Saturday, March 9, 2024

Bike Time Is Near!

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

Decent weather will be here very soon, but that doesn't mean you should ignore motorcycles until you put away your sweaters. One thing I was told before I even had a license was "Look for and count motorcycles when you're driving around. That way, you'll have a good chance of always seeing motorcycles when you start driving on your own."

I was able to talk to a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer at my local bike shop late last year, and I asked him if he rides on his own time. He said yes, but not as much as before due to what he sees on the job. He said in accidents where the biker wasn't 100% at fault (such as single bike accident, speeding, bad lane changes, etc.) 75% of accidents between a car and a motorcycle, the car driver always says "I didn't see the bike!" 

To me that says some bad things about about the bike rider. Do we have lights on? Are we riding so as to be seen as easily as possible? Are we riding with enough space front and back to give us 'bail out' space? Can you see the driver in their mirrors? Yes, I know, those seem to be as often ignored as turn signals on the Interstates. 

YouTube, Instagram and TikTok seem to be lacking videos of bikers riding the speed limit, following traffic laws and not auditioning as stunt riders for the next Mad Max movie. Now this isn't to say that I don't ride faster than the posted speed limit; I certainly do, and I drive faster that that in my car also. I also live where filtering at a stop is allowed and lane splitting is legal. What I don't do, and what I don't recommend, is splitting lanes when traffic is flowing well and at a double digit percentage of the surrounding traffic.

In short, we bikers have a responsibility to be cautious driver and to make ourselves as visible as possible (and I'm not talking enough reflective tape to look like a crime scene). This is as much for our own safety as it is to be good examples. 

On To More Fun Things
I am 100% a fair weather rider, and I embrace that label, so if there's the chance of rain my bike is parked. I do carry some waterproof gear with me, because here in North California the coast can be foggy and damp even in summer, let along the random rain in the Sierras. What I pack are Frogg Toggs Men's Ultra-Lite2 Waterproof Breathable Rain Suit.

From the Amazon ad:
  • WATERPROOF – Made with frogg toggs breathable, non-woven fabric that is waterproof, wind resistant and extremely lightweight. Perfect for light use when reliable waterproof protection is necessary. ASTM F1695 protection and blood penetration rated 
  • RAIN SUIT – Jacket and Pant included. The unique Polypropylene material provides an excellent, affordable, and reliable rain wear option 
  • FEATURES – Jacket features and adjustable hood with cord locks, full front zipper with storm flap and elastic cuffs. Pant features and elastic waist, straight leg design and stuff sack that fit s both pant and jacket 
  • USES – The Ultra Lite2 Rainsuit compresses easily and is perfect for backpackers, stadium seats, sports sidelines, golf bags, emergency kits or anywhere a lightweight rain suit is needed. The Ultra Lite is not designed for rugged use, wandering through brambles or areas where sharp objects could tear. For these uses we recommend you look at other frogg toggs Rain Suits for rugged use 
  • SINCE 1996 - frogg toggs has endeavored to provide the world’s best rainwear, waders, cooling products, footwear and accessories at the best possible prices

I like this rain suit not only for how it's made, but also how it's packaged. Previously I had a generic, inexpensive rain jacket that came in a plastic envelope that I kept in my saddle bags all the time. That was a mistake, as rubbing around unsecured wore a hole in the package as well as the jacket. Frogg Toggs come in a very heavy plastic/vinyl package, and I'm not sure that I want to try them on since the set is folded up so nicely and I don't think I could get them back into the package! I do know they will fit, though, as a friend has a set and he is the same build as myself.

Safety Equipment
In my last post, I mentioned the first aid gear that I carry in my car and on my bike, the Adventure Medical Kits Trauma Pak First Aid Kit with QuikClot Sponge and the bigger North American Rescue Mini First Aid KitTo keep them together and easy to grab I've hooked them together with a small zip tie.

The zip tie is barely visible.

I'm still working on how to secure everything in the saddle bags to prevent wear and tear, so as the weather gets better I'll hopefully work out a decent answer!

Recap and Takeaway
  • The only thing I haven't reviewed previously are the Frogg Toggs, and the folks who own them all swear by the quality at that price point.
  • Adventure Medical Kits and N.A.R. Kits are items I can't recommend any higher. You can certainly get better, more detailed kits, but you will be spending more that what you see here.
    • One Adventure Medical Kit was also purchased from Amazon for $25.97 with Prime.
    • One North American Rescue Kit was purchased directly from N.A.R. for $108.69, and I believe the price has gone up from when I bought my last one.
Stay safe on the road, everyone, and keep your heads on a swivel.
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NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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