July Lunch Rides

by on August 10, 2017
in Iowa Rides

For the past few years I haven’t ridden much. The reasons are mostly in my head, but regardless of exactly why, it’s all on me to get past the obstacles and make it happen. So this year I was determined that I was going to get back into the habit of riding, every time I could. I’m fortunate to be able to report that I rode every weekend in July.

Three of these rides were lunch rides – not a lot of miles on any one of them, but really fun days nonetheless. More on those in a moment. One of course was a Chrome Divas ride, and one was with Greg, who doesn’t own a bike but borrowed one so he could share a day with me. Those ride reports are coming up soon.

But first – lunch rides!

July 1st – Panora
This ride was Penney, Carrie and myself… we got a later-than-planned start (ahem – Penney…) but we rode from my house in West Des Moines, north and west through town up to Highway 44 in Grimes, then west on 44 into Panora. Lunch was at The Owl’s Nest on Main Street, and the ride home was along some beautiful county roads through Redfield, Adel, and Van Meter. From Panora to Adel, the P28/F59/F60 route is and has always been one of my favorites – beautifully curved roads, great rural scenery, and little in the way of traffic. But this time instead of just staying on Highway 6 from Adel into Waukee and then home, we dipped down on R16 which took us into Van Meter where we then picked up F90 into West Des Moines. I had never been on R16 before, and it is also a very pretty road with a hill/bluff on one side and lush bottomland on the other, very close to the Raccoon River.

Lunch ride July 1 | Biker Chick News

Lunch ride July 1 | Biker Chick News

Lunch ride July 1 | Biker Chick News

 

July 15th – Osceola & Carlisle
For our next lunch ride we got an earlier start, and again it was Penney, Carrie, myself, and also Penney’s friend Sharon who had just recently become a new member of our Divas chapter. The plan this time was to take a scenic ride to the south, then come back up for lunch in Carlisle just southeast of Des Moines. We traveled south down Highway 92 through Norwalk, Prole and Martensdale, jogged over to R45 which we took south through St. Marys, New Virginia and on down into Osceola.  Once there we shot over to the west side of Osceola and spent some time shopping at Chipp’s Harley Davidson. (Cutest thing in the store was this “lady mechanic” shirt in toddler sizes… they seriously need to make this thing for grown-ups!)

Pink Harley Shirt | Biker Chick News

After shopping we traveled back to the north along Highway 69 through Indianola and then northeast into Carlisle, where “Diva Emeritus” Shirley (she’s our founding Treasurer!) joined us for lunch at Cal’s. The route back into Des Moines was along the Highway 5 bypass.

Osceola & Carlisle Ride July 15 | Biker Chick News

Osceola & Carlisle Ride July 15 | Biker Chick News

Osceola & Carlisle Ride July 15 Route | Biker Chick News

 

July 29 – Luther
The last Saturday of the month was looking like it might just be Sharon and I for a lunch ride, but then Sharon ended up not feeling well. So Friday night I thought maybe I wouldn’t ride at all, but when I got up Saturday it was absolutely beautiful out so I said to heck with it, solo ride! (Waffle much? Not me…) I decided to make a return trip to BFE Vintage Motorcycles in Luther, Iowa (just north of Madrid), having noticed on Facebook that they have moved into a much bigger building adjacent to their old one, and expanded their old building so it is now a barbecue restaurant. (Also more in a future post!) Stopped in to see the new shop and awesome vintage bikes – I seem to have a crush on these late 60’s Hondas, Allstates, and others with the indented tank style – then decided to try out the BBQ, which was very good! I then traveled a couple miles farther to the west and visited the Iowa Arboretum, one of my favorite places in Iowa with over 300 acres of specimen trees, perennials, walking trails, and landscape features. My route home was back down to Madrid and then through Sheldahl, Polk City, and the Saylorville Lake area.

BFE Vintage Motorcycles, Luther Iowa | Biker Chick News

Iowa Arboretum, Madrid Iowa | Biker Chick News

Saylorville Dam, Polk City Iowa | Biker Chick News

Luther Ride Route | Biker Chick News

 

A word about scenery on these rides: ditches! I think our hot/dry weather has had an impact on the wildflower situation here – they are lasting much longer than they normally do, with roadsides filled with blooming waves of orange ditch lily, blue chicory in the hard scrabble along the shoulders, white Queen Anne’s Lace in the grassy areas, and this low-growing stuff with yellow flowers that I haven’t identified. And, on the way back from the Arboretum, there was a large beautiful ditch filled with spikey purple liatris. When it’s all in bloom at once it is absolutely gorgeous – and of course in the lowest-lying areas, the reedy cattails are a deep soft brown.

