Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Travelling In Style

Well ladies and gents, I mentioned that last week that with any luck I'd be getting my motorcycle out of storage on the weekend, and I'm happy to say that it all worked out!  It was starting to look at little grim as the week wore on, with the forecast shifting between the warm, sunny days I was seeing on the long-range forecast, to rainy days, to snow, and finally settling on a cold, sunny day.  As I left for the shop Saturday morning there were a few flakes of snow in the air, which was worrying.  However, the weather held, and I was able to get my bike. Here are some pictures, still in the parking lot at Markham Outdoor Power.

You can tell by the lighting in those shots that it was a pretty grey day.  The jacket I'm wearing in the photo above is my Icon riding jacket.  It's a synthetic material reinforced with armour at the elbows, forearms, and back.  When I was riding I also wore my helmet (of course), and some riding gloves that I had from when I took my course.  I rounded the package out with some new Alpinestars riding pants, which are a synthetic similar to the jacket, with armour at the knees, and some Puma riding boots, which are pretty cool.  The boots actually have a steel plate running through the sole to keep your foot from twisting in the event of an accident.

My roommate Paul gave me a lift to the shop, and was kind enough to wait around.  While I got familiarized with the bike, and did a few practice laps around the parking lot to get the kinks out.  He then followed me home, keeping a blocking position behind me, and changing lanes before I did to ensure that I always had someone covering my back.  It was nice to have the extra layer of security for my first ride in a real-life traffic.

The only real incident to report on my way home is that my hands FROZE!  The riding gloves may look heavy, but this is largely a summer sport, and the gloves are made to be as cool and ventilated as possible.  Great in the summer, not so hot in late March.

Unfortunately it never did get any warmer this weekend, and so my bike has remained in the garage since I got it home.  The precipitation held off the whole weekend, so the temptation was there to ride on several occasions, but I refrained from doing so.  Aside from the problems with keeping my hands warm there's the more concerning issue of tire grip at low temperatures.  As I previously mentioned, this is a warm-weather sport, and they don't bother with all-season tires on motorcycles.  Those tires really aren't designed to have their maximum grip in single-digit temperatures.  Given that glaring safety issue I'm keeping the bike under wraps until I get more ideal riding conditions.  It's been rainy the past few days, but it supposed to go sunny and warm for the rest of the week, so with luck I'll be out there again tomorrow or Thursday.

In news completely unrelated to the motorcycle, but pertaining to last week's post, I was able to get the same model of netbook that I was after without going through Tiger Direct.  I actually picked it up at a small local store for about $50 less than was I paid at Tiger Direct.  Win!  I've been running it for the past week and so far I'm quite happy with it.  I'm currently going through the recommended process of running it on battery power until it's very low, charing it fully, and repeating the process.  Apparently it takes a few full charges for the battery to reach maximum capacity.  The real test will come at the end of April when we head down to Fontana and I get to take my netbook on the road.  That's what it's really for in the end.

Well everyone, that's all for now.  Have a good week, and I'll talk to you next Tuesday.


Jabbles said...

Once again congrats on the bike. I am jealous. I am in a similar situation as far as tires go, I put on my summer tires on a bit early due to a good deal, but now the weather is cold again, not as serious as a bike but more disappointing than anything.
As for the netbook glad to hear it, I also would like one,(although I may need a desktop first) but I was waiting to hear from someone who has a newer one for a personal review.

Aunt J. said...

Great looking bike. And I did notice how well your jacket matched the colours of your bike!
Did grandpa ever tell you that he once had a motorcyle, and so did his dad. Must be something in the genes or it's just a guy thing.