Sunday, May 21, 2017

Finally, 1st Ride this Season

Saturday, 20 May, I went for a short ride - the first of the season, the latest first ride since 2000!

The Day

was a cool 10.5 C, clear blue sky, bright sunlight. The route was up to the GO Transit station for some slow speed turns and basic re-familiarity with the bike, followed by a west then east pass along Sideroad 15. I have previously posted video of that route. It has great twisties, which I rode in a conservative fashion, mindful of quite a long time since my last ride.

The Suit

My basic clothing was a long sleeved Dri-Fit T shirt and standard walking shorts. 

The Motorport jean pants are not designed to be overpants the way my Aerostich pants are. The liner was secured at the ankles by sturdy loops and straps and snaps. The liner also has elastic at the ankle while the pant legs have long zippers to make it easier to put on boots, which have a high back. I say easier because it's all a tight fit and a bit tricky. Practice should make this a bit easier. Probably a bit more difficult than the Stich, but still OK. The liner zips to the jacket at the waist. 

The jacket liner was similarly installed. Putting it on, I felt it was a bit bulky, similar to the Stitch. It was to become better fitting during the ride as the armor shaped itself to my body, as claimed, and I did find the fit at the shoulders was considerably more comfortable than the Stich ever was. I did not fit my electric liner as I just did not want the extra complication on the first ride.

Suit Impressions

The temperature was lower than I would normally ride it and I expected the mesh suit to be fairly cold. With the liners, it was indeed cool but not cold and shiver inducing. Quite comfortable. 

The mesh pants are well protected by the RT's lower fairing and the liners are indeed windproof. 

The mesh jacket (it does not look like mesh at all, but may be better described as micro perforated. You would not look at it and say it was a mesh jacket, for instance). 

While riding at about 80 kmph, I could tell air was passing through the jacket and not the liner. But, the air exiting out the rear of the jacket did cool the liner and I could feel that on my lower back. Not intrusive and it would have been fine on a longer ride even in the cool temperature. The liners are said to be quite breathable and I did not feel I was perspiring as I would with a "plastic" liner. 

The arm length was perfect, as it should have been given the multiple measurements Motoport requires on ordering. Same with jacket length at the back, also a custom fit.

Overall, I am very pleased. It was a short ride, solo and slow, but all in all a nice ride. Alas, family duties next week are going to make it unlikely to do much riding in the next five days. Miserable cold rain today might yield to to better weather in a few days and I may be able to sneak in more riding. Maybe. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Motoport Suit Photos

I was able to take a few photos of the new suit:

Arms too short for a good selfie!

Front View

A view of the snap strap and the loop that holds lthe liner in place.

A view of the jacket liner and flap that makes the zipper waterproof.

Back of jacket showing the elastic 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Motoport Suit Has arrived - First Impressions

Back in 2012, I bought an Aerostitch suit and have worn it for two trips to the West coast and one the the East coast from the Toronto area. I bought it because it was waterproof and did not need liners. It has been great, but feels a bit like a suit one would wear on a snowmobile. It fits over jeans but is not too bulky otherwise.

I came home from a trip to Ottawa to find the Motoport suit had arrived. The neighbors had kindly took delivery. No duties and taxes - I am told a letter will arrive! Overall, the box seems to weigh about half of the 14 pound weight of the Stich, including a pair of jeans I sent down for sizing. That is very welcome.

It's mid May and I am yet to ride.

So, I am sitting here in the Man Cave, watching the 65 inch TV with the Motoport jeans on. Liners installed. So, this is equivalent to the Stich, fully wind and rain proof. Without the liner, the Motorport suit is a mesh suit. Does not seem to be mesh like my ancient Joe Rocket mesh jacket, it is a textile product advertised as superior to leather.I believe it! The armor has seemed to mold to my legs as advertised, I am yet to ride with this suit.

The liner has two loops and snap closures at the bottom of each leg which fit into loops in the bottom of the outer garment. At the waist, the liner and outer garment zip together.. So, this makes this configuration of the suit like the Stich. Without a pair of jeans under the suit, it is less bulky.

Sitting down

Well, we need to, sometimes.

The outer suit has a zipper fly, as normal. The liner has a similar zipper. It is hidden behind a velco flap that ensure water proof closure. When both are released, the pants can be lowered. Since the knee armour extends from knee to ankle, getting clear of the seat is just possible. 

And, zipping up takes a while.


Really, the jeans plus liner would be comfortable, as advertised, in cool weather, to walk around with all day. Instead of underwear, I plan to use cycle shorts or equivalent so I can take off the pants and remove the liner if I need to. Overall, I feel this combo is a bit more comfortable than the Stitch.