More soon on my other July rides, as well as BFE Vintage Motorcycles!

 

Kirsh Helmets goes to market

by on July 31, 2017
in Industry News

Kirsh Helmets of Schenectady, New York, is positioned to begin production and marketing of a DOT-approved, low-profile half-shell motorcycle helmet, with the conclusion of its seed round of fund-raising which brought the company more than $1 million in investments. Kirsh will be bringing to market the design and technology patented by Impact Technologies, Inc.

Kirsh Helmet Image | Biker Chick News

Kirsh Helmets combine a lightweight and low-profile design to provide strength and durability with reduced drag. The helmets routinely exceed DOT testing requirements, according to information provided to BikerChickNews. They use a patented Fluid Displacement Liner (FDL), which also works as a conductor to pull heat off the rider’s head, eliminating the need for ventilation.

Kirsh Helmet Cooling Liner | Biker Chick News

Kirsh will exhibit their product at the upcoming 77th Annual Sturgis Rally, August 4-10 in Sturgis, SD; the AIMExpo, September 21-24 in Columbus, OH; and Biketoberfest, October 19-22 in Daytona Beach, FL.

Photos courtesy Kirsh Helmets; used by permission.

 

 

Are you too old to ride a motorcycle?

by on July 27, 2017
in Commentary

Am I too old to ride? | Biker Chick News

In our 40’s, 50’s and 60’s – and not one of us is too old to learn! (Photo by Janet Stoll, aka “Seven Over”)


Am I too old to learn to ride? How old is too old?

If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, you probably aren’t worried about these questions in the slightest. (In fact, if recent industry news reports are to be believed, you aren’t even thinking about riding. What’s up with that?) But if you’re in your mid-life and contemplating riding a motorcycle, this may actually be one of the first questions you ask yourself.

My view is, that while age itself is just a number and pretty much immaterial, it is actually the bodily aging we eventually experience that you should be evaluating when you consider the question of “how old is too old.”

In my e-book, GET ON: A Guide to Riding Motorcycles for Women Who Think Too Much, this message alludes to aging:

Are you physically capable? You don’t have to be an athlete to ride a motorcycle – I am living proof of that… But you can’t be physically frail – you must have confidence that you’ll be able to raise the bike off the kickstand and maneuver it around.

This doesn’t speak to your age, per se. Rather it speaks to your physical suitability for operating and controlling a bike. So instead of thinking about your age (50? 65? 76?), think about your aging: How are your vision and hearing? Your reaction times? Your upper body strength? Your knees, hips and ankles? The steadiness of your gait? Your quick-thinking capabilities? Your general ability to quickly absorb and learn new tasks?

Of course, your physical limitations – whether or not they are related to aging – don’t necessarily preclude you from riding if you have the determination to work through them. I know of one woman who suffers from chronic fibromyalgia and rides thousands of miles a year, in spite of the discomfort it creates. Another who lost her leg in an accident and still rides with a prosthetic. When you have physical limitations, you should seek out other riders who battle the same limitations – chances are you’ll be surprised at the types of “issues” people ride with, and the ways in which they’ve managed to cope with those issues.

Another consideration is the notion of risk vs. reward. I’d be willing to bet that every person who rides answers this question for themselves, over and over again throughout their lifetime whether they are conscious of it or not. Do the rewards of riding outweigh the risks? The answer to this question can definitely change as we age. Think about the “risks of riding” in relationship to these statements:

  • I’ve just been blessed with my first grandchild! 
  • My diabetes is making my foot numb. 
  • I haven’t had the same zeal since the heart attack three years ago.
  • I’ve been riding for 25 years with no accidents – maybe that’s enough adventure.

I have a friend who is in her late 60’s. After a medical issue was discovered, her doctor told her “You can ride, but if you do anything to injure your spleen you’ll bleed to death before help can get to you.” She has been riding for more than 12 years with never so much as a bike drop. She’s not “too old to ride,” but she has re-considered the risk vs. the reward and decided she’s done with motorcycles.

Ultimately, the question of whether you’re “too old to ride” is one you’ll have to answer for yourself. But remember, there’s no magic cut-off number. Whether you are too old has far more to do with the impact of aging than with actual age.

