Thursday, August 29, 2013

One last test ride: Rhode Island, Boston and finding the perfect gear at Twisted Throttle!

Tinker, tinker, tinker...

We logged more time at Lynde Motorsports upon our return from NYC. We knew my bike was burning through oil more quickly than before, but my it had begun making strange and very disconcerting noises when we left New York. So, with the help of the experts at Lynde, we spent a couple of days trying to sort out the issue, while Roel toyed around with his clutch plates. 

First oil change!

After dismantling the air box to get a look at the valve caps, an oil change and toying with a mechanics stethoscope, we were unfortunately not much closer to the answer. The bike was running, but not as happily as before.
I needed to pick up some protective motorcycle apparel and had found a company in Rhode Island that sold what I hoped would be exactly what I was looking for. We needed to check out Boston before leaving New England for Canada (where we needed to renew Roel's US visa), and so we decided to make a weekend of it and do a little tour of RI and Boston. 

I had found that all of the US made womens apparel that I could get my hands on to try was not cut small enough for me or well enough to fit my figure. And getting my hands on apparel to try on was a mission anyway - most shops seem to only carry street gear or fashion apparel that wouldn't do much for me in case of an impact with pavement.  
Twisted Throttle is a overland motorcyclists dream. The online store has an incredible selection of apparel, camping gear, paniers and other modifications to make your bike overland-worthy. The factory store also has a great selection for those like me who like to see and feel things before handing over their credit card details AND they have helpful staff, to boot. 
Before: hand-me-down back protector and wood working gloves from Roel...
Twisted Throttle carries a line out of The Netherlands called Macna, which on paper looked perfect... great seasonality, durability, and weather-proof-ness. And on my body, I loved it. The pants have vents, an optional wind-proof/rain-proof liner and a thermal liner. The jacket has all of these options, too, but also has a zip off chest and back section for greater venting. The liners also zip to the sleeves so it's not annoying to remove/put on the jacket or pants when the liners are in use. I also upgraded to CE armor in the back and hip areas.  

After: @ Twisted Throttle w/ Shawn, Dave & my sweet new gear

As an aside, any ladies out there looking for gear… check out GearChic. When I first stumbled upon the Macna gear on TT’s website, I wanted to find more information and found that on GearChic’s blog. Joanne had reviewed the fit and style of the Macna apparel and after I contacted her with more questions, actually asked to have a Skype call with me so she could get a better idea of my body shape to give me size recommendations. She also has lots of other helpful information about layering, new gear, etc.

From Twisted Throttle in Exeter, RI, we rode on to Newport, RI to have a look at the lovely shacks by the sea.  In all seriousness, it was a beautiful ride along the coast in Newport and amazing to see these magnificent mansions.

On to Boston, with our first stop being Fenway, where the Red Sox had just beat the Yankees – yippee! Roel’s bike liked Fenway so much, it decided not to start up after our little photo op. So right there under the big Fenway sign, Roel had to unpack his bike, remove his seat, etc., get out his tools and fiddle with the battery and starter. It was not apparent what was amiss, but fortunately after a while he tried the starter, again, and we were off! Per direct orders from Roel’s sister who had lived in Boston, we dined at the Cheesecake Factory and then rode, rather than walked a portion of the Freedom Trail. 

As it was quite late, we pulled off the highway on the way home and set up camp in a remote field. Quite a lovely field to wake up to the next morning. 

The field we woke up on the morning after our visit to Boston. Not bad :)

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