Remember, this is a mesh suit, so without the liner, it will not be windproof as the stitch was. I will report on this difference later.

Jacket Liner

The jacket liner zips in like the pants liner.  If you put it on and add the jacket it is easy to zip the left side to the jacket and then zip the right side. There are snap straps in both arms to attach to the bottom of the arms. Another at the back of the neck and two at the waist of the jacket. With these all fastened, the jacket and liner are integrated. Does take a bit of time, especially the first time.

This is a well thought out system.

I think the weather is still cool enough to support riding with both liners in place. Advertised as comfortable up to 80F which is in the future.

The weather tomorrow is forecasted to be good riding so I am looking forward to a nice ride.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rehabilitation Proceeding to Springtime

It's past due for an update post. In short, all is going well.

After a nice "take it easy" period, I started a formal rehab program. Basically a lot of walking, some gym machine workouts, trying to improve diet (with Dianne's help, of course).

I'm up to a 2 mile walk pretty near every day. And, there is a time limit of about 35 minutes. I've always been a slow walker. It has to do with narrow hips and rather tight leg muscles. I've been trying to walk faster, with longer strides and it seems to be working.

The city replaced our old community centre with a small gym with a much larger one with a quite respectable gym well equipped with a walking track and top drawer machines. Membership comes with an initial exercise program that I try to do on alternate visits. Still, the track is what gets the most use. Since the weather is still cold at -3 C these days, an indoor walking track is really appreciated.

With all this, I'm down about 12 pounds and a bit slimmer as a result. Almost time to order my new riding suit  Planning my route actively now to attend the BMW MOA rally in Salt Lake City in July. Then, off to Vancouver Island and back home across Canada. It should be a fine summer.

The highlight of the trip west will be the ride through Colorado and Utah. In plotting my route, I was surprised to see the ride through Colorado might be only about 8 hours or so. I will certainly be prepared to take an extra day if I fall in love with a spot in the mountains.

On the home front, Spring comes next week and I am sure there will be outside stuff that needs doing. Nothing like the hard work of last year where all the deck boards needed replacement. Really glad I got all that done then as I am prohibited from doing that punishing work this year.

More to come as the planning proceeds.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

An Early Titanium Christmas

Last Friday morning, I went out to the garage to fetch the Christmas Tree that I promised Dianne I would set up. I carried the big bag with the tree in it up the outside stairs and into the Family Room. It seemed a bit heavy, and I was out of breath, a bit. It has three pieces and went together easily. All the lights lit up when plugged in. I felt tired and lied on the couch.

After about 20 minutes, I thought I was not recovering as fast as I normally do, so I asked Dianne to take me to Credit Valley Hospital. It was noon when we got there and Emergency was totally empty. A doctor took an ECG and I was whisked inside into a bed. Blood was drawn. Another ECG. A doctor said all was looking fine, but the blood was being analyzed. After about 45 minutes, she said instead of sending me home, I was going to see the Cardiologist. Enzymes produced when the heart is distressed were found. Nice fellow decided I needed multiple injections and a Nitro patch. I was told everything that was happening. Suddenly, my blood pressure dropped fast. Sure knew it too!

So, off by ambulance with two nurses and the crew. Down to the Trillium facility and new room.

Around 10pm, off to the Cardio Lab. Dye injected in right wrist. That showed the Right Coronary Artery was "100% blocked". So, a balloon opened it up and a Titanium stent now holds it open. Back to the room. Slept. At about 3AM, I woke. I felt better than I had in a long time. Funny how a restored blood supply can do that.

On Saturday, in the early afternoon, the Circumflex artery (only 80% blocked) also got a stent. Back to the room, More sleep. Not as dramatic a change this time. But I was perfectly satisfied.

Sunday saw me transported back to the first hospital. The driver actually got lost and we took the long route. Nice room, great staff, bland but ok food. Rest and getting medication sorted out took until Tuesday morning. Dianne drove me home. I had an upset tummy and that was not pleasant, but eventually passed.

It's Thursday night, I'm doing nothing but resting and watching TV. But, I am feeling quite well.

The whole thing was very non-painful. There might be a small scar on the heart. There is also a chance of a complete recovery.

In about a month I will receive an invitation to attend a recovery program with supervised exercise, dietitian's advice, and other services. I intend to take full advantage of the program.

For those who don't live in Canada, I should mention that at no time was any money involved. No cash, no credit card, no bill at all.

So, I am continuing to make plans to ride to the MOA rally in Salt Lake City next July. Will likely be in pretty good shape by then if I follow the program, which I intend to do.

Friday, November 18, 2016

New Subaru - Love it!

Two weeks ago today, I picked up my new 2017 Outback 2.5i Limited. It was flawless on delivery.