After all, I’m pretty sure Rochelle Simms didn’t give a rip about being 91 when she took a ride last month on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbike:

 

Biker Chick News now partnering with J&P Cycles

J&P Cycles Logo | Biker Chick NewsYou may have noticed that recently I added a couple of ads to my blog over in the right-hand column – yes, for the first time in its history, this blog contains third-party advertising. Now that doesn’t mean you are going to become inundated with annoying pop-ups, slide-ins, auto-play video commercials, or anything else that interferes with your website epxerience. No, it just means that I am pleased to announce a new affiliate partnership with one my favorite biker businesses: J&P Cycles!

Hopefully if you own a bike you are already familiar with J&P, the Iowa-based mail order and online aftermarket parts retailer. (If you’re not familiar with them – holy cow, you’ve been missing out!)

The ads on my blog are an invitation and a reminder to shop with J&P for parts, accessories, apparel and gear for you and your bike. They’re also a quick way to get to the J&P website directly from the blog. (So when you’re reading about riding, and the accessory bug bites you, it’s an easy jump over to make a purchase!)

NOTE: You do not pay more at J&P for clicking on one of my links or ads, but I receive a commission from them if you click through via my site and place an order. 

Right now my partnership with J&P consists primarily of the commission program. But, in the future I’m hoping to also offer product reviews and a closer look at some of the items I have personally purchased from J&P over the years.

In addition to their flagship store in Anamosa, J&P also has year-round stores in Sturgis, SD and in Daytona Beach, FL. And, they own and operate the National Motorcycle Museum also in Anamosa. You may have read right here on BCN that they were recently named the Official Motorcycle Aftermarket Retailer of the Sturgis Rally.

Below is a six-minute video about the history of this company that started at a motorcycle swap meet and grew into the world’s largest aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories store.

I’m excited to offer you easy shopping links to J&P any time you are visiting my blog, and to partner with this great Iowa-grown company!

10 things that are illegal in Sturgis despite what you’ve heard, and one that isn’t

by on July 21, 2017
in Travel Tips

This post was reviewed and has been certified accurate by the Sturgis, SD chief of police. That’s no shit! Thank you, Chief VanDewater, for your time and expertise! 

Certified True by Sturgis PD | Biker Chick News

 

You might think that the Sturgis Rally is a big ol’ free-for-all, behavior-wise, because those are the stories your friends brought back: “Chicks walk around topless, burnouts in the street… the cops look the other way ‘cuz there’s just so many people, plus the city loves the money you spend so no one’s gonna harass you.”

All of these reports can be summed up in a word:

Nope

Now sure, some people get away with things. But that doesn’t mean law enforcement isn’t trying. In fact, officials make hundreds of arrests, and write hundreds of tickets, every year during the Rally.

In the interest of keeping you out of  jail, and just in time for your upcoming ride to the 77th Annual Sturgis Rally, here are ten things you might have heard were tolerated in Sturgis – but in fact, will get you a ticket and/or arrested if you are observed by law enforcement.

Going topless or nude in public. And no, body paint is not an acceptable cover-up. Pasties and undies, at a minimum. And really, haven’t you found it’s actually better to leave something to the imagination? I know, we’ve all seen the pictures.

Grandma will be very disappointed in you

 

Leaving your bike parked at the rally overnight. It might seem better than getting a DUI, and clearly, NOT riding drunk is always better than riding drunk. DO NOT RIDE DRUNK. But also, just know that it’s going to be spendy getting your bike out of impound, and it WILL be impounded if left on the street overnight – even if you’re sleeping on it. You are an adult, figure something else out besides leaving your bike on the street and besides riding drunk.

Ignoring other Parking laws. The presence of all those bikes does not negate city parking rules. Don’t park in alleyways, in handicapped spaces, along yellow curbs, etc. Normal parking laws must be observed.

Sturgis Parking Tips

 

Peeing in the road, behind a bush, etc.  This falls into the category of illegal “deposit of filth” plus the potential for a bonus charge: “indecent exposure.” There are plenty of legal places to pee and poop – use them.

Drug and paraphernalia possession. Again, it’s not a free-for-all simply because it’s rally time. These violations will get you ticketed, or flat-out arrested.

Carrying a loaded or uncased gun without the proper permits.

Riding without protective eyewear .

Exhibition driving and aggressive driving.

Not having a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. It should really go without saying that if you’re going to ride at the largest motorcycle rally in the United States (possibly in the world), you should have the proper endorsement on your valid/UNEXPIRED license.

