Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sacrifices... not necessarily

There was so much going on this weekend, we normally attend our local Da Vinci Days festivities but with other events going on this same weekend such as the BMW MOA Rally in Salem and the 34th Annual Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend that available Team Oregon instructors were in short supply.

I knew months in advance and made sure to leave my calendar open so I would be available to teach this weekend. Even though it would've been neat to check out the rally, meet up with other riders and visit the numerous vendors in attendance, I don't own a BMW nor do I much care for large gatherings of people, let alone a bunch of BMW snobs ;)

The Cycling Classic needed volunteer marshals to ride motorcycles for the event and direct traffic, shuttle photographers and cameramen as well as other official duties. I don't much care for the desert of Central Oregon, especially in the middle of summer. I grew up in hot, dry, desert country of sagebrush, sand and pine trees so I suspect I didn't miss much there.

What I did do though was spend an awesome weekend with a fantastic group of new riders. I had so much fun, the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and each one of them passed with flying colors! This was my first class where every student passed both the skill evaluation and the knowledge test, not a single retest was issued.

So it wasn't me that made the sacrifice at all, I feel bad for the other instructors that missed out on the opportunity to teach this particular class of students. What a great weekend!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I pulled the trigger

On the advice of several fellow motorcycle safety instructors, including peer pressure from a certain someone in Minnesota and a blog challenge from another, I ordered an Aerostich Roadcrafter Light one piece suit.

What's in the box?

I've been teaching and saving my pennies for some time now to fund such a purchase, but it was the extreme temperature differences in my commute that had me finally placing an order. I head off to work at the butt crack of dawn when temperatures hover around the 40ºF to 50ºF mark, then I head home in the late afternoon heat of 82ºF to 95ºF plus. This means that I am layering and wearing my winter gear to get to work and packing my mesh gear to ride home. Where to put all this gear? My saddlebags are busting at the hinges trying to hold all my jackets, liners, sweaters, gloves, glasses, visors and of course  my lunch. There has to be a better way.


I took advantage of Aerostich's Fourth of July Sale where they offered the TF3 shoulder, elbow and knee pads for free with the purchase of a suit. It is rare to find such a deal so I jumped on it.

Suit, pads, gloves and t-shirt

Of course I had to add their Hot Weather Vegan Gloves and a T-shirt to the order. Karen at Aerostich said that the Vegan gloves were their most popular gloves but their supplier quit making them and they are trying to source another manufacturer. I wanted to order the winter gloves as well but they were out of my size. Who would have thought Vegan as being so popular...  we ride among you.

Happy boy

I managed to wear it for an 80 mile round trip ride to Eugene bike night and love it. The convenience of slipping it on and off is well worth the price of admission, although I am still new at it so the quick 10 seconds or less is more like a clumsy 20 seconds.

Struggling with the zipper

I'm still fine tuning the padding location, the collar is a bit stiff and I'll need to experiment with layering during next week's commute, but so far I am very happy. Off for a ride today to break it in, figure out the zipper and cut down my mount and dismount time.

Addendum: Rode out to the coast today and the suit was comfortable from the 95º heat of the valley to the low 70ºs of the coast and back to the valley heat. I like it!

Bring your desires down to your present means. Increase them only when your increased means permit.  ~Aristotle