Have only 500 km on it so far, mostly just puttering around Mississauga with a couple of trips to Vaughn to visit daughter and granddaughter. No issues.

The Weathertec floor mats were expensive but took only a few seconds to install. They claim a 3D laser is used to measure the floor and area. By golly, the fit is perfect! Should do very well.

So far, getting about 9.8 l/100km. Still breaking in and am expecting better. Somewhat better anyhow. Since I drive so few km per year, I am not that fussy about saving money on fuel.

Have spent a lot of time figuring out the sound system. Now have 15 GB of my digitized CDs on a stick and the sound system does a fine job.

The Nav system is a bit of a disappointment. With my Garmin units on the bike and in Dianne's car, it is easy to find the nearest Tim Horton's or various other venues. Subaru does not use Garmin. Don't really know who they use, but the search is basically useless. No icons showing businesses along the route on the standard display, can search for a small subset but that is distracting and best done at a stop. At least the display is nice and large at 7". Street name lables are a bit difficult to associate with their streets. Worse, seems that the Google habit of labeling major streets with numbers rather than names inside cities has been adopted. I like to see Yonge St and not a badge with "11" in it. Traffic is via SiriusXM for some indefinite time. When the free service stops, no more traffic info. SiriusXM is unlikely to ever see a penny from me, unless one subscription would apply to my car and my bike too. Still, I am a fan of  using GPS/

The adaptive cruise is great. Does not see red lights if no cars are in front of course. And, if cars are stopped at that light already, but I am bearing down on them, I need to treat that as in the red light sense or risk providing unwanted body work to the car last in line. And mine too.

High beam assist took a while to verify that it works. Driving on the Stouffville Sideroad a couple of nights ago showed that it works and works quite well.

Late November is often Fog Practice weather here in Southern Ontario. So, I should be able to test the fog lights soon.

All in all, very quiet, peppy, superb handling... . When the winter weather arrives, I may need to tell you more about the AWD and winter tires, but until then I am just going to enjoy the drive!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New Vehicle Being Built

I'm waiting to hear when my 2017 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5i will be delivered.

Dianne and I tested several Outbacks and Toyota RAV4s, and chose the Subaru for its quietness and ride quality and ... at that trim level ... luxury. We tend to keep our vehicles for more than 10 years, and the 2005 Dodge Caravan that has done so well for me all these years is wearing out.

One of the features I insisted on was Adaptive Cruise Control. Toyota is still a bit behind in their implementation which does not go down to a complete stop and resume. Sorry, not good enough in 2017. Ride and noise did not help its case. The Outback will brake to a stop, and after 3 seconds put on the brakes in Hold state. A tap on the accelerator or a Resume on the cruise control button on the wheel will resume forward motion until the selected following distance is met or the previously set speed is reached. Works great. Driving in rush hour traffic on Steeles fron Yonge to Bayview (total stop and go) impressed us both.

Heated steering wheel. seats, and who knows what else... . Have not counted all the switches on the dash, but there are plenty to shut off all the autonomous (sort of) driver assists. Not likely to use most of those switches, ever. I consider the assists as aids to safety.

I have never been a hoodlum driver, car or bike. I like to enjoy the drive and not fight to the front of the pack. "Distance is your friend" is my motto which means I never tailgate. The cruise control might actually make me a tad more aggressive. Back when she was 3, Emma asked Dianne "Nanny, why does Poppy drive so slow?" which might just be more of a comment on Nanny's driving than mine, but Emma was probably not wrong. Amazing what a 3 year old notices and it was instructive hearing her judgement.

I have downloaded several of the Owner's Manual documents covering the car itself, Nav system and Audio/Nav system. Several inches of paper, as I saw at the Dealer. At least half must have been written by lawyers, who basically say not to use any autonomous feature or safety feature (including ABS) unless conditions are perfect, including the driver. Will be interesting to see how the features work in the coming winter. And, winter weather will be coming.

Definitely am getting Winter tires on new wheels. The wheels are their own story. My Outback comes with 18 inch wheels. Steel wheels (cheap but ugly) are not available in that size. Less expensive alloy wheels are not available with 55mm offset. Independent tire shops are quite willing to provide 17 inch wheels with taller tires that are skinnier than OEM. They will quite happily provide wheels with 40mm offset. This might be ok to some folks, but not for me or my two advisors who are motorcylists and also happen to be very experienced Mechanical Engineers. So, I will be taking advantage of Subaru's decision to offer deep discounts on good alloy 18 inch wheels with 55mm offset. Putting on Bridgestone Blizzaks, and since they will be bought at the dealer, they will be stored there until needed and the OEM tires stored there for free. (Free is a fluid concept, don't you think?)

More in a week or so. Yes, photos and road test will follow.