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 Post subject: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:26 am 
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I noticed in Pi's thread that there are at least a few motorcyclists on here, who are you and what do you ride?

I am still on my first bike and honestly don't think I'll ever get rid of it (I remember as a little kid sitting on one in the dealership where my uncle still works back when they were still selling them new). It's a 1985 Honda VF500F -the baby interceptor or 'miniceptor'. Nearly 30k miles on it but runs like a champ, has a great powerband and is a ton of fun in the twisties. I do want to get a larger bike for long trips one of these days though.

My wife rides a 1999 Honda Rebel 250 that we're trying to move her up from but are having a really hard time finding a larger bike that she feels comfortable on.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:36 am 
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My husband just bought his first bike, a 2007 Yamaha V Star Custom 650. It's nice! He's still getting everything together/practicing/getting experience, but having fun. I won't be on it for at least 6 months, but looking forward to it (riding).

eta: you only have 30,000 miles on a 1985 bike??


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:42 am 
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I'm not riding anything right now, but I have a Harley Street Bob sitting in the garage. Since having a chunk of bone removed from my back, I can't lift the thing off the stand. I should sell it and buy something I can move, but I can't bear to and keep hoping that I can get physical therapy or something so I can get back to riding since it was my dream bike.

My dad enjoys it though (he just bisques about the blue violet color).

Harley has a new sportster low model that they introduced mostly for women riders last year.

What is keeping her from feeling comfortable on larger bikes? A lot of women have to modify the heck out of their bikes with seats, adjusted controls, new bars, or lowering to get a perfect fit. My riding instructor was a 5'2 woman on a Road King. She said her biggest thing was swapping out the bars, though she did also have it lowered.

For me, since I'm tall enough for most cruisers, I didn't need to do anything, though I want a new seat, but the mini apes on my Bob made a huge difference in terms of ease of movement. The Street Bob is basically a modified Super Glide with different bars, but I struggled backing up and maneuvering the Super Glides, while the Bob was a piece of cake and a perfect fit even though everything except minor cosmetics are the same between the two. It also helps that the center of gravity on Dynas is lower. The Sportster 1200 has a high center of gravity and I felt horrible even sitting on those.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:59 am 
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allychristine wrote:
My husband just bought his first bike, a 2007 Yamaha V Star Custom 650. It's nice! He's still getting everything together/practicing/getting experience, but having fun. I won't be on it for at least 6 months, but looking forward to it (riding).

eta: you only have 30,000 miles on a 1985 bike??


Awesome! It took me years to finally get a bike but I'm so glad I did, I'm sure you and he will have a blast.

As for the miles, I only bought it a few years back when it had something like 24k but I'm also a fair weather rider. Bikes don't generally get the miles that a lot of cars will, particularly sport bikes (though mine is more of a standard) and especially in areas with four seasons. From my experience it also seems that fewer cc/ci the bike has, the fewer miles you'll see as the smaller bikes don't usually get taken for long multi-day road trips. 30k is honestly nothing when it comes to a well maintained bike, but it isn't exactly common to see bikes last that long unless they're cross country touring bikes.

lavawitch wrote:
What is keeping her from feeling comfortable on larger bikes? A lot of women have to modify the heck out of their bikes with seats, adjusted controls, new bars, or lowering to get a perfect fit. My riding instructor was a 5'2 woman on a Road King. She said her biggest thing was swapping out the bars, though she did also have it lowered.


It's really a control thing, the rebel feels like a heavy bicycle to me (I'm 6'3" and 210lbs and I know what Shriners feel like after riding it) but it feels just right to her (she's 5'3" and is somewhere around 110lbs) - just doesn't have the power or comfort to do highway speeds for long. Pretty much every bike with a >500cc engine adds nearly 200lbs compared to what she currently has and that is the key problem. She has sat on one bike, the Suzuki S70? I think that's what it's called at least, it used to be the Savage; it comes in 800 and 1100cc models and was supposedly designed with women in mind (seating and tank height and width) and thought it felt right to her, the weight was still really bugging her. I don't know how to help get her over that fear though.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:07 am 
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Weight of a cruiser shouldn't really be an issue though. My bike is 700 lbs wet, but it is so well balanced that once it is off the stand, I don't notice the weight at all. It almost sounds like an intimidation factor. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super intimidated by my bike at first, but all that melts away once I am going down the road on it.

They key thing is just being able to handle it at low speeds, etc, which is where balance comes in.

It is a big jump to make, going up to a heavier bike. I'm not sure what to suggest other than to make sure she knows that is a completely normal feeling.

