Saturday, February 23, 2013

Save with LeatherUp!

After checking out LeatherUp's humongous website recently, I got in touch with some of the folks behind it. I learned that no one sells more leather jackets, helmets, or motorcycle boots online. also claims to be among the web's most trafficked online stores with over 13 million yearly visitors. Because LeatherUp can offer drastically discounted pricing for its customers, which number over 1.5 Million and counting. If a customer somehow finds a better advertised price, LeatherUp stands behind a 30 day low price guarantee, which eliminates any risk by ordering. It's also refreshing that the phone is answered by a real, live human being, and that emails are answered posthaste.

Another awesome thing about their website is, unlike many others, places a great emphasis on speed and performance -- nothing is more aggravating that a slow, wonky website! What I know about such things could fit in the palm of my hand, but from what I understand, LeatherUp has its own network of connected servers located in different cities, which not only provides WFO speed, but also has a much higher degree of security then some vendors who share a server with hundreds of other companies.

Give LeatherUp a look! And just for readers of Tilted Horizons, using the code "tilted" at checkout will knock 10% of your total purchase price!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

10 Best Things About Riding in the Winter

1. No bugs.
2. Fewer tourists (and no squids) on back roads.
3. Frosty auto windshields provide increased opportunity to practice avoidance maneuvers.
4. Amish buggy "exhaust" is no longer slippery (it is, however, bumpy).
5. No muscle spasms from reaching around to open jacket vents on the fly.
6. Lessened danger of getting caught in your zipper (guys only).
7. Corn is harvested, providing increased sight lines for cornering or Bambi-spotting.
8. Opportunity to assess blood-flow to extremities.
9. Battery Tender?  Don't need no stinkin' Battery Tender!
10. OK, I only came up with 9. Help me out!

12/12/10 addendum: The guys at The Pace Podcast read my list on their podcast today, Episode 56. If you're not already a listener, I highly recommend The Pace -- give 'em a listen!

(This old post has been shamelessly recycled, because I care about our environment. Or I'm lazy.)

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An EZ Eastern Shore ramble

Bike's thermometer read 17-24F for the first couple of hours of last Sunday morning's ride, but eventually it warmed to a balmy 34F after I'd turned north to head home. I took an easy ride on fairly open, flowing roads on Maryland's eastern shore to S. Chesapeake City, Betterton Beach, Rock Hall, & colonial Chestertown. In light of the patchy ice, salty roads and my squared-off rear tire, it wasn't a technically challenging ride by design, but at about 155 miles it was the first halfway decent ride of 2012. Those handlebar muffs look ridiculous but kept the digits warm(er).  I didn't see another bike, nor any boats in motion -- perhaps some folks believed it was too cold to be out having fun.  I actually got a couple of waves from cagers, including a cop. 

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Friday, February 08, 2013

Winter gear/safety tips

Hardy/foolish (your choice) motorcyclists who don't stop riding at 32F or below have likely read tons of advice about proper layering, maintaining core body temperature, and the never-ending battle with helmet visor fogging, so no need to repeat much of that advice. Here are ten more items to consider, perhaps a couple are new to you. All were learned the hard way during many winters riding:

  • If your jacket's insulating liner allows it, wear it as a separate layer rather than zipped/buttoned into the outer shell. You'll be warmer and the jacket's main closure will be more wind-resistant.

  • Protect your neck: gaiters, tubes, "cozies", wraps, scarves or balaclavas are brilliant for keeping those big arteries and veins running through your neck warmer. 

  • Tape up any helmet or jacket vents that allow wind leakage. You're not going to use them in frigid temps anyway.

  • A rain suit or waterproof glove covers can extend your gear's lower temp range (every piece of gear has it's limits, now matter how hi-tech).

  • Unless you've got a heated garage, store all your gear and helmets inside.

  • At stops of more than a few minutes, don't leave your helmet, jacket or gloves on your motorcycle (even in tank bags or panniers).

  • Avoid sweating like the plague. Don't put on those final layers until you're ready to go out the door. De-layer if you stop en route to take a hike, dance a jig, etc.

  • Assist blood flow to your extremities by avoiding restrictive boots or gloves (watch those thick socks or liners), or excessive bunching of layers in the knees or elbows. Ensure your bike's clutch and brake levers are adjusted to keep your hands in line with your forearms (most are set too high, causing restriction in the wrist).

  • Keep your bladder as empty as possible. Remember that your body has to burn energy to keep all that fluid warm, and the vasoconstriction-induced "gotta pee now!" feeling is very distracting.

  • Be smarter than me, own a bike with enough spare electrical output to support heated gear, and crank up the electrons!

  • Do you have any tips to share?

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