Of course you can go to DV whenever you want. Ride out in the summer and you will be guaranteed a pleasant trip en route, though you’ll probably cringe once you get there; summer temps can often hit 120 degrees. Head out in the winter and DV offers a perfect cold-weather getaway, with 75-degree days in the basin, though you’ll probably want to shoot yourself before you get there, after riding for days through rain, snow and bone-chilling cold. You don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to figure out that you should split the difference and go in the fall. Sure, we’d probably run through some nasty weather, but once we were there, the chances were less than 50/50 that we’d succumb to heatstroke. Of course, the impending weather extremes presented their own set of challenges; we’d have to prepare for everything from sub-freezing cold to possible 100+ degree temps. The gear that paid off for me was a convertible jacket with zip-off panels that allowed it to become mesh summer apparel (like having two jackets in one), heated gloves and a heated jacket liner. The heated gear functioned just like regular gloves and liner on mild days, but on cold mornings and in higher mountain passes, I could just dial up the heat to my desired level to stay comfortable. You might think that unless you’re heading out in the dead of winter you don’t need the extra warmth, but remember that at 60 mph on a 40-degree morning, the wind chill makes the external temperature equivalent to 25 degrees…cold enough to have you longing for a hot cup of coffee before you make it very far down the road. The heated gear kept me nice and toasty, while my unheated buddies were usually begging for a café stop over our connected CB system the whole way.