It's been an uneventful week, which I suppose as a scooter commuter is the type of week you want to have. No close calls, no idiotic drivers (well, none that caused a problem for me at least). Sadly no travel either do to a wet and very busy weekend.
So what to write about? I considered writing about the weather - which has been hot, muggy and wet most of the week - and how to safely ride in it. I've considered how the cooler weather will soon be here, how my "winter" jacket has served me well and since I'm now working only till 6 or 7 PM most nights, how my Freeze Out jacket, gloves and my current mesh jacket should work well for me most of the year. In fact, for only a few months out of the year the mesh jacket suites me fine.
|High °F||Low °F||High °C||Low °C|
|The Jacket from Xmas - 2011|
My blood has not thinned out that much when I would consider anything to be cold. Of course your body adjusts to the climate your in. We've had some cold snaps that reminded me of early winters back home.
My "winter" jacket is your traditional motorcycle jacket. It was made by Vulcan and it has served me very, very well. It's been through a couple of "incidents." Neither of which were technically my fault, but as a realist - I could have done things better, been a better rider. Experience helps you grow. Unlike a helmet, which I know should be replaced when ever it's been involved in a accident, I'm not sure about the jacket.
It's been beat up sure, scratched up in a couple of places but the seams are still holding up nicely. It's a little snug now, much more so then what I remember it but the man is growing older. It's four years old now.
The jacket was given to me as a gift, I still would have preferred, and still prefer something in a bright neon or orange. But beggars can not be choosers and I love that my parents bought me a good jacket. I added some reflective tape to it and later still added a neon yellow safety vest to it. It still works...but honestly I'm a bit worried about the armour and how that holds up over time.
Gloves are easy to know when to replace. Frankly I used to buy a pair of riding gloves from my local Wal-mart, but after wearing through the fingers on a few of them I bit the bullet and paid for a pair of Fox gloves. It's been a world of difference and I'm going to buy a pair of gauntlet gloves for the winter. I just need to go get a pair. Color don't matter, just be windproof and waterproof.
I know I'm cheap, but the older I get the more safety matters to me. I'm okay paying a bit more for something that may be the difference between a broken hand and a bruised hand.
Then their is my helmet. I have mixed emotions about it. When I bought it, I thought it was fine, but here we are some two years later and I'm not happy with it at all.
HJC. The little plastic tab broke off that opens and closes the top vents, it's been open ever since, not that it matters. The face shield had a tendency to come out of its' grooves, meaning I've had to pull over and fix it at times. The plastic seems cheap and I've often had to resnap the padding back into place. I'm cheap like I said and it was a closeout.
I do have a few other helmets. Sue has one for her noggin and we bought a second full face helmet for me at that time but it never felt quite right when I wore it, hence I bought the HJC and was happy with it for a short time. A silver half helmet I've not worn in forever rounds out the equipment.
I've fallen in love with the modular helmets - wearing glasses it would be so much easier - and frankly if I go that route, I might as well pay for the phone/GPS and radio option. One of the things I love about riding is the quiet, NOT having the radio or GPS or people calling. Still though, if I'm serious about wanting to go on day trips to the Atlantic or put in 150 mile + days on a more regular basis, having that equipment built in only makes sense. It's just a shame that Nolan is so damned pricy. So do we put that off? Or the jacket for now?
No matter what I do, I'm looking at getting my money's worth out of this equipment. Good gear can be the difference between "Ouchie" and "We are here to celebrate the life of..." I'll take the ouchie in the pocketbook before the "celebration of life" any day of the week.
So gentle readers; when do you buy gear? What would you recommend? I'm listening.