Search This Blog

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Random roads my thoughts go down.

It's been raining pretty steadily here in West Central Florida.  Every day it seems I need to pull out the rain gear on my way to work, it's not been a problem for the most part although I do need a new pair of waterproof riding gloves.  I have three pairs, one that actually slips over the jacket sleeve and should protect me from getting wet. However I don't care for them, they don't feel right on my hands and seem "a bit much."  The other pair I wear is lighter and more form fitting but is not as padded or protective as I would like.    Lately it seems that water is wick-ing it's way up my sleeves and coming to rest in my elbows and sleeves.  No matter how tight I think I have my zippers zipped.   A minor issue but an issue none the less.  The third pair I have only worn a few times and they are actually gloves designed for hunting in the middle of winter and are not really motorcycle gloves at all.

The gloves I have now are just not working for me.
So I need to find new gloves.

I am actually rather proud of myself.  For the last week or so I've been riding the bike to work and for errands daily.  Up until the other night that is.  I reviewed and saw a 50% chance of riding home in a storm.  At 1 AM in the morning on a super slab I wondered if that was a good idea.  I am trusting myself more in the rain, feeling a little more comfortable in less than ideal situations.  Still though, riding home in the dark is a challenge in it's own right.   Riding home in the dark in rain pushed that risk factor up more than I was willing to take.

Random thought # 2:  I've been giving some thought to upgrading my phone.  I am due for an upgrade and my company has a program in place where I can actually get a "Smart phone" for free.  While I don't really NEED a new phone the idea of having some apps for GPS and Crash Detection appeal to me.  Considering how my Burgie is now my main ride.   A cheap Bluetooth device might even allow me access to music and make phone calls while riding the bike, although I don't feel like that's a good idea at this stage in my riding career.  So my question to you gentle reader is do you use your Smart Phone in a similar manner?  Does it make sense to do so.  What type of mount do you use for it?

Some more random stuff:  I picked up a copy of David L. Hough's Proficient Motorcycling the other day.  So far I've only read about  70 pages of it and already learned one or two things.  For me at least owning any sort of two wheeled transport is about "smoothness."  I'm not out to beat land speed records, or jump over buses.   I want to learn how to ride safely and effortlessly.  I'm not sure if this book would help, and after only 70 pages I can't review it.  Maybe later.

Finally, I'm approaching 20K on my bike and will need to change out my drive belt soon.  My lack of mechanical skills is really starting to bother me, so much so that I see little ads on the sides of various sites I read to "learn how to be a motorcycle mechanic" I am very tempted to call them and learn more.  I have always been more of a theory guy than an actually nuts and bolts guy.  Now if I could only find a mentor around here that is willing to teach me how to do even the simplest of fixes I would be happy.

Finally - part two:  My Green Swamp ride is still planned.  I just need some time to do it.  Soon my friends.  Soon.


Keith - Circle Blue said...

I'm at a similar place about phone as you are. I'm very undecided.

For summer rain, I just let my hands get wet. Apparently I don't ride at speeds fast enough to drive the water up my sleeves. When it gets colder I use these over my regular gloves:
And when it gets really really cold...oh wait, it doesn't get really really cold in FLA. Never mind :-)

I'm still looking forward to hearing about the Green Swamp ride.

And, last of all: Good on you for staying in your riding comfort zone. Storms at night, riders take warning.

David Masse said...

Hi Robert,

Very quickly: on thought #1: My cold/rain gloves are Icon Patrol gauntlets: Love'em, always keep me dry; Thought #2: I snap my iPhone into a RAM mount: fantastic. The only thing that will make that better is a SENA bluetooth headset (about $250). I hadn't quite saved enough, and I spent my birthday money and random savings on GoPro and RAM stuff instead. Finally David Hough's book? Brilliant. That's how I learned to counter steer. It needs to be read annually.

Ride safely,


BeemerGirl said...

1) REI has some over gloves that are waterproof. Might look into something like that that can go over your good gloves.

2) smartphone is in the eye of the beholder. I only have a smartphone for the keyboard and texting. Motherwise I would love to go back to the Razr. I do carry mine in my jacket, not mounted in the bike and I enjoy listening to tunes. Though it would mean more money for you to get the bluetooth for the helmet.

3) you're on the forums. See if you can find some locals that do wrench and ask them to mentor you. Usually people are pretty happy to teach and play on someone else's bike. ;)

MarvinLWright said...

Its true! You will survive a ride in the rain with the help of motorcycle rain gear. You should wear a one piece or two piece motorcycle rain suit, boot, gloves, goggles and jacket. By the way there's too much talk about Gore-Tex rain gear. I dont have one made from that material yet.