A lot of the Harley dealers have women's garage party nights. Something like that might be good for her. They are fun, you meet people, etc. You have to listen to them try to sell you Harley stuff, but 90% of it is other women riders talking about gear, modifying and choosing bikes etc. And she can sit on all sorts of bikes. They don't cost anything, and if its at a good dealer, they also shouldn't be doing any sales pressure. Maybe her meeting women who are her size or similar riding behemoth Ultras and Road Kings and Heritages might give her more confidence. That actually did help me a lot.

hdforums.com has a women only section that is friendly

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:40 am 
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very cool. I'll pass that info onto her. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:15 am 
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allychristine wrote:
eta: you only have 30,000 miles on a 1985 bike??


Yes, that is possible, or even not that uncommon.

Some people buy a motorbike and only use it for fun-drives when the weather is good, and in that way, don't make much miles.

I got a 1985 Yamaha FZ750 with 29,000 miles on it (in 2010) because it had been in storage for several years.
Since I got it I did 10,000 miles on it in a year time cause I only got my license for it in 2010 and want to get experience so I ride it every where if I can, so also when it's cold or when it rains. (plus 4,000 miles on a Harley in the U.S)
(me and the FZ750 during an advanced driver training)
Image

lavawitch wrote:
Weight of a cruiser shouldn't really be an issue though.

They key thing is just being able to handle it at low speeds, etc, which is where balance comes in.

It is a big jump to make, going up to a heavier bike. I'm not sure what to suggest other than to make sure she knows that is a completely normal feeling.



My Yamaha seems to be 490 pounds "wet" and I drove a Harley Electra glide of 789 "wet" plus weight of luggage....

In my view, as long as you're upright or in balance, the weight difference doesn't do much.
(when you make a mistake and almost fall because you come to a full stop in a curve and try to keep it upright, THAT's when you notice the weight)

Me on the Harley on the Tail of the Dragon in 2010 , I have plans on going back there next October.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:21 am 
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Whoo! Nice board scrapage.

Scraping my pegs freaks me out. I'm not yet that fearless. Riding the Dragon is definitely on my list.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:34 am 
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alden wrote:
It's really a control thing, the rebel feels like a heavy bicycle to me (I'm 6'3" and 210lbs and I know what Shriners feel like after riding it) but it feels just right to her (she's 5'3" and is somewhere around 110lbs) - just doesn't have the power or comfort to do highway speeds for long. Pretty much every bike with a >500cc engine adds nearly 200lbs compared to what she currently has and that is the key problem.... I don't know how to help get her over that fear though.

Is there a medium-size bike that she could try? I think a Honda Shadow 500 is only about 70 pounds heavier than the 250.

I'm 5'3" and ~100 pounds and ride a 2002 Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic. I don't need to do any mods to my bike to make it fit, which is awesome! I think mine is right around 540 pounds wet. It seems sort of heavy sometimes, but it balances so well moving and doesn't feeling as heavy stopped now that I'm getting used to it. I still need to really work on slow corners... I dumped it yesterday on a right turn, but I expect that will happen again and it has engine guards so I'm not really concerned about it.

Image
My bike. It came with ~14,000 miles on it. I've put an additional 17 miles on it so far, but I've only had it for a few days and gone out on one ride :)


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:52 am 
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At least you got your drop out if the way. As strange as it seems, I was happy when I dropped my bike and broke the taillight and scuffed my mirror. Once it was no longer shiny showroom floor brand new, I felt less nervous because I'd already dropped it.

I dumped mine when I decided it was a good idea to park on a gravel hill.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:16 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Whoo! Nice board scrapage.

Scraping my pegs freaks me out. I'm not yet that fearless. Riding the Dragon is definitely on my list.


I've been waiting for a while for a good moment to post my "show off" video on the ppk, and I think this is as good as it gets... ;)

As Jerry "motorman" Palladino says "the sound of scraping your footpegs should be like music to your ears" (which it is to me)
Doing that at higher speeds is easier for me than to do it while making a U-turn on a parkinglot.

I really like it to "push the envelope" as you Americans say (within reason)
*Dragon tail, three months after I got my motorcycle license, so it's not perfect driving.
*The day after I almost got arrested for doing 90 in a 60 zone by NC highway patrol and aprox. half an hour before I made/had a "could have been fatal" mistake on the dragon.
*left hand turns you often hear the side stand touching the tarmac, serious contact at 3:45 and nice scraping at 8:54



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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:48 pm 
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I have the Ride Like a Pro book and DVD too. Good stuff.

Nice video! You sure got used to that big ole bagger in a hurry. You would love my bike. Dynas are pretty nimble, but still have a lot of the comfort.

