Have you ever noticed that sometimes there is one ride/route above all others that lifts your spirits and gets your head on straight again?
I have two such rides. And tonight I decided that I needed to do one.
A quick blast to the ice cream shack at Qualicum Beach was the remedy of the day. 25 min up the road. Perfect weather. Awesome company.
Ahhhhhhhh. A great night for a ride.
So I think the time has come to look for new chaps. The bottom seam on mine are coming apart, the snaps are broken and they’re starting to be ineffective.
For using those of you who don’t know, I prefer chaps with fringes on them. Some people ask me whether the fringes are just for looks – and I explain to them the story of why I prefer fringes.
I grew up on the prairies in Canada, and as some of you know the prairies in Canada can be very very cold during the winter times. What this means is that you have to learn that the weather can’t keep you inside or limit what you want to do. On the prairies we got lots of snow during the season and that meant that winter sports was something that I learned to do at a very early age. One of my favourite pastimes was snowshoeing. Every winter I would go out snowshoeing with my father or friends. And I learned that the value of having a jacket with long fringes was almost a necessity . On the prairies the first nations would wear buckskin jackets with extra long fringe. When I am asked why I was giving the explanation that when snowshoeing, if a person got a stick through the gutting/webbing, it would render the shoe useless. Therefore the long fringe was not for looks – they were for necessity. The extra long fringe that adorned the jacket were used for a temporary fix on the webbing of the snowshoe until a more permanent fix could be made.
Fast forward to riding. I noticed quite a few of the old bikers used to wear chaps with fringes. Because I’m that kind of a person, I asked why do you wear chaps with fringes? That’s when I was told by an old-time biker the reason he wore fringes was because when riding if it started to rain, the fringes acted as a wick to pull the water away from the chaps and shake it off. If there’s no fringes he explained that the wind would actually blow the water around the chaps to the back and then drive the water up and across the underside of the thigh into the crotch. Sounded reasonable but a little bit improbable. And I do admit I am a sceptic.
Shortly after that, I was riding and got caught in the rain storm. My chaps didn’t have fringes and sure enough as I watched the water kicking up from my front tire, it hit my chaps, wrapped around to the back and because of the wind from the road as well as the front of the engine, it drove the water to the backside of my leg, up the back, under the thigh and to my crotch and my seat. A great deal of amusement was had when we stopped at a restaurant and the only spot that was wet for me when I peeled off my chaps was my crotch.
Needless to say, I made sure my next pair had fringes. Low and behold – the next time it rained, my crotch did not get nearly as wet.
It pays to listen to the ones that have been riding for a while. They know what they are talking about.
So very soon I will be on the hunt for a new pair of chaps, and – yes – they will have fringes.
Travel safe. Ride well.
The Law of “What could possibly go wrong?” came into play at 9:45pm the day before our holiday.
At 9 the conversation was started with:
I’m just going into the garage to throw some last minute things on the bike.
Honey? Do you smell gas?
And so it began. The dreams of our trip that took a year to plan – stalled. It would seem that the coupling on my gas tank decided to give way the night before our trip. So at 9:30 pm the drip became a small trickle then a stream of gas before a stressed phone call to a friend (whom I personally think wears blue tights and a red cape) came over to look at the problem. Being a mechanic by trade , this guy knows what he’s doing and a heck of a lot more than my husband and I combined.
By midnight we had looked at the manual, consulted the web, searched YouTube and Google and placed a very frantic phone call to a local emergency mechanic number stating “Please help! We are trying to leave for Sturgis in the morning! Please call when you get this!”
Somewhere at 11:15 pm we all looked at my husbands perfectly packed Electra Glide and made the call that it now needed to be striped of all the packed gear and re packed with gear for two.
Off came the tent….off came the sleeping bags…….and the foamies…….and the rain gear…….and the camp chairs. Basically everything that was deemed nonessential was striped off and turfed on the garage floor. Debates and decision waged. The final outcome was that we would buy a tent and sleeping bags when we reached Gillette WY. It was the only way. And if they didn’t have tents-a tarp with rope, tent pegs, two poles, and we would switch off using the foamy. (when you get old, sleeping directly on the ground loses its appeal pretty quickly).
Midnight rolled around to find us repacked and laying in bed staring at the ceiling – myself wondering how our plans had so quickly evaporated – my poor husband wondering when I had developed Tourette’s and how the hell we were going to survive the trip. (As a side note – after so many years of riding my own bike I am fully cognizant of the fact that I do not make a good passenger).
There was no question of cancelling this trip. A year in the planning. Non refundable hotels and camping reservations. A celebration of 25 years of marriage.
Let the adventures begin.
A short and sweet ride to qualicum falls was in order. I’m still getting used to the new bike.
I had the opportunity to ride with Charley (albeit in a huge pack of bikes – and at the very end of the pack no less so he didn’t even know I existed LOL) on the last leg of his Extreme Adventures Canada show. I was impressed with how personable he was and how down to earth he seemed to be. The man really does enjoy being on his bike.
Charley Boorman makes the motorcycle icons list – click here
Way to go Charley