Friday, April 24

Long Distance toys

I now have several items to make long distance riding more fun, especially on long day rides of SaddleSore distance (1000 miles). Even in the range of 500 miles, these "comforts" will be good to have even if I don't use them. One item I don't use--just never felt a need for it is the Throttlemeister. I got it only because my throttle hand has a wrist that is held together with a  6 inch titanium implant. I figured the Throttlemeister might help when I needed to rest my wrist. But so far I've not felt the need to use it more than a few times. 

I am also not a listener of music on my rides. But it sure came in handy in the 800 miles phase of the SaddleSore, when it was dark and quite lonely out there. I had just enough Ipod juice to get me through the last 200+  miles. Coming back from VA recently, my Ipod got me through twelve hours of riding that Saturday. There is something comforting and relaxing about riding in the dark with love songs playing in your ear. 

This brings me to my new XM satellite portable radio. One thing I've missed on early Saturday morning rides is listening to National Public Radio, C-Span and CNN. Now, I can if I desire. My other newest toy is the Amazon Kindle. What does that have to do with riding? Well, it has to do with packing for my rides. I typically carry four books with me, which takes up far too much room. On those multiday rides when I've tried to take one book, I invariably end up going to a local bookstore and buying books! How crazy is that?! 

Nothing satisfies me more than ending a long day of riding with reading the night away. And, I've just never learned to read one book at a time.  Though I love the physical book, the smell of new--and old--pages, the whole tactile experience, I can't spare the space to tote four books with me on each trip. Initially, the Kindle felt like indulging in a forbidden pleasure, like cheating on books. I've gotten over that. I traveled with it to and from VA. In it, I carried 11 books in a package thinner than the newest Ipod and about the size of a paperback. It comes with an internal Oxford Dictionary and a Theasaurus. I can make margin notes and highlight passages of each book and store my notes as backpages to each book. It's an addicting device that promotes minimalist packing.

Riding this season is about distance + fun, which will be a huge challenge given that I work each day. I read that some mileage club distance riders, to keep in ride-shape, will take an evening or early morning ride of a few hundred miles. One rider came home from work and after dinner, would ride for three or four hours. I hope for a BunBurner this ride season, that's 1500 miles in 36 hours, which I think should be easier than the SaddleSore.  I can actually factor in a nap with the BunBurner--couldn't do that on the SaddleSore.  

At some point during the weekend I'm bound to test out the XM. With regards to my toys, I should add the new heated jacket and pants--and the bike's heated grips. All this reminds me of the adage it's better to have something and not needed it than to need it and not have it.

12 comments:

clairehelene7 said...

You're such a gear head. I love it. The portable XM looks like a cross between a blackberry and an iPod. It's neat that you can store music there too.

Jeffry said...

I am hoping that we see some video clips of some of your rides with the video cam toy as well.

For longer rides, having XMRadio has been a great companion.

Jeffry said...

Nice article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123980920727621353.html
on the Kindle and the use of digital books. Read away.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sharon:

You neglected to mention that there is a definate allure to acquiring well made gear, that functions as advertised, taking up little space, and making life easier when it counts!

I am in the process of custom fitting some wll made gear to get the most out of my machine this summer. My ride season got off to a stalled and bad start... But I intend to persevere. See you i Tennessee.

It is good to see you publishing posts again.

Fondest regards,
Jack
Twisted Roads

bobskoot said...

Sharon:
I really like your toys. I have Sirius satelite radio in the car and I wanted to mount it on my bike, as there are many places in BC where you cannot receive radio stations. but I am thinking that the SV isn't the best riding position for touring. I went back to your post last year regarding the ST vs SV riding position. So now I want your ST. On the SV your legs are cramped after a short distance, and I also need a cruise control to save my wrists. If having toys makes your ride easier, then I'm all for them

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Sojourner rides said...

Claire, I know. It's embarrassing. Seriously. The little XM is pretty cool and cute.

Sojourner rides said...

Jeffry, as soon as I can figure out how to mount the thing, I'm hoping to use it. The little band is to small to fit around the handle bar securely. I've been looking for a "European" screw??? Haven't found one to fit yet. Thanks for the reminder!

Sojourner rides said...

Jeffry, Thanks for that article! I'm embarrassed at how much I love the thing. But it was a pleasure to take it with on this last trip! I can read a little for four books in a tiny package-I'm loving it!

Sojourner rides said...

Jack, you are so right! I've never been a clothes horse--I'm still wearing 12 year old jeans! But I do have a nice motorcycle wardrobe--I'm not shy about saying that. And, with it works well--you right, it can really make the ride sweeter.

I'm looking forward to checking in and catching up with you. Hey, sorry you didn't start off as you wanted--don't fret about the start--it's how you'll keep going that counts IMHO!

Sojourner rides said...

bob, I love my SV and am glad that my husband, who inherited it, has agreed to keep it after the purchase of his new bike. I did some pretty long distance riding on the SV and got used to it. But when I sat on the ST--well, let me keep this clean--I was in heaven! The ride position is slightly more agressive than the more upright SV but bar risers handled that immediately. It's the lightness of the bike (even though it is heavier than the SV) and the ease on the body parts that make it an utter joy to ride long distances. Just be careful. If you sit on one, chances are you'll really really want one.

Colin said...

Sharon,
Which risers did you go with on your ST? Mine begins to kill me after ~200 miles. I just discovered your blog an am reading from back to front. I'm only up to 9/16/08 thus far. Thanks

Colin

Sojourner rides said...

Hi Colin,

Thanks for dropping in! And, thanks for ploughing through old posts!

I bought the "risers and barbacks" from Twisted Throttle (TT). They were around $104. TT has some other models but I needed riser plus slight pull backs. Made a HUGE difference! Check out the F800riders.org "Depot"--I think they carry several models too.