When you come through Virginia, you should go through Natural Bridge. I get carsick driving up through there so I can imagine its good riding. Natural Bridge is gorgeous, though sadly owned by young earth creationists so there is no geological or scientific information anywhere at the site.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:29 pm 
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I really want to get a motorcycle. I'm a total crotch-rocket type, though I'd need to do a lot of research to know the make/model I'd want. I just know that's the kind of car I drive, so that's what I want my bike to be when I can eventually get one. Fingers crossed that my car sells when the potential buyer makes her second inspection this Friday, so maybe bike dreams can come true once I get a job!

What kind of gear/armor do you guys use? The only people I know with motorcycles aren't vegan, so they have heavy duty leathers with armor and stuff built in. I want to be safe, but I'd rather not coat myself in cow.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:33 am 
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You can get synthetic mesh jackets with armor pockets. They are pretty safe, but not as safe in a higher speed crash (ie highway). I got a nice one on sale for $199. It has all the air vents so it's good in warm weather too.

I also got a leather armored jacket on Craigslist because I'm not getting on the DC beltway at 70 without the best protective gear. I've been in a motorcycle accident before though, so I'm a bit safety paranoid. This was also a "mom compromise."

My big problem is gloves. I ripped my hand up badly when I dumped my back in a parking lot and my glove ripped. I haven't found any vegan gloves with a good safety rating yet.

There are some good boot options, as long as you get ones meant for motorcycles. Some vegan materials might not be compatible with pipes!

There is at least one other vegan on the forum I mentioned, so there is occasionally some good discussion if vegan gear options. It's not hopeless!

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:41 am 
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P also could not find any good rated vegan gloves, so he ended up getting some (expensive!) ones with some leather. He did find some great vegan pants..all on Amazon. The pants and his helmet were from Motorcycle Superstore.


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:31 am 
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I've been doing tons of gear shopping and stuff lately! I bought an Icon jacket that is vegan. My gloves, unfortunately have leather, but I tried on every single pair in two stores and the ones I bought were the only ones that fit comfortably (I have really small hands). For pants, I'm not sure what I'll get... some textile with armor added and probably a pair of kevlar jeans.

Boots are going to be a problem for me. I have small feet so, like the gloves, it will be whatever fits and is comfortable. Hopefully non-leather. I have some heavy duty hiking boots that I can wear for riding until I find something good.

Veg_Eric wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
Whoo! Nice board scrapage.
Scraping my pegs freaks me out. I'm not yet that fearless. Riding the Dragon is definitely on my list.


I've been waiting for a while for a good moment to post my "show off" video on the ppk, and I think this is as good as it gets... ;)

Awesome video VegEric! I was definitely scraping the pegs in my MSF class (encouraged by one of the riding coaches to lean farther and go faster, no less). I don't think I'll be too worried about scraping on my v-star once we are fully acquainted.


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:29 am 
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Currently, I only own an Aprilia scooter but I owned a Triumph Speed Four for a few years. I'm looking at selling the scooter and buying another bike, most likely a Triumph from the 1960's or 1970's that I can convert into a cafe racer.

Right now, I ride a motorcycle vicariously through my husband. He roadraces a 2006 Triumph Daytona 675 with a local club in Colorado.
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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:41 am 
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Gloves really are the biggest problem. There are great options for everything else, depending on your comfort level. I bought another pair of the mesh gloves after I ruined my pair, but when I get back to riding, I'll need something better. Gloves aren't really something to buy second hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:30 am 
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I've had some really good luck buying stuff through newenough(now motorcyclegear). I bought our helmets and my wife's jacket through there and they frequently have some pretty huge clearance sales:

http://www.motorcyclegear.com/

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Ugh I saw all these cave paintings complaining about vegan cheese options. I don't miss those days. -Isa


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:36 am 
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lavawitch wrote:
You can get synthetic mesh jackets with armor pockets. They are pretty safe, but not as safe in a higher speed crash (ie highway).


I don't know if that's true, perhaps it depends on what you see as crash?

Good "textile" clothing is (almost) as good as leather, and I think that "just leather" isn't good enough. I would prefer something with impact protection.

I have:
- leather "winter" gloves (hand me downs from my brother, actually not that warm)
- Aerostich three season vegan http://www.aerostich.com/3-season-vegan.html
(not warm and not water resistant, I've got special "oversize dishwashing gloves" for them that will keep the water away)
- Rev-it Gloves, they seem vegan. There is a knuckle protector inside, which could be leather, but when I bought them they were out of the regular program so I couldn't check that.
The nice thing of the Rev-it gloves is that they have a lining/sleeve that goes under my jacket-sleeve, and the other part goes over my jacket sleeve. This way it won't blow rain up my sleeve, and water running down from my jacket won't run in the glove.