Picard wants you to be properly licensed

 

Also, here’s a reminder about helmet use: While South Dakota only requires helmets on riders under the age of 18, surrounding states may indeed require helmets on everyone. Know the laws for every state in which you’ll ride.

And finally, one thing that’s NOT illegal, despite what you may have heard? Ape hanger handlebars! The law limiting handlebar height was repealed in 2015.

ape hanger ban lifted in sturgis
The 77th Sturgis Rally is coming up August 4-13, 2017. Here’s to riding safe, having fun, and staying out of jail!

 

Twit-storm of tweeted tweets

by on July 18, 2017
in Commentary

It’s feast-or-famine over on Twitter for me… when I get busy, it’s the first social media platform I abandon. But I do find a lot of cool stuff there whenever I am active, and of course I have to always add my “.02” to everything I read… follow me if you like at Twitter.com/BikerChickNews!

Here’s a brief look at what I’ve been doing over there recently:

Sharing tales of epic journeys:

Tweets I tweet on Twitter | Biker Chick News

 

Providing motivational encouragement…

Tweets I tweet on Twitter | Biker Chick News

 

Rallying the troops…

Tweets I tweet on Twitter | Biker Chick News
Exploring ancient motorcycling history…

Tweets I Tweet on Twitter | Biker Chick News

Airing my dirty laundry…

Tweets I Tweet on Twitter | Biker Chick News
Helping fellow bloggers fine-tune their work…

Tweets I tweet on Twitter | Biker Chick News

 

Debating the pros and cons…

Tweets I tweet on Twitter | Biker Chick News

… and of course just generally having fun!

Tweets I Tweet on Twitter | Biker Chick News

Maybe I’ll see you over there!

 

Divas ride to Maxwell, Colo and Prairie City

by on July 14, 2017
in Iowa Rides

Women who ride | Biker Chick News
It’s been a slow start to the actual riding season for my Chrome Divas Chapter. Our June ladies’ social was not really a ride for us (though it certainly was for the Omaha and Lincoln gals who rode in to surprise us!), and our April and May chapter rides had both been cancelled due to unfriendly weather. But finally – FINALLY! – at the end of June we got to take a ride together.

Janet / Seven Over had planned a wonderful route that included all my personal favorite attributes: great roads, a great place to eat, small town points of interest and of course great friends.

We met up at Sambetti’s (once again our official chapter headquarters – THANK YOU, Paul Strome, for your continued hospitality and support!) with four riders: Kristin, Janet, Susan and myself. We met up with Penney and Rhonda a little farther up the road at Big Barn Harley Davidson.

Janet’s route took us through the Berwick area just northeast of Des Moines and up some lovely roads into the town of Maxwell at the southern edge of Story County.

Women who ride | Biker Chick News

Here in Iowa we are blessed to be the home of the original Freedom Rock – a large boulder outside of Greenfield that is painted each year in a military theme by an artist, Ray Sorensen II, who lives in that area. It’s his labor of love (and respect) and his gift to his community, and he’s been painting the rock with a new mural every year for almost 20 years. A few years ago he embarked on a project to create a painted rock in each of Iowa’s 99 counties, so our stop in Maxwell was for the purpose of seeing the Story County Freedom Rock. Maxwell has done a very nice job of creating a viewing space for the rock – it sits a block or so off Main Street, at the edge of the city park, with quite a bit of thoughtful landscaping surrounding it.

Story County Freedom Rock | Biker Chick News

We also caught a glimpse of some of Sorensen’s characters going about their daily activities in the windows of the Morris building on Main Street.

Maxwell painted characters | Biker Chick News

After a brief visit we headed out of Maxwell and north to modern Highway 30, which we crossed so we could pick up old Highway 30 – the historic Lincoln Highway.  The Lincoln Highway was the first nationwide memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, as well as the first paved transcontinental highway in the US. It served as an important cross-country route in the early days of the automobile. (Iowa today is home to the last remaining original Lincoln Highway Bridge.)

We rode a very pretty section of Old 30 into the town of Colo, which boasts one of those timeless roadside stops where surely travelers of decades past would have paused in their dusty journey to fuel up, have a bite to eat, and maybe stay the night. Reed-Niland Corner consists of a restored gas station with Red Crown pumps…

Reed-Niland Corner Gas Station | Biker Chick News

Reed-Niland Corner Gas Station | Biker Chick News

Reed-Niland Corner Gas Station | Biker Chick News
Niland’s Cafe…

Niland's Cafe | Biker Chick News

Niland's Cafe | Biker Chick News

Niland's Cafe | Biker Chick News

Niland's Cafe | Biker Chick News
and the Colo Motel with its old Art Deco-style neon sign.

