It happens to all of us. You are looking for that one particular pair of gloves/helmet/riding suit/boots/ear plugs/you name it-can’t find it and it results in the complete cleaning of your closet/tankbag/luggage/storage boxes/wherever it is that you might keep this stuff. Do you actually end up finding what you were originally looking for or, like any dog that barks ‘SQUIRREL!’, do you reminisce over the pieces that you have found and what great times and trips you took with them.
We had folks over one night, and we were kicking some tires and telling tall tales. Brian was recounting the time I ‘took a spill’ in the mountains of Romania when I commented that I didn’t think I hit my head. His eyes got wide, he shook his head and disappeared for a couple of minutes. When he came back, he was holding the face shield from the helmet I was wearing when I did my tumble. Well, looky there, that was one scratched up piece of plastic. Why was it still hanging around? For an occasion just like this.
We recently had the floors sanded in our home and, in order to get to the gear closet, the doors had to come off and everything had to come out. What a perfect time to cull those pieces that hang there ‘just because.’ Somehow, the bag that went to Good Will was not as full as I had hoped, but I surely had a good time trying on the jackets and pants to see that they still fit and ‘how in the world would I get rid of this…’ was muttered a bit.
At the same time, we realized that there was much dust and cat toys collecting where the boots reside. Brian came up with a brilliant solution and put in some skinny shelved running up the end of the closet, just deep enough to hold those boots. Not only can Spenser T. Cat now find his favorite mouse toy when it slides into the closet, I did get rid of a few pair of boots that had suffered some damage at one time or another or had just become non-waterproof over their life span.
In a similar situation, when we totally got rid of some closet doors and turned the room into Brian’s Music Den, we had to figure out what to do with all the riding gear that was in that space. ‘So, when are you going to wear your old leather jacket that might be just a tad snug or your full-leathers that might require a bit of grease to get on?’ ‘Shira’, I say to myself, ‘the days of a size 8 are long behind you and that leather jacket marked ‘Large’ is a total mislabeling.’ Between the two of us, most of the gear was relocated to the garage, where a nice clothing rack now holds most of the stuff that will never be worn again, but just can be discarded.
Many years ago, Jessica Prokup, a prominent woman in the motorcycle industry for quite some time, opened a gear exchange/consignment shop in Long Beach, California. I was thrilled for, even though it cost a bit in shipping, I knew that the clothing I had either grown tired of or outgrew would go to a rider who would find it useful and wear it until its demise. Yellow Devil Gear Exchange did a strong business for a while but has gone the way of many things in the motorcycle industry. I always thought it was a terrific idea, as many riders have gear that is perfectly good or gently worn which they no longer are using and would make a great addition to a new rider’s wardrobe.
Lastly, and I do believe that I have addressed this before, I am a glove-aholic. When we visited the Glove Museum in Dorloo, NY, I was in my glory. Whenever I am in a shop with any sort of selection of gloves, I am obsessed with finding just the right fit of any season glove. Having a small hand and short fingers (thus the difficulty playing piano), it is quite a chore to do this. I often keep at least three pair of various weight gloves with me on the bike, and I have a container full of all the rest. When my Held Air n Dry gloves started to fray and split, I was in a panic, as they are very hard to find in my size and have served me tremendously for many years. I did find a half replacement at Morton’s BMW in a pair of BMW Airflow – great for summer but not quite right for the rain/cold portion. I am a very utilitarian gear user, thus my love of the Aerostich (no need to stop when it rains), and the same reason I liked the Held gloves so much.
The next time you are in search of ‘whatever’, spend a moment to take stock of exactly what is in your closet. It could be a blessing or a curse…
Publisher Rathjen weighs in on different things pertaining to motorcycling. Sometimes a bit hard to the point and slightly abrasive, his Free Wheelin’ column is not afraid to make a stand on issues that he feels are of importance to riders and riding.
Backroads’ fairer (and some say faster) half, Shira Kamil, has an interesting perspective on the day-to-day things riders run into which is both extremely well written and informative.
Having piloted a motorcycle for many years, Mark has many thoughts floating in his helmet and he's ready to share them with us. Sometimes cerebral, often technical but always enjoyable.
Backroads brings you around the region, the U.S. and internationally with travel stories that will inspire your own adventures.
Whether it's a new product for your motorcycle, some great gear or the latest in model releases, we'll give you all the information you need to make an educated buying decision.
Backroads will help you plan your calendar and keep you up-to-date with the latest events, rallies and other motorcycle gatherings around the area.
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