Top: leather gloves, left the rev-it's, right are the aerostich.
Image

I have Evolution pants, they have some reflective parts and Knee protectors, I also got myself additional hip protectors that go into the armore pockets that the pants have.(hip protector on the right)
Image

I also have an Evolution jacket, I can connect it with a short zipper to the pants. http://mijnwebwinkel.nl/winkel/msv/?men ... D=15856962

In this picture you can see the shoulder protector that I took out, the elbow protector is kind of the same.
I partially took the foam back protector out of it's pouch for the picture.
Also shown, my neck gaitors. (left one is only neck but blocks wind, middle is full head and fleece, right is full head but only wind stopper fabric)

Image

Boots: you need something that protects your ankles. There are only a few leather free touring boots, but I went for the lorica "racing boots" from Sidi. (Sidi vertigo rain) http://www.sidisport.com/
They have more side, shin and heel protection than touring boots.
(there are more lorica racing boots available, but some brands have a leather layer in the soles)
Image

I have a "budget" helmet (got it for free), always wear/use earplugs for the noise of the helmet, and very often wear sunglasses to I have a better view without irritating reflections.

Perhaps useful links http://www.veganmotorcyclist.com/gear.htm and http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/leather.htm#Motorcycle

I'm also considering to get a real back protector, like a Buse Belluno II.


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:18 pm 
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I was seaching for something else and saw this thread and resigned my old account up.
I've been riding for a long time and have done a lot of research on vegan gear. Actually the post above mine has a link to a page I built a few years back, that needs to be redone. http://www.veganmotorcyclist.com/gear.htm
I used to roadrace, but now I race offroad, and ride onroad and not that fast anymore. I currently own a few bikes:
2004 Yamaha WR250F (for racing enduros)
2001 Yamaha XT225 (putting around, and my city bike)
1998 Suzuki DR650 (longer distance offroad and light dirt)
1999 MZ Mastiif (general holliganism and needs to be sold)
1994 Ducati E900 Elefant (for sale)
1992 Yamaha TDM850 (my mine touring bike)
1984 Yamaha RZ350 (ring-a-ding-ding 2-smoke fun)
Hope to see more of you out there, and one day I will update my site.


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:59 pm 
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I got some amazing vegan motorcycle boots that fit perfectly! I'm super happy with them and they are way more comfortable to ride in than the hiking boots I was wearing temporarily. They are the Sidi Jasmine Boots... I love them!
Image

I got some textile armored pants, but I don't love how they fit. I think they'll be great for when it gets colder. I'm still on the lookout for kevlar jeans in my size. But, I do have all the right gear to be safe now and it is just a style thing for any new stuff I get!


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:31 pm 
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I have had three bikes thus far. A 2003 Suzuki Volusia 800cc cruiser, nice bike too small for me. A 2010 Harley Electra Glide Classic, very nice bike but not the one I really wanted. 2010 Harley Road Glide Ultra, a truly amazing machine. It has great handling and can handle long two up trips. I have good vegan pants and jacket with armor in all the right places. I am still struggling to find gloves that are not leather that work for me. I also still have leather boots. I still cannot find non leather ones that work for me. I am trying on both counts.

I know that http://www.firstgear-usa.com makes some great vegan gear. I bought some for my wife as she often rides with me.

Check out this place http://www.ironpony.com/. They often have great sales and have one of the largets inventories in the country. They are in Columbus, Ohio and have a store front for anyone local.


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Jlucke89 wrote:
I have had three bikes thus far. A 2003 Suzuki Volusia 800cc cruiser, nice bike too small for me. A 2010 Harley Electra Glide Classic, very nice bike but not the one I really wanted. 2010 Harley Road Glide Ultra, a truly amazing machine. It has great handling and can handle long two up trips. I have good vegan pants and jacket with armor in all the right places. I am still struggling to find gloves that are not leather that work for me. I also still have leather boots. I still cannot find non leather ones that work for me. I am trying on both counts.

I know that http://www.firstgear-usa.com makes some great vegan gear. I bought some for my wife as she often rides with me.

Check out this place http://www.ironpony.com/. They often have great sales and have one of the largets inventories in the country. They are in Columbus, Ohio and have a store front for anyone local.



Correction 2011 Harley Road Glide Ultra.


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 Post subject: Re: Motorcyclists
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:27 pm 
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I went on a long (for me) ride on Saturday! 45 miles through a bunch of small MA towns... mostly slower speeds, but I did get to go 55mph for a bit. I think I'm ready to get out on the interstate next time. The little highways were annoying with all the stoplights and traffic. It was awesome practice though!

I'm in LOVE with my Sidi boots! Sooo comfy. I'm not liking the textile pants I bought. Going to keep them for when it gets colder out (I think they'll be great then) and try to find something better for now! Jlucke89, I'm going to check out the links you gave!


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