Shrinking The Planet – One Ride At A Time

Lucky Tester

Yes, I make no bones about it, I am indeed one unbelievably blessed, supremely fortunate, possessed of propitious providence “Lucky Tester”.  So what is a “Lucky Tester” you may ask?  Well dear reader, a “Lucky Tester” is a divinely fortunate person whose spouse enjoys adventure riding as much as I do.  So it’s clear where the “Lucky” aspect comes in.  But where does the “Tester” aspect come in?

Well, it comes in the form of all things riding oriented.  Take for example my Aerostich Roadcrafter riding suit.  Made of Cordura and Goretex, it has a large dual zipper system that allows it to be put on and taken off in seconds.  It’s bulky enough to layer warm clothes under, has plenty of ugly zippered vents for when it’s hot and it has sort of “bulky” ungainly armor.  Overall, it’s quite utilitarian looking but it does its job well.

My lovely spouse however, riding a BMW F650GS at the time, had her sights set on a BMW branded Sahara riding suit.  Wonderfully styled and also functional, it was a two piece riding suit of excellent quality.  But, it was designed to be worn as your riding gear and could not be removed lest you walk around in a t-shirt and underwear.  Additionally, it was more than $300 more than my quite utilitarian ‘Stich. Nonetheless, we proceeded with our individual purchases, me with the ‘Stich and her with her quite stylin’ Sahara.  We then embarked on a couple of rides where it was quite warm.

ZIPPPP!!!!   ZIPPPP!!!!   ZIPPPP!!!!  I was able to open vents and let in cool air.  Zip, and Kim’s pants were falling down.  It started to rain.  ZIPPPP!!!!  I closed the vents and I stayed dry.   Zip, and Kim got drenched.  But she did look quite sexy!  So after a few rides in heat, rain and dust, I had completed the testing.  It was clear that the ‘Stich was the better performer of the suits.

Then came the anticipated question.  “Can I get a Stich of my own?”  Test 1 completed.

I was ready for a new pair of boots having worn down my previous street boots in the LRRS series.  I did a little research and found the Sidi Canyon Goretex likely fit the bill for our type of adventure riding.  I really like the Goretex stuff as you can tell.  Kim on the other hand, was used to Alpinestars race boots and was ready for another pair.

“Are you sure you don’t want some Sidi Canyon Goretex Boots?  They are waterproof, the Alpinestars aren’t.”  “No, I’ve had Alpinestars for a long time and besides these are Max Biaggi boots and they are awesome.”  She was right, they were awesome looking.  But as we headed for our trip to Newfoundland which turned out to be 2 weeks of riding in the rain, this tester found that the Sidi Goretex Canyon boot was indeed waterproof while the sexy Alpinestars Max Biaggi race boot which looked so good on Max and Kim, weren’t.

I did find that my efficiency in testing was increasing, because it did not take the full two weeks of riding in the rain to recognize that the Sidi boots were indeed waterproof, the Alpinestars were not AND ultimately receive the anticipated question.  “Maybe I should get some Sidi Canyon Goretex Boots of my own?”

Finally, I was ready to change from my Arai RX7-RR race helmet and go with something that flowed a bit more air and had more visibility.  The then new Arai XD-3 seemed perfect. So to shorten the test cycle I asked Kim if she wanted one as well.  “No, I like my AGV Rossi replica.  I’m going to stay with that or get a new one later.”  So as we proceeded into a broiling summer, I was riding with my XD-3 with the visor open and as the sun set, all I had to do was tilt my head down so the visor blocked the sun’s rays.  Poor Kim, I could see her behind me in my mirror doing the blinded by the sun left handed salute, trying to block out the descending sun while trying not to block out her vision.  Once again, my test cycle was complete when Kim said, “Should I get one of those XD-3s?”.

So while I often do have to perform a thorough test program to ensure the performance of a particular adventure riding product, it’s one I gladly bear while I recognize what a “Lucky Tester” I am.  Because every time I look in my mirror, or look in front of me, I see my best friend, soul mate and riding buddy covering my six or twelve, and what could be nicer than that!

Oh… I almost forgot.  Does anyone want to buy a barely used BMW Sahara woman’s riding suit?

Ride2Adventure – Shrink The Planet One Ride At A Time

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