Colo Motel | Biker Chick News

Colo Motel | Biker Chick News

What a great little place, situated at the junction of the Lincoln and Jefferson highways – routes that were so much busier in the days before the Interstate system. You could almost picture the Burma-Shave signs that would have entertained travelers along this route.

Reed-Niland Corner | Biker Chick News

Reed-Niland Corner | Biker Chick News

Once done with our excellent lunch, we set out to the south along Highway 65, across Highway 330 onto 117, which is a very pretty stretch leading down into Colfax.  We continued on 117 south out of Colfax and into Prairie City, where we stopped at Goldie’s for some ice cream before heading back to Des Moines along Highway 163.

Women Who Ride | Biker Chick News

All along this route we were treated to the lush green views of Iowa in late June – beautiful rural roads with a blend of executive homes neighboring modest older farmhouses, deep green corn ranging from two to eight feet tall, textured fields of soybeans, and roadsides lined with waves of orange ditch lilies and other blooming wildflowers.

Ditch Lilies | Biker Chick News

Photo saved from GenerousGardeners.com

 

This beautiful day could not have been a more perfect example of enjoying motorcycles in Iowa!

Maxwell Colo Route | Biker Chick News

 

J&P Cycles announces Sturgis rally sponsorship

by on July 14, 2017
in Industry News

J&P Cycles in Sturgis | Biker Chick News

J&P Cycles has announced a multi-year partnership with the City of Sturgis, South Dakota to be the “Official Motorcycle Aftermarket Retailer” of the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held each August.

J&P Cycles, the world’s largest aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories retailer, announced a multi-year partnership with the City of Sturgis, South Dakota to be the “Official Motorcycle Aftermarket Retailer” of the legendary Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ held each August.

The partnership extends the company’s year-round retail presence in Sturgis, which includes the J&P Cycles store on Lazelle Street and a mobile customization shop featuring dozens of aftermarket brands such as Kuryakyn, Vance & Hines, Dunlop, Mustang Seats, and others.

“Sturgis is always a pilgrimage for motorcycle riders, and we’re proud to have a year-round presence in the Black Hills,” said Zach Parham, President of MAG Retail Group and son of J&P Cycles founder John Parham. The sponsorship illustrates the company’s commitment to the city, the rally, and the half-million riders who attend each year, Parham said.

“Here in Sturgis we see riders come from all over the world to visit the J&P Cycles flagship store. They are an anchor in our community,” said Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstenson.

J&P Cycles operates retail locations in Anamosa, Iowa, Daytona Beach, Florida, and Sturgis, South Dakota. The company’s Rider Service Center is located in Daytona Beach, Florida. J&P Cycles supports motorcyclists with retail pop-up stores at over a dozen motorcycle rallies, races and events throughout the U.S. each year. The company was founded in 1979.

 

Source: J&P Cycles news release, edited by Corn Dog. 

How (and when) to improve your motorcycle riding skills

by on July 10, 2017
in Riding Tips

Improve your riding skills | Biker Chick News
There was a discussion some months ago on Twitter that centered around the notion of being a “serious rider:” Are you a serious rider? What makes one a serious rider? How can non-serious riders (deemed “occasional riders” by the group moderator) become more serious, and what can serious riders do to encourage occasional riders to become more serious?*

The group seemed to agree that a serious rider is someone who rides more than just on weekends, and makes a conscious effort to improve their riding skills. At this point it became clear to me that I am not, apparently, a serious rider.

Well here’s my truth: I’d love to feel so confident in my riding skills that I know I could think and react quickly enough when needed to prevent serious injury (or worse) to myself. But at this time, apart from whatever skill development comes from simply riding as often as I can, I rely almost exclusively on the fervent hope that I will come home from every ride in one piece, without having tested my emergency skills at all.

Realizing that the above is pretty much the “wing and a prayer” method, and although I most certainly bristled at this group’s attempt to classify people into types of riders (not to mention implying that one type of rider should strive to become the other type), I did ultimately ask myself a serious question: how might I specifically set out to improve my riding skills?

Parking lot practice, maybe? Sure I could get out there in an empty parking lot and practice my tight circles and quick stops, but this seems like little more than planning a date to dump my bike.

