with American Medical Care, my doctor’s exam was inconclusive so I pushed for some imaging and they sent me in for an X-Ray saying an MRI would be seen as my insurance company as irresponsible and ‘over-testing’ so I did so and paid $500 in total for the exam & X-ray which came back all fine. The post-visit notes from my doctor said that if I still have pain in 6-8 weeks, they’ll authorize an MRI. I just put in that request because I am still having shoulder pains. I look forward to another $500 bill for that and paying 100% of the physical therapy costs to hopefully mend my rotator cuff this Winter.
September, I only rode my bike a couple of times. I wasn’t against riding I just returned from the GS Trophy as a loser, hurt my shoulder then got stuck in what was a very basic mud hole and then I put the bike away and didn’t get back on it for the rest of the month.
I haven’t recovered yet and I’d say the pain is worse than ever. I did finally get an MRI and it came back that I do have a small tear laterally behind my shoulder joint it’s tiny and surrounded by scar tissue and inflation. The doctor said that tear could have been there for years and I finally fell in a way that fully damaged it. He said I’ll likely be 90% healed by September 2022 (1 year post accident) and 100% over time. He recommended Physical Therapy for as long as I can afford it and, if no improvement by March, 2-cortisone shots to allow for inflammation to reduce so we can actually build up and fire up that muscle again. My PT consult went well the day before Christmas. Their advice mirrored the doctor’s. I have full range of motion, only certain movements hurt and they’re not typical movements (like being put in handcuffs is very painful….well I assume so given how much that angle behind my back hurts) and they said let’s do two sessions a week with one @ home session on my own and see where we are after 6 weeks. I start tomorrow on the 30th and I’m hoping to be able to ride in April. The doctor and physical therapist advised that 2022’s riding season is taken easy meaning no off road competitions, nothing that would cause me to fall on that shoulder or tweak it in a bad angle. If I can go on a long road trip, that would be best.
For interested Americans, this shoulder situation so far has cost $6348 in medical bills, $1800 of which I was responsible for since I’m on an HSA plan with a high deductible. The breakdown is as follows:
  1. 9/16 - X-Ray- $478
  2. 9/16 - Consultation - $113
  3. 9/16 - X-Ray Review - $260
  4. 11/10 - Consultation - $150
  5. 11/19 - MRI - $3877
  6. 11/19 - MRI Review - $1072
  7. 12/9 - MD Consultation - $398
All of this for someone to say “you don’t need surgery, go to physical therapy. It could be worse, I could be completely uninsured and have had to pay for all of that out of pocket. I don’t have remorse because surgery would have cost significantly more as my out of pocket max is around $3,000 if I remember correctly.
If physical therapy can get me riding again, I’ll be extremely happy. I can ride injured but it’s not fun and I do it half-assed and after a day in the saddle, I want to take a break for a few days. Not good for long distance riding off-road.
Let’s do a very quick bike update and keeping in mind that I’ll have for you all a Rosie Red 24,000 Mile update soon which will also probably be a two-part series. I wanted to talk more about the R1200GS Adventure and why I’m not replacing it any time soon since that seems to be a very common question people ask more than you’d think.
Mileage of the bikes in the stable:
  1. 2019 F750GS - 2,378 (Heather’s bike)
  2. 2020 701 LR - 791
  3. 1995 K75 RT - 39,984 (360 miles in 2021)
  4. 2018 R1200GSA - 21,500 (3,048 miles in 2021)
  5. Total miles ridden in 2021 = 4,199..pitiful compared to the 15K I was averaging before this pandemic started.
My biggest trips this year were different because I’d load my bikes into the back of the truck and unload @ the location. So I could keep knobbies on two of my bikes all year since I wasn’t wearing down those aggressive tires riding 500 miles to a rally. If I’m well enough to attend an event like March Moto Madness, I can put the 701 in the truck and drive it down. The truck really cut down on miles because the truck well I put 10K miles on it in 3 months. 5-6K of those miles used to be bike miles and I will not apologize for towing my bike in versus riding it. I can bring all of my tools and ride down in luxury. 4200 miles is about right when you factor in the truck and that I’m still working from home. It’s funny because the K75 was purchased to be my commuter bike to and from the office (about 5 miles each way) and as soon as I took delivery of it in March of 2020, we were sent home so that K75 I’ve only put 1700 miles on it since purchase in December of 2018. It spent a year being fully torn down and built back up and then it’s just been sitting around.
2022 will be different so long as my shoulder is healed up in time but that may have to be another post.
I’d like briefly touch on my volunteer activities at the local and national level. As many of you know, I was nominated and elected to serve on the board of directors as Secretary for the BMW MOA. My term began in June and will last 3 years and I can choose to relinquish the secretary title after a year I believe so that part is temporary. It requires attendance of board meetings, sub-committees and required attendance at the national rally. We’re encouraged to attend local events as well that are organized by the MOA. It’s quite a big time commitment. I’m basically allocating about 8 hours a month to meetings & activities and 6 weekends a year of my time and it’s not a paid position. I’m six months in and I have zero regrets. It’s an honor to be elected and serve and the enthusiasm among my peers is huge. I’m very lucky to be serving with a very talented group and the MOA is not sitting still. In 2022, you’ll start to see some of our hard work in a few new initiatives and we’re working on things well into the future as well.
