No time like The Present
Ask for what you want
by R. Bruce Thomas
As I sit here at my computer in the early hours of August 25th I realize it is four months until Christmas and, while I shudder at the thought of the snow and cold that comes with the winter holiday season, it is time to start putting together a wish list for the annual gift-giving season. Let’s call it a Rider Registry, sort of like a Bridal Registry for motorcycle enthusiasts.
You may recall Liane’s message last month where she detailed her experience discovering the benefits of a cooling vest when riding in extreme heat in BC. Time sure flies and it is hard to believe it is more than two years since I addressed this topic (see Be The Camel). I had also been riding in the heat in BC in July and had been considering writing a new piece on how to safely keep cool after seeing so many riders in shorts and t-shirts. When I mentioned this to Liane she suggested the Christmas present angle which gives context to the following two pictures from my travels to help set the mood.
Are you feeling the Christmas Spirit now?
So, in no particular order, I present a list of affordable items that you could put on your own Rider Registry List or consider buying for family/friends who ride. Many of these are items I have previously written about here.
1 - Cooling vest (aka Liquid Cooling Vest - hydration liner - evaporative cooling vest) – soaking one of these for as little as 5 minutes can provide hours of relief. In temperatures over 26C these articles of clothing can greatly increase your safety and comfort while riding. I’ve enjoyed the cooling effects in 37C temps riding to Key West, FL and in 44C temps riding across NM and AZ.
2 - Heated jacket liner – not just for the shoulder seasons. My wife and I have experienced single-digit temperatures in the Rockies in July and August.
3 - TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) – these systems monitor your tire pressures and temperatures in real time as you ride and will notify you with flashing screens and alarms if low or high limits are breached. I’ve been using the Hawkshead Moto Track 2 system for years (tpms.ca) and enjoy the peace of mind it provides.
4 - Heated grips – it’s amazing what a difference heated grips make to your riding comfort. It doesn’t take much of a temperature drop sometimes to chill your hands and take your mind off the road.
5 - Luggage (soft or hard) – there are many options for carrying the essential items you need when traveling by motorcycle. A good dry bag prevents the hassle of dealing with wet clothes.
6 - Attachment options – like luggage, there are many options to attach the luggage to your bike. For my Dry Bag I’ve found that Rok Straps are a convenient solution.
7 - Deer Whistles – the instructions say not to install them on either side of your bike or they won’t be effective, which is why these adorn my front fender side-by-side. While there is a lot of varied opinion on the efficacy of these items, I can only offer anecdotal evidence of my experiences and the fact I haven’t hit a deer yet, but many have turned tail back into the woods.
8 - Lights – visibility is a key issue when it comes to safety on the road. Many motorcycle lighting systems are less than ideal and changing headlight bulbs to LEDs is one way to increase your visibility. One company I’m familiar with is Hyper-Lights which offers many easily-installed options to separate you from the rest of the traffic.
9 - Vision – maybe you need a new visor or pinlock insert for your helmet
10 - New Gloves may be handy (yup, I said it)
11 - Good boots
12 - Rain gear
13 - Medical Data Carrier - https://ab-amss.org/product-category/safety/
14 - First Aid kit - https://ab-amss.org/product-category/safety/
15 - Kick stand pad
16 - Add your own wants/needs here
17 - etc., etc…..