I think the better answer is actually classes. After all, if a sanctioned class including plenty of range time is considered the best way to learn the basics of riding, it stands to reason that it’s also the best way to learn and practice advanced skills.

With that in mind, here are some ideas for classes that are out there, available to anyone who wishes to make a conscious effort to improve their skills and therefore, become a more “serious rider.”

  • Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) – The MSF Basic RiderCourse is of course, the class that gets you your motorcycle license when you complete it successfully. But the MSF offers a wide variety of advanced classes, including the Advanced RiderCourse, the Street RiderCourse, and their Ultimate Bike Bonding Course. Their website has complete information on all of these.
  • Some Harley-Davidson dealerships also offer “new rider” and “skilled (experienced) rider” courses. You are not required to be a Harley owner to take these classes, but not every dealership offers them. Check with your local or regional dealer to see what’s offered.
  • You can also try private instruction such as that offered by Ride Like A Pro – interesting because it focuses on the techniques of slow-speed control that are taught to police teams. Indeed, any program offering “civilian motorcop training” will likely focus on slow-speed maneuvers such as cone weaves, the 180-turn box, figure 8’s, raising a downed motorcycle, and more. The course offered by Midwest Motorcycle Training also appears to be fairly comprehensive.
  • Some of the “serious riders” I’ve encountered also recommend learning the basics of dirt track riding, to give you some skills with handling less-than-perfect traction. This seems to me to be not only a good idea… but fun! (Except for the inevitable broken arm, of course.)  The Midwest Motorcycle Training course linked above seems to include this in their motorcop training, but certainly there are many other resources.
  • Another class that might be helpful, though it doesn’t improve riding skills per se, is accident scene management. This type of training, such as that offered by Road Guardians, comes with a keen level of responsibility for sure, but just think about the level of aid and comfort you would be able to offer to an injured rider if you knew how to secure a scene and keep them calm while you wait for medical help to arrive. Our local Harley dealership has offered this course numerous times.

I’m certain these are just a few of the opportunities to consciously set about improving your skills and therefore become a “serious rider” – which you should do for yourself, not because some random online chat group makes you feel inferior.

If you know of other opportunities or have other suggestions, please feel free to share by leaving a comment – just click the ‘comments’ link at the top of this article!

 

*I might simply be overly sensitive, but just a week later this same group discussed what type of gear everyone wears when riding. And they were pretty quick to jump on the gal who admitted up front that she dresses for the weather and not for the crash. Perhaps this is just not the right chat group for me.

 

 

 

My fail-safe temperature guide to choosing riding gear

by on July 7, 2017
in Travel Tips

Disclaimer – I’m not an ATGATT rider. If you are, I think that’s great because that’s what suits you, but you might get squeamish reading this post. :) 

It’s not often in the middle of an Iowa riding season that I have to stop and really think about what gear is needed for a ride. Now make no mistake: my helmet, boots and jeans are must-haves that I never ride without. But as far as leathers or other cover-ups, I’m flexible depending on the expected weather. And at this time of year, “expected weather” normally means one thing: HOT.

But sometimes, we get unseasonably cool wake-up temperatures even in the middle of summer. For one July Divas ride, it was 58 degrees when I got out of bed! In fact, we weren’t even set to break 60 before 10 a.m. that day, and the high for the day was only predicted to be around 70.

In Iowa – in July! I KNOW!!

Fortunately, I’ve developed over the years a good understanding of what makes me comfortable in different temperature ranges, and as long as I stick to my “gear guide,” I’m usually pretty happy in most anything above 50 degrees. Although I’ve pretty much internalized this at this point, it was helpful at one point to write it all down. So I don’t literally refer to my chart every time I ride, but thought I’d share it anyway in all its charty glory:

Motorcycle Gear Guide for Iowa | Biker Chick News

Still, it WAS July after all. And the thought of wearing gloves and my heavy jacket in mid-summer really had me wavering on whether to follow the Guide for the Diva’s ride. Fortunately, I’ve also devised a simple test that usually convinces me the Gear Guide is right on: if I’m in doubt, I take a quick drive in the car with my bare hand hanging out the window.

This foolproof test confirmed what I already knew: I needed my heavy jacket, gloves, and gaitor, at least in the morning. And glad I wore them – I was quite comfortable all day!

So, okay – how do YOU decide what gear to wear? Click the “Comment” link above to share your thoughts!

 

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