04 October 2013

Safe... and Dry in the Rain

What happens when we’re out in the toolies and something goes sideways—a crash, a bike mechanical meltdown, or a sudden medical issue? How do you get help?  Although I’ve thought a little about this, Victoria brought it fully to my attention the other day when she simply asked, “What if... ?”  She’s been a dirt bike rider for almost 40 years, so I’m inclined to pay attention when she talks about riding.  Soon after, I received an email suggesting I look at the SPOT line of GPS signaling/tracking devices…so I did.

I had no idea such a thing existed!  Using my vast reasoning powers, it only took me an hour to decide which of their three offerings will best suit my needs… the SPOT Connect.

Once you have the unit, there is a yearly subscription fee that allows sending of unlimited GPS coordinate location updates to friends and family with an “I’m okay” message via a smartphone/tablet app. For an extra 10¢/message (in a pre-paid bundle), it will also send 41-character messages—all from most of the land masses on the planet, including everywhere I’m planning to go on this trip, via satellite, without cell phone or Wi-Fi service.  Total cost is ~$350… an extravagance—until you’re in the soup.  Once I get the unit and it’s set up, I’ll post the URL here that you can use to see where I am and my route to-date.

Thank you, Victoria!!!

Yesterday I took my first ride in a serious rain and it was enlightening.  At one point, I took a bit longer than normal to change lanes and dawdled a bit on the white striping. As I felt the back tire move a little side-to-side I suddenly remembered hearing that the striping is as slippery as snot! They were right... it is!  

You’re going 65 mph… you'd better CONCENTRATE, DAMN IT, or you will end up as a spot of snot!

Those of you who know me will be less than surprised that these thoughts brought this video to mind: 

My first reason for wanting a lot of rain-riding time is to ensure that I’m as ready as I can be for anything that may appear during the trip.  The second reason is that I need to ensure that my gear is what it needs to be—safe, waterproof, and comfortable. Good thing I checked...

REV’IT Tornado pants—check (IFF the waterproof liner is in-place, duh!)
Alpinstar CR-4 Gore-Tex boots—check (AWESOME boots!)
Olympia gloves—NOPE! They’re summer gloves. I went to Paulson’s and picked up a new pair.  Would've rather had the hi-viz cuff, but they only had the black in XXL and I wasn't interested in riding home with COLD hands.

Next rain (this is the Pacific Northwest, so it’ll come soon enough), I’ll give it another try… last thing I want are cold, wet hands—or a cold, wet anything else.

Speaking of rain… my friend Rain said something a few minutes ago that I will put out there and would appreciate if you'd do the same: 

“We shall manifest that you are a magnificent rider with preternatural instincts that keep you safe. We shall envision you in a white light that will keep you safe."

Thank you!


1 comment:

  1. Heard about Spot at the Cambria Horizons Unlimited event. I had no idea, but it sounds *really* useful.