Tag: Gear

Trade Show Swag: Something Actually Motorcycle-Useful

Trade Show Swag: Something Actually Motorcycle-Useful

If you work in corporate America and have been to a trade show – you’ve probably come home with more stress balls and pens than you know what to do with. Well, looky-looky… finally some take home junk that’s useful: a small solar, USB battery.

Since I don’t have an auxiliary juice plug on the Bonnie, I’m hoping that if I need it, this little battery will do the trick. Realistically speaking, the most top-off charging I ever do is for my phone or maybe my Sena headset. I don’t need much.

I have yet to deplete my phone battery down to zero and charge it to 100%, so I’m not definitively sure how long that would take or how many full charges this battery would give my phone. I’m guessing one full charge. Looking around the web at similarly-sized batteries, they say about 2 hours from flat to full for an iPhone. All in all, this just seems like a nice little just in case that doesn’t take up any extra room.

I’ve been leaving the battery in my tankbag window. I’ve also secured a ring on the back of it and clipped it to my tailbag. That wouldn’t work out so well if it were raining but in the dry? Seems okay. Even partially blocked, it’s still picking up rays. The battery’s indicator lights say it is staying fully powered.

Best of all? It was free. If it doesn’t work out, I won’t feel bad about tossing it.

Between this and the super little LED flashlight, I’d say the trade show swags buyers are stepping up their game.

Klim Altitude Women’s Gear – Early Adopter Blues

Klim Altitude Women’s Gear – Early Adopter Blues

I’m in for over 10,000 road miles on Klim women’s Altitude jacket and pants so, I feel like I can fairly give my impression of it.

When I was looking for GORE-TEX gear in the summer of 2014, based on how happy everyone I know who owns the brand Klim has been, it seemed like a perfect choice. The introduction of their women-specific Altitude jacket and pants presented itself as perfect timing. The caveat? At the time, gray was the only color available for the Altitude. If you wanted the suit, you bought gray or you bought something else.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Are you an idiot? It’s a light color, it’s going to get filthy.”

Honestly, I thought the same thing. Aesthetically, I really like light-colored gear and having owned and cared for some in the past I thought I would just continue my efforts of being diligent about keeping it looking tidy. My prior experience had been: when it started looking gross, you throw it in the machine/tub, let it dry and voilà! the suit would look gorgeous once again.

It seemed easy enough, so I bought the suit with dreams of finally being dry without rain gear.

In the beginning: Look at me – clean as a whistle!

My first major outing of the suit was during a ride through the Alps. We had variable weather for 10 days and a couple thousand miles ranging from hot, to cold, to mist, to snowflakes and downpour. The most important thing for me was that I stayed dry. Day in day out, I was feeling like a million bucks in my super-suit never having to stop and don rain gear.

Overall the cut of the jacket works for me. It has enough give and room in my “problem areas” without creating loose flapping fabric in others.

I do miss having a top-opening pocket for ease of use on the jacket. There are side vertical-zippered pockets at the hip level. I never feel secure enough to put anything in them such as a phone because chances are I will not zip the pocket and I’m afraid that whatever is in there will fall out.

The jacket front does have 2 large vertical pockets. My favorite part is the elastic tethers and plastic clips inside of them. I use them for my camera and my SPOT tracker.

The pants? I feel like the rise is too low when I’m in the seated position and that bugs me. The pockets on the hip are too shallow to put much in them. I use them for small items like loose bills, change and a chapstick. You cannot fit any typical smartphone, camera or a wallet in there while you’re trying to free up your hands. There are no pockets on the legs to do that duty either.

Returning from my alpine trip I rode into the autumn again with its variable weather and again I stayed dry. In that regard the Altitude suit has been absolutely terrific.

After a several thousand miles, it became time to wash the suit. Keeping it clean is important to keeping it waterproof. Besides, while it might look good from a distance, the road dirt was really starting to show if you were standing next to me. What’s that saying? Good from far, far from good. That describes the appearance of this suit to a T.

 

Klim has pretty clear washing instructions which I followed.

My collar before:

 

My collar after:

 

I washed the gear per the Klim instructions. The result on my pants?

 

When the gear didn’t come clean, I soaked it in the tub with some Oxiclean powder. I even used Oxiclean stain stick on certain greasy spots on the backs of my my pant legs. After the Oxiclean soak, I put it through the washer 2 more times.

The washing really didn’t do much of anything, visibly. When it was all washed and dried for the last time, I resigned myself to the fact that I would never get this suit clean. The real slap in the face was to have another chick rider look at me and say “your jacket looks like shit.” Burn! 😆 That sucked to hear because I can’t do anything about it. I spent over a grand on this get-up. But… she’s right.

