Shrinking The Planet – One Ride At A Time

Archive for June 25, 2012

Stuff You “Need”; Or Should That Be Stuff You “Gotta Have”?

There’s an old saying that goes something like this.  “There’s stuff I want and stuff I need and the stuff I want outweighed the stuff I need long ago.”  It’s sort of that way with adventure motorcycling stuff.  Many could argue that the list of stuff you need is fairly short, while others might argue that for significant journeys, the list can be quite lengthy and comprehensive.

But that’s some of the fun of it isn’t it.  We like to get together and talk about all the stuff that’s out there that makes adventure riding a safe, rewarding and enjoyable experience.  So one has to ask him/herself, what do I really need/want to make an adventure ride a reality and what are the cost/benefits of having/not having the item along on the trip.

For example, when riding with Kim, I really like to have two way communications.  I think it vastly improves safety, we can tell each other about road hazards, turns, fuel situations, dangerous drivers and when I’m ready for a pit stop.  But do we really have to have them to ride; no.  But they do make the ride more safe, comfortable and enjoyable.

I also like our Aerostich Roadcrafter suits.  It’s on in less than 30 seconds, it provides great abrasion resistance, has some armor, is fairly waterproof and in high viz yellow, gives us some visibility when we are on pavement.  Nice!  Again, do we really have to have them to ride; no.  But we are once again a bit safer and in cold temps more comfortable and enjoy our trips a bit more wrapped up in our little own cocoons.

So what is important to us is to make the ride a bit more enjoyable and perhaps make the ride a little safer?  Well not so fast there buckaroo.  It so happens that we happen to like some fairly impractical stuff as well that probably doesn’t do a thing to increase safety.  In fact it might compromise it somewhat.  Do you like to listen to your iPod while you ride?  I do.  Is it safer to ride with music playing plugged into both of your ears?  I think not, but often, particularly when I’m riding solo, I must have an iPod and music playing in my ears.  It’s a gotta have item.

So what else do you all “gotta have” on a trip?  I’d like to hear your thoughts.  Add them as comments to this post and tell us whether it’s a want or need.  Sometimes it might be fairly hard to distinguish.  This will be fun to share among each other.

OK, so now it’s your turn…