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Ride Comfort while Riding Well


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OK. I know this is sort of a wide topic, but it is honestly generated to make some conversation regarding the upcoming (hopefully) riding season.


I think part of riding well is affected by riding with some measure of comfort, or "ease".


Talk about some of the things that you take with you when you ride that make your day long, or weeklong, journey a little "better". Maybe it's safety related.


Snacks? Water bottle? Sunscreen? Sunglasses? A particular Farkle that makes your ride more enjoyable? A favorite pair of socks?


I guess I am looking for things that after two hours of riding and you realize you left it at home you would say to yourself, "darn, I wish I would've brought my ________."

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It's only the third week in May, but the forecast this week is for multiple days of over 100 degrees.  Here in Northern California's central valley and Sierra foothills, we get a lot of this...a cool summer day is high 90's!   Here are some of the things that work for me.  Mesh gear is essential.  Vents don't do it for me at these extreme temps.  A cooling vest is welcome and my mesh jacket lets it work really well.  (Sorry for you folks who live in high humidity where a cooling vest is almost useless, but here where we get desert like humidity on our hot days it works REALLY well.)   I ride with a boot that has air flow.  Keeping my feet comfy is really important and allows for me to ride all day.  My 32 oz. water bottle (Nalgene) has a wide mouth and allows me to put ice in it.  I usually fail to stop often enough to keep fully hydrated, but when I do stop for a drink, it's really nice.  This would work better if I would wear a Camelback or put a water bladder into a tank bag, but I don't want to bother with either, so have to get my bottle from my top case when I stop. One last thing...music energizes me much more than it distracts me and my helmet comm system allows me to enjoy the music apps on my phone.  Rockin' to Led Zepp, The Beatles, Them, H.E.R., John Legend, Lady Gaga and others makes for an eclectic mix of energy as I hurtle down the road and the music keeps me focused as the days wear on.  


I'm writing this in May of 2020...in the midst of the Corona-virus pandemic, so here are a couple of things that I do to keep safe and that allow me to ride at this time.  I carry EVERY thing I need for my ride on my bike with the exception of fuel on my longer days.  When I have to re-fuel the bike I put on nitrile gloves.  When I take my credit card out of the reader at the pump it goes into a plastic bag for sanitizing when I get home.  When I'm done with the refueling and my gloves have been removed, I use hand sanitizer.  This pandemic and the considerations for dealing with it have eliminated multiple day touring, my passion , for the foreseeable future.  But, the open road is waiting and I keep counseling myself that patience is a virtue!

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You're right to think being comfortable is part of riding well.  Being too hot or too cold or too dehydrated can be downright dangerous, and even just being in mild discomfort can be a distraction.

For any ride longer than an hour or so I carry a 1.5L CamelBak bladder in my tank bag, with the hose attached to spring-reel thingy like you see for keys or ID badges.  At any time, I can grab the hose, stuff it up under my helmet, and get a drink to stay hydrated, and then just pull it out of the helmet and let go.  I wrap the bladder in a microfiber towel to provide insulation and absorb condensation.  If it's hot, I supplement that with a Gatorade at every gas stop. My back gets too hot wearing any kind of backpack, so I don't like to wear a regular CamelBak.  


I usually have at least two pairs of gloves with me, chosen according to conditions, for varying levels of warmth.  Sunscreen applied to my neck and face before the start of the ride.  Music helps a lot for long rides.  LD Comfort shorts to prevent seam pain.  There's lots of advice around about keeping cool and warm.

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I consider the proper gloves, jacket, pants, (all heated if necessary), boots, glasses, as safety equipment, not optional. Spend the money on the best equipment to keep you safe. Being comfortable without distractions is what helps keep you safe.

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Similar to RPondaroad….it's hot here.  We are into mid 90's already with high humidity on the Texas coast.  I see a lot of posts where riding season is just beginning for those of you north of here...For me riding season is about to end due to our summer patterns.  Soon it will be 100 with 70-90% humidity and rain showers nearly every afternoon.  That said on the occasion I decide I have to ride in the summer I wear mesh everything.  I wear a water soaked cooling vest over the jacket...it really helps. It will dry out pretty fast - 2 hours.  I carry a big trash bag and when the vest goes dry I pull into a convenience store, by a gallon of water, and soak the vest again in the plastic trash bag.  I keep two bottles of water in the trunk in case I break down.  I keep two bottles of water in the tank bag - one to drink (module helmet makes this easy) and one to pour down my shirt occasionally. If I am taking a long trip I will wear my camelback.  I fill it full of ice and drink it as it melts down.  When its gone I stop at a convenience store and refill with ice.  Never leave home without raingear in the bags. There is a pair of shorts and flip flops in case I end up having to walk a long ways.  The usual stuff is always there...first aid kit, tools, tire repair, etc.

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On 5/25/2020 at 10:24 PM, Bill_Walker said:

For any ride longer than an hour or so I carry a 1.5L CamelBak bladder in my tank bag, with the hose attached to spring-reel thingy like you see for keys or ID badges.  At any time, I can grab the hose, stuff it up under my helmet, and get a drink to stay hydrated, and then just pull it out of the helmet and let go.   

Love the idea of the spring-real thingy!  I will have to try that.  Historically, I had to feel around to find the lip on the edge of my tankbag where the clip at the end of the water hose needed to go.  If I fumble around too long, I invariably have to look down to see it, which is not very safe while riding.  The retractable reel should do the trick.


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John Bentall

A list of interesting things to see and do, so that the intense concentration of riding a motorcycle is tempered by something really relaxing in the rest breaks. 

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