no politics...just ridin'

Safety Initiative

I am getting a little bit annoyed at some of the responses I have been seeing on a couple of the forums I frequent regarding an initiative that the Queensland Govenment has taken in an effort to reduce the ever increasing two wheeled carnage on our roads. Everyone is so quick to pick holes in some of the information used. I am of the opinion that if any kind of initiative can make poeple at least think about how they ride, then it has done its job. It all stems from the mailout pictured below...

A lot of people have been very quick to question/criticise the statistics used, picking holes in the numbers as if it is a personal insult, but really, do they matter that much?? At least they are trying something - there is no quick fix for a lot of the carnage. Sure, the way in which we can obtain a license may not be right, but it aint gonna be fixed overnight. We all take some kind of risk when riding, and for some of us it may be the last thing we do - all they are trying to do is make us think a bit before doing something that could put our lives in serious jeopardy.

I think that we all need to ask ourselves what we are doing to preserve ourselves out on the road. Are our skills the best they could be? Mine aren't and I bet yours aren't either - there is always room for improvement. Just think about it - no one likes reading about a biker going down, and I believe that this is all they are trying to make us do. After all, we are resposible for our actions, so, think before you do whilst out on the road...and ride safe.

Check out the Motorcycle Safety website that also forms a part of the initiative launched by Queensland Transport and let me know your thoughts.


Icon Pursuit Gloves

Whilst home I was able to finally use the pair of Icon Pursuit Gloves that I purchased a while ago. Let me say that I found these gloves to be brilliant - they are thin enough to allow good flexibility, perforated and provide plenty of airflow. When I first put them on they were a little tight, but they did loosen a bit over the week I used them. They are short gloves with some flexible armour over the knuckle area and some extra padding on the palm - I know they wouldn't protect my hands as well as my thicker winter gloves, but those gloves are just too hot to wear in summer and I had resorted to wearing my old fingerless leather gloves offering little protection when it was too warm.

These Icon gloves offer a lot more protection than those whilst still allowing plenty of air through via the perforations on the back and on the palm of my hand - perfect for the hot, humid summers here in sunny Queensland. They really do fit like a glove, are supple and obviously very comfortable. A couple of other points....the finger tips are thin enough to allow me to fit and remove my helmet whilst still wearing them and a really good idea, they have clips to keep them together when not in use.

They come in a few colour variations (my first pair I ordered were the tan colour) and also come in a Stealth variation that has no perforations, perfect for the cooler months. I paid just under $50 for the pair from a store on eBay and was so impressed by them that I have just ordered a blue pair for Kat to match her jacket and a second pair for myself, the black non-perforated version.

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Tumbulgum Via Tomewin

After 6 weeks of no riding I got my first and only decent ride in on Sunday whilst I was home and man, it felt soooo good. Started off at about 8:30 - it was a bit nipply, only about 8 degrees, but clear blue skies. I headed south to Exit 31 on the M1 to meet up with Grizz, Panda, Grasshopper and a few others who were doing a big group ride with The Social Club - I had already decided against riding with them as I wanted some room on the road and be able to stop when and where I felt the need. Once I had said g'day to em all and joined them for the short squirt along the motorway till they left it, I dropped into Steve & Denitta's place a bit further on. Kat ws already there - she drove her car down, as I was going to leave my bike with Steve whilst away. The plan for the day was to head over the border into NSW with him on his Speedmaster, his missus on a Nightster, Dodgey on his America and of course Kat and I on the GSX.

We took off down the M1 and then left it at the Burleigh turn off heading for Currumbin Valley and crossing the border via Tomewin Road. I had not ridden any of this route before and I gotta tell you, it is magic. The climb up and then over the range is fantastic with plenty of switchbacks and not much traffic - the road is also pretty sheltered by the trees on either side making it that bit more special, however we did hit a few wet spots coz of this. Had lots of fun, and Kat enjoyed herself as well - this was the first ride she had done with me in quite a while and it was great to have her share this road with me. We stopped at Murwillumbah for an ale and then set off through the cane fields on the quiet side of the river for Tumbulgum. Some nice long straight bits on this stretch and was able to stretch the beasts legs a little. We crossed the Tweed and turned right into Tumbulgum pulling up at the pub for lunch. We ordered our lunch and then sat out the front of the pub, which is right on the river, and watched as other bikes pulled in as well watching these crazy barefooting bastards skiing up and down the river. Man it was great, and the sunshine made it that much better. Anyway, after a good feed and a couple more ales we decided to head back home the same way, taking a couple of diversions along the way to check out the Currumbin Rock Pool and the Springbrook National Park.

Not having been on the bike for so long, I did notice that I was a little more hesitant than usual - it did feel a bit funny initially, but towards the end of the day I was starting to get into the rythym again. I suppose it was a good thing that I rode with a few bikes instead of the large group the other guys were riding with. I gotta say that I really do miss it so much at the moment. I really don't know how you guys in those places with riding seasons cope through the winter.

Oh well, not too long till I am back home for good and am looking forward to that day big time.