200 Days Ago

KiddosIt was 200 days ago that we got the first digital glimpse at the tiny human taking shape in Mary. Tomorrow is the day (unless she happen to go into labor soon).

Right now we’re getting a few things tidied up and prepared. Mary’s cooking a big batch of pasta sauce for Lily. We’ve made a massive amount of laundry soap. I’ve ordered the part to fix the heater. And we’re both just antsy.

We check in to the hospital at 6:00 tomorrow to start the process of inducing labor. This baby is stubborn, a trait that runs through parents and siblings.

For everyone that is wanting to know the details … you’ll know. Trust us. I’ll post here and on Facebook (and Instagram, and all that stuff). Our phones will be off so we’ll be hard to get ahold of. Please be patient, this is a big change.

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5×5 Video of the Boys at Ward Park

This is the last weekend we’ll have with all the boys and no baby. I thought Mary could use some quiet time and took all the boys down to Ward Park.

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Found Sportster

I’m always on the lookout for interesting bikes that are actually used. This ratty Sportster is a perfect example of that.

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Archer’s Day with Mary

Due to some miscommunication about scheduling, Mary and Archer had a fun day together. Archer came to my office for a while then Mary took him to Reading Reptile, Panera, and Target to try on silly hats.

This little coincidence is giving Evan and Archer some good alone time before the new baby arrives.

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Footwear

Once a person decides to ride a motorcycle, they’ve already assumed some risk. It is more dangerous than a car or public transit. We try to mitigate that risk with safety equipment. Helmets, gloves, boots, leathers. All can help a little bit.

The talk of safety gear gets religious. On one side you have the people happy to ride hair in the wind. And on the other, the All The Gear All The Time (ATGATT) that won’t leave the house without head to toe coverage.

Having been at each extreme, and finding myself now firmly in the middle. I want to talk about footwear.

Vans Half CabsI’m no longer entrenched in the motorcycle boot camp. And here’s why. Vans. I skateboard and longboard quite a bit. I trust these shoes to grip my board, catch me when I call from ramps, and keep me covered when I fall off a longboard going 20-30 MPH. If I’m riding my motorcycle to skatespots, I’m not going to change my shoes going from one dangerous activity to another.

Chippewa LoggersThe next step is a regular work boot. Currently I’m wearing these Chippewa Loggers. These are much sturdier than Vans. Oiled leather, steel toe, more ankle coverage. These are serious boots. And they look excellent. They don’t look like a “motorcycle boot”.

Sidi Sport RainNow we’re to the purpose built motorcycle boot. These are Sidi Sport Rain boots. They are rigid, have no laces to catch on things, and one of the few items I’ve owned that are (really) waterproof. There’s a little pad for the shfter. Armor over the ankle bones. I’ve had two crashes in these boots and the only foot injury was a bruised toe.

I will always advocate boots as the best choice for a motorcycle. But sometimes you have to weigh the risk and make a choice that is more comfortable or more convenient.

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Commuting

I commute via motorbike as often as feasible. With family and bands and such this has become harder to do. This video is what my commute has been for the last 11.5 years. Starting in November I’m going to make a Part 2 that shows the commute to my new job.

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I Love the Idea of a Scrambler R

Bike EXIF is a wonderful site for “bike porn.” Wonderful photography, lots of information, and good stories about the bikes. The Tramontana Scrambler really caught my eye!

The idea of an “R” version of the Scrambler is posed at the end of this article, especially if it were even remotely close to this beautiful machine.

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Review: Texavina Saddle

Motorcycle accessories are expensive. In a twist of irony, most motorcyclists I know are very thrifty. Purchases are often poured over for weeks and we expect perfection at Wal-Mart prices. The adage of “get what you pay for” holds true most of the time, but sometimes it gets flipped. The ease of moving goods and currency through the global economy has opened up opportunities for entrepreneurs, factories, and bargain seeking customizers.

Scott has contributed this review of the Texavina saddle he recently purchased to go with his Bailey and Watkins bag. — ed

I’ve been looking for custom saddles for my Triumph Bonneville T100 for some time. In fact, I found a pretty decent used Corbin Gunfighter and Lady saddle on eBay. It was comfortable but looked like a giant loaf of bread. I needed something more streamlined to show the lines of the bike but also something that can work for riding two up. I also wanted the option of a seat that is not just the typical black, but a chocolatey brown. That’s when I realized that aftermarket seats are not only limited in design and style but way too expensive.

I did what any one of us would do. I turned to the forums. I found a bunch of other guys in my same boat on TriumphRat looking for custom saddles. One site, Texavina, was mentioned. At first glance, the shop seems to be based out of Texas, which I later found out was not entirely accurate. The shop is operated by Tex; a really nice guy out of Vietnam.

Texavina makes saddles for many makes and models, but specializes in cafe racers and vintage import bikes. They claim that they can make any design as requested. The selection of seats for my motorcycle was great. There are many different styles, colors, and stitching. Any design can be modified. All I had to do was contact Tex.

Saddle with The Parallel
Saddle with The Parallel

I selected a seat and ordered it as it came. The price was great! Just $185 for the seat and $69 for shipping. It took about three weeks for the seat to arrive, but I was notified every step of the way via email. Tex even gave me his personal cell number to contact him if I had any questions or concerns.

Upon delivery of my new saddle I couldn’t help but notice the packaging. This seat came from across the world so it was essential that the package needed to be sturdy. It was! A solid layer of foam protected the bubble-wrapped saddle from the dangers of its transoceanic voyage. After I got the seat out of the package I was very impressed. The build quality is great for the amount I paid for it. Stitching is top-notch, the metal seat pan is solid, and the vinyl seems to be good quality. Tex included a matching grab strap as well.

On Bike
On Bike

When I began the installation I noticed the hooks were bolted on backwards. This was an easy fix but it was a little annoying to have to do that. It was just a matter of unbolting and switching the hooks. No biggie. The seat installs quickly and feels fairly solid on the bike. I do think the firmness will take a few rides to get used to. It’s significantly firmer than the stock ironing board and my old Corbin. It’s the same length as the stock saddle but it feels about an inch less wide and around an inch lower. This makes backing up much easier for me as I am a short guy.

All in all, I think this was a good purchase and I recommend Texavina to anyone looking for a cheaper alternative to the big-named custom saddle companies. It looks great and follows the lines of the bike very nicely.

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