Warning: Rambling ahead!
I saw my motorcycling buddy a couple nights ago while he was in town, and as we talked I began to realize how little riding I've been doing lately. Between traveling a lot for work, and now working from home whenever I'm in town, my mileage has been minimal. As in 3,000-miles-per-year minimal. That stinks! I used to ride four times that much each year when I first moved out to California.
I'm gettin' the itch bad, and think I may just have to hop on the bike for a day trip this coming long weekend. I've even plotted out a "three passes" ride: Sonora Pass on Highway 108, Monitor Pass on Highway 89, and Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4. Google Maps claims it takes eight hours and 48 minutes to complete (non-stop, of course). I figure if I budget for 12 hours I should be good. It's tempting, even though there will probably be a lot of traffic this weekend (Labor Day and all) and it's a long day in the saddle for someone who hasn't been riding a lot lately. I'll have to ponder it. Maybe Sunday?
Anyway, all this has me thinking about the coming winter months. I still need to wire up an electrical outlet on the KTM for my heated vest, and the original grips are getting pretty worn so they're ripe for replacing. While replacing them I'll throw on a set of heated elements underneath them so I'll have heated grips, too.
My Arai XD helmet is five years old as of this month, and I usually like to replace them every five years. Road Rider's having a sale this weekend, including discounts on helmets, so maybe I'll pick a new one up? I've been thinking of trying a Shoei Hornet DS to see if it fits my noggin better than the XD; even after five years and some creative smooshing of the helmet foam my XD is tight on my forehead. It's not painful any longer, but there has to be a better fit possible. The only thing that has me leaning towards the XD is that the new models are Snell M2010 certified, which I think is a better standard than the M2005 which tended to create helmets that were too stiff, passing more of the impact trauma to the head.
My Aerostich Darien's getting long in the tooth as well, and is pretty grungy. I flirted with getting a Motoport jacket this time, as it will be much cooler to wear during the summer months yet still provides a waterproof, zip-in liner for cooler weather.
After toying with all these new equipment ideas, though, I've decided to say "forget it" and just go riding, darn it! I don't need any more gear right now—I need to be on the road riding. Maybe if I get my mileage up then I'll be at the point where I can justify some new gear. Until then, just ride.