This is what my “clean” jacket looks like:

  • Jacket $550-ish
  • Pants: $500

I’m in for over $1000 to look like a perpetual dirtbag. Awesome. If you’re naïve like me and think you’ll be able to wash this suit to keep it visibly clean, think again.

  • The construction quality, fit & finish of the suit is great.
  • It is waterproof. I have not gotten wet through it.
  • The zipper pulls become frayed and fuzzy from snagging on the velcro.
  • The rise on the pants is too low for me.
  • Love the elastic band clips in the front jacket pockets.

For 2015, Klim introduced the suit in black and I feel, frickin’ bummed. It’s the early adopter blues. If I could trade this suit in for a black one, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

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Things I Learned on my Alpine Riding Trip – Packing And Gear

Things I Learned on my Alpine Riding Trip – Packing And Gear

Packing

The Givi box liner worked out fantastically. Packing all of my clothing into gallon ziplock bags then packing them into the Bestem bag kept everything neat and tidy.

This represents all the clothing and toiletries I packed for a 10 day trip:

fuzzygalore bestem trunk liner

Flying

The Oxford Handysack backpack again worked out great for a carry-on bag. I was able to keep all of my electronics close at hand, carry my helmet on board and keep my hands free. I ended up taking it along for the whole trip and found it useful on more than one occasion for toting stuff around.

Apparently Revzilla sells them.  In my opinion – worth the $26.

fuzzygalore oxford handysack

Riding Gear

My Klim Altitude gear is indeed waterproof. Saints be praised! It is warm when it’s hot and being that it has no native liners, you must dress yourself appropriately underneath the shell for the cold. As someone who likes layer dressing, that works out perfect for me. Also –  I look like an astronaut while wearing it.

fuzzygalore in klim altitude

Socks & Undies

Wash & wear clothing really skinnies down your packing list. BUT… having a pair of cotton underwear along is a necessity in my book. Synthetic fibers while wonderful for the easy wash/quick dry that they provide feel… unnatural. Having some cotton skivvies along is nice.

If you’re wearing leggings under your riding pants, you don’t need long socks. A pack of ankle socks works out great and packs at about the same size as 1 plush pair of long socks.

Photos

The telescoping GoPro stick is AWESOME for taking group shots. Being able to get our whole group into photos was great. I’m so happy I have the stick.

fuzzygalore at the neufenenpass

Super-Extendo GoPro on a Stick Kicks Ass

Super-Extendo GoPro on a Stick Kicks Ass

Right before I left for The Void Rally, I picked up a new GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition. The 3+ is a pretty big improvement over my old Heros. The photo quality is great, it’s smaller than the old unit, has a remote and a light on the back showing its running (yay!) .

the old and the new GoPro Heros

xshot camera extenderBut my favorite part? I also picked up a telescoping extender arm from XShot.

We’ve all been there, right? You’re alone and want to capture a photo of yourself someplace but you don’t have a tripod, no timer on your camera, the old arm-out-selfie doesn’t capture enough of the view, or maybe it’s raining and your camera isn’t waterproof. Enter the GoPro on a stick!

I’m so crazy about it! It is the best $20ish bucks I’ve spent in some time.

There are about eleventy billion different extenders to choose from. The one criteria I used to pick one was to make sure that it collapsed small enough to fit into my tankbag.

Now with my new super-extendo stick, I actually carry my GoPro around in my purse all the time. I’ve been using on walks, while riding my bicycle and when I’m just out and about.

I’m in love 🙂

Wishes Do Come True – REV’IT Motorcycle Socks

Wishes Do Come True – REV’IT Motorcycle Socks

REVIT Motorcycle SocksYou never really know who is reading your blog, do you?

In a completely unexpected turn of events, I was contacted on Twitter by Anthony at Revzilla asking me if I’d gotten the REV’IT socks that were on my Christmas wishlist.

Of course, like any normal (read: skeptical) person I figured they were trying to sell me something. But as it turns out, that wasn’t the case. Anthony, you know – the guy in all their product videos – said he was a fan of my blog and would be happy to send me a pair.

Uh… what?! Really? I don’t know why, but I’m always shocked to find out people actually read my blog. 😆

A few days later 2 pairs of REV’IT socks showed up; 1 pair of Tour Summer and 1 pair of Tour Winter.

Revzilla did not ask for a review or a blog post or any other thing in exchange for the socks. They just… sent them and said Merry Christmas. Holy crap!

Having actually shopped their online store a few times; each being a good experience, I’m happy to tip my hat to them and to say – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! You made me a very happy girl.

Now if only these 2 feet of snow outside would melt I could give my new socks a whirl!

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