Locally, I’ve been on the Vermont BMW Club’s 400 member board since 2018. I am serving as rally chair for the 3rd year in a row and have taken on the role as President for the club starting January 1st. This will be my last year serving on the Vermont’s board as my term limit will be expiring and I can run again in a few years. I would like to continue hosting our Green Mountain Rally with the help of dozens of member volunteers and I hope my time this year as President will be full of positive outcomes. It’s a great membership and I want all of our members to feel served and their voice heard. We’ll see how 2022 goes. The pandemic is still pulling at our pants legs every step of the way.
Next up, social media in 2021. I tried this year to execute on a strategy set one year ago and I don’t know if I have the bandwidth to continue everything I took on. I’ll summarize the larger plan keeping in mind that my goal here is not to make money or get famous but to provide value for free to people who want to consume it.
  1. YouTube - Two videos per week on average (I posted 125 videos in 2021)
  2. ADVRider - Maintain my Ride Reports, Build Threads and be available once a day to answer questions people have about bikes or rides I have direct knowledge of
  3. Instagram - Post one photo every weekday that I took (I posted 250 images in 2021 about 10 short of my goal)
  4. Newsletter - Post one edition twice a month (I posted 24 issues in 2021)
  5. Podcast - Post one episode per month (I posted 7 episodes by July 1st and stopped. I was on track but abandoned it half way through the year)
That’s it for outreach or various channels of communication. I know other mediums exist like Facebook, SnapChat and TikTok but I have no interest and no one is asking for them. My year-end review YouTube video will be out in a week or two and I’ll talk about how my videos had about 1.3 million views in 2021, earning me $4900 in revenue with only 10,500 subscribers. I’ll talk about the 300 or so Instagram followers, 26 subscribers to this newsletter and 1500 listens to my podcast. Amazon Affiliates sent me about $150-$200 a month on average or roughly $2100 for the year in affiliates revenue. It was a pretty solid year but nothing worth quitting your day job over! I produce the kind of content I like and am happy with the result. If people want to follow along, contribute, donate and watch then I welcome it and appreciate it.
There are now 5 humans contributing $1-$5 every single month across different mediums. That’s huge and I appreciate it. Closing out 2022 with 10 people doing this would be a win! You can subscribe here, via Patreon, YouTube and BuyMeACoffee.
I’m going to keep everything listed above going but I really want to take a bit more ownership of my produced content in 2022 which means posting ride-reports to my personal blog instead of ADVRider. Other than syndication and page views, I gain nothing by publishing to ADVRider except they get to monetize my content. After receiving my first temporary ban in December for “talking about myself too much”, I realize how using someone else’s server to publish is not the best long term plan for ride reports that I spend weeks of time preparing and publishing so I’ll publish them here and on my blog. The podcast will remain up and I’ll publish to it when I can but it’s not going away so stay subscribed please if that’s your thing. Goals for 2022 are more of the same but slightly less work as I anticipate this year being busier professionally with more irons in the fire so 100 Instagram posts, 50 YouTube videos, 12 Newsletters and 4 podcasts. I’m cutting everything in half.
Tax season is fast approaching so it’s good to think about the hardware I use to produce content to a hand full of people. I wanted to share a few of the things purchased in 2021 that I’ll charge against the revenue. I should probably hire an accountant who can help me figure out what to do with a business that continues to lose money every year on paper. A few things I picked up this year:
  1. DJI Mavic 3
  2. iPhone 13 Pro Max (1TB)
  3. MacBook Pro 13" (bought & sold)
  4. MacBook Pro 16"
  5. iPad Pro 13"
  6. DJI Osmo Mobile 5
  7. four 18TB hard drives
  8. Travel bags for the bike for hauling camera gear
  9. Additional editing software and other misc. items that are too small to count
…plus a whole heap of other tax deductions I can’t even think of right now. So another year, another ‘loss’ for the business of producing online content.
I started by mentioning that this was a two-parter so I’m going to wrap it up here. Christmas was great and I hope New Years will be fun as well. Here’s to another year and I hope you all are safe, healthy and well. My Inbox is always open if you have questions.
I wanted to leave you all with a few photos from our San Francisco trip which I mentioned in the November newsletter minus photos so here are a few but the full set you can find here.
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Adam Chandler

These are my ramblings about motorcycling. For the most part, these will be editorials you will have seen in regional and national motorcycle publications or longer posts and ride-reports as seen on ADVRider.com. Occasionally, I will post content here that is exclusive to paid subscribers and eventually be made free for all. Thank you.

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