All posts for the month October, 2015

So, someone tell me exactly where you go to buy motorcycle boots around here.

It’s time for me to retire another pair of Dainese touring boots, and that means a replacement pair is required. Worn soles, leaky membranes, small perforations, etc. I’ve found several pair that I’d like to try on, but the trying on part is the sticking point. I can’t find a place that either carries them or bothers stocking them. Because, you know, women’s gear isn’t a deal here in the midwest. Or anywhere in the US, as far as I can tell. Which is pretty darn lame because like most women, I want to try things on before I buy them.

I contacted the local internet shop, Sport Bike Track Gear. Great website with a lot of gear on it, but when I asked about visiting the shop, Eric explained that they “don’t really have any women’s gear” in stock at the showroom.

Revzilla suggested that I check my item numbers using their stock checker tool, and I found out that they have exactly one of the five pair I am interested in at their Philly gear boutique. Again, women’s = no stock. This extra sucks because I’ll be in Philly this weekend and I would gladly head over to drop some cash on boots and winter gloves. Maybe even a heated vest. Which they also don’t stock in the boutique. For women. I’m sensing a trend.

What’s missing here is neither place offered to bring the boots in for me by appointment. Sad, because I need boots and whoever can get my feet into them is getting a sale.

CycleGear carries the brands I want, but not the actual boots. The problem there is that I want the high-end styles with GoreTex. Too spendy for the average CG customer, maybe? Regardless, it’s still a dead end, albeit a bit closer to home over near Cleveland.

The Iron Pony is hit or miss depending on what they have bought out lately. And in this case, totally miss. Too bad, I’d enjoy the ride down to Columbus.

The rest of the gear “shops” I’ve found are internet only. Super.

To pull off actually trying on the boots side-by-side, I figure that I will need to drop upwards of $1700 on my credit card to get them all delivered to my doorstep, and then I’ll have to deal with the hassle of shipping the unwanted ones back. Presuming at least one pair is actually wanted. And whoever I order them from will get socked with a bunch of shipping costs.

I suppose I could just price shop to the bitter end and order another pair of Dainese boots that I know will fit and that I will get three years out of. Or I could just put plastic bags in my existing boots for another few months until I can snag a trip back to Germany. Over there, I can simply go downtown to the motorbike corner and *gasp* go across the street if I want to try on more than three or four pair at a time.

American retailers need to get the point – women riders will gladly buy. But they have to stock the gear first. And “available online” is not the same as stocking in store. Sorry.


More than a few people have asked me about the scraps of text taped to my fauxtank on the BMW. They are straight outta Keith Code’s A Twist of the Wrist 1 & 2, and in both English and German. Because I learned to ride in Germany, I can get stuck in German sometimes while riding. If everything is going well, English suffices.

Code’s concept is that there are a few mistakes that people make while interacting with their environment (these apply to every form of transit that removes one’s feet from the surface), and by learning to recognize them, we can learn to avoid making them. Additionally, there are a few rules for controlling the motorcycle that can make these mistakes not only less disturbing to the motorcycle, but also less dangerous for the rider. I wish I had read his books early on in my automotive track career.

A pointed note on Rule 1, the most misunderstood sentence in all of motorcycling. “Cracked open” means exactly that. “Rolled on continuously” means exactly that. Not “whacked open” and “whacked open all the way”. The concept of Rule 1 centers on the fact that a very slight amount of throttle angle increase is required to bring the bike back up to speed in the turn and recover from the lean, setting up for launching out of the turn exit. This increase must be made in a manner that does not upset the suspension of the bike. Think of snap oversteer in your favorite rear-engined RWD car. This is an example of upset suspension leading to pain. If the throttle angle is increased in the appropriate manner, the suspension remains composed and the rear tyre remains in tractive contact with the tarmac. It is also good execution of Rule 1 that allows riders to break the rear end loose and maintain control, analogous to drifting one’s car.

Thems the rules. Berndt Spiegel says it’s ok to tape them to your bike, too.