Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
MBl Riders Choice Awards 2008 Nominations Open
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
New Record Low Temp Ride
Last Friday the 4th, the weatherman predicted 15F temps in my area for my morning commute. The roads were perfectly clear and so, sensing a record-breaking opportunity, I ventured out on my first ride of 2008, much better equipped (no condom in sight) than on my previous record low temp ride. The weatherman's prediction was spot-on according to my bike's Kisan thermometer, but only until I got out of town. As I headed into lesser-populated and heavier-wooded areas, the temperature dropped considerably, stabilizing at 9F with dips into 8F. My usual commute to work is about 20 miles/45 minutes, but, feeling that I needed to get in at least 50 miles for my new record to "count" in my self-imposed rule book, I "took a wrong turn" when I got close to the office to head deeper into the boonies searching (to no avail) for even lower temps. By the time I got to work I'd ridden 62 miles in about 2 hrs. I've declared my new record to be 9F.
Unlike my old Michelin Man ride, I was able to maintain my core temperature and I felt warm enough everywhere except my fingers. Even though I had on my warmest high-tech insulated, Goretex-lined gloves, covered with my Aerostich lobster-claw windproof covers, I doubt I could've gone more than another 40 miles without stopping to get some blood back into my fingers. My biggest challenge was visibility. I'd so well sealed off my neck area from drafts that my exhaled breath was very slow to dissipate and as a consequence, was freezing to the inside of my visor. What a difference proper gear makes: a tolerance of 100 miles/2.5 hour non-stop now v. 30 shivering minutes at a time in the days of yore. I should get smart and get some electron assistance for winter riding (heated grips are definitely in my future), but then again just how smart is someone who walks past a car (and heater) to climb aboard a motorcycle in sub-freezing temperatures?
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Best Motorcycle Product Vendors 2008
These are vendors from whom I've purchased at least a few items (many items in some cases) over a period of at least a couple of years, and who consistently offer top-notch products, customer service, technical knowledge and easy transactions. They set the standard to which other vendors should aspire. I recommend them without hesitation.
Cycle Gadgets: Tons of cool gadgets & accessories -- farkletastic! (Years on list: 3)
EdgeGPS: An small, internet-only Garmin-authorized GPS vendor with an excellent reputation among motorcyclists in the online forums I frequent. EdgeGPS aren't riders, but the love motorcyclists' business and are extremely responsive and helpful to inquiries.
Tire Express: My usual tire vendor, SWM, was racing down in Baja when I happened to have a puncture and needed a tire ASAP, so I tried Tire Express. Excellent buying experience: easy website, great prices and quick shipment.
Motostrano: Seller of gear and accessories. My online purchase was smooth as silk and the item arrived very quickly.