ATGATT takes the fun out of riding?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by whitetiger7654, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Capt_Aubrey

    Capt_Aubrey Been here awhile

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    A few thoughts:

    1. Putting on the gear doesn't make me reckless; for me it is a tangible reminder of the risks involved and starts the process of getting in the right mindset before getting on the bike.

    2. I'm a serious partaker of the Aerostich kool-aid: Roadcrafter two-piece, Combat Tourer boots, Shoei full-face, Hurd Steve gloves. All of it, every time, or I don't get on the bike.

    3. Given #2 above, my only challenge is that at 6' 7", my Roadcrafter takes up a lot of room -- there isn't a top box on the planet big enough to store it in (that will fit on my KLR) so I have to either wear it or find a place to store it at my destination. This is not usually a problem (I've taken it off and stashed it in the shopping cart), but I take the cage when I think it will be more trouble than it's worth.

    In my dreams I'd like a bigger gear wardrobe -- maybe a Darien for the colder weather, the mesh Kevlar gear from Motosport (?) for the summer. But the Roadcrafter handles temperature and weather extremes pretty well, so I live with it.

    For me, the bottom line is that I'd hate to have to explain to my wife and kids, from the hospital bed, why I got all banged up because I couldn't be bothered to take 2-3 minutes to put the gear on.
    --
    Mark
    #81
  2. SQD8R

    SQD8R Eat squids and be merry

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    :scratch


    For my money a feeling of safety and security on my motorcycle adds to the fun.
    #82
  3. fritzthecat

    fritzthecat Adventurer

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    Well, there are a few issues with ATGATT for me. One the initial pre-ride suitup and then the actual ride.

    If I want a burger I can grab the carkeys, my jacket and I'm gone. If I take the bike I have to change into long pants, put on boots, helmet and gloves. Then uncover the bike and unlock the chain. Warm up the motor. Than unsuit all the gear once I'm back. That is a lot of hassle for a 10 minute run to BK.

    During the ride I often wonder how the ride would b without all the gear. I mean it's a nice day, wind is blowing in my face, birds singing etc and here I am in my tall leather boots, armored pants, armored jacket, leather gloves and full helmet. It's like going to the beach wearing coveralls and a overcoat along with an umbrella.

    Not that I would ride without teh gear but sometimes it does take away from the 'freedom of the road' experience.

    Fritz
    #83
  4. Capt_Aubrey

    Capt_Aubrey Been here awhile

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    Yeah, the gear can be a hassle -- one that I think is worth the trouble, but a hassle nonetheless.

    On the front end, putting on the suit is (almost literally) a snap. The Roadcrafter goes on very quickly. Worse are the boots -- wrestling the pant leg over them is almost enough to make me take the cage. Whining, for sure. Dress pants with a straight leg do fine, but the Wrangler 13MWZ's, with their cowboy boot tapered leg, need silicone -- or something -- to get them over the boot. And I have skinny calves. May need to start buying Carhartt or other jeans with a wider, boot-cut leg.

    Sometimes I'll wimp out and take the cage because I don't want to deal with the suit at the destination. But if I challenge myself a bit and just go, I find that most often some accommodation can be made. I've gone to business lunches at nice restaurants, and the host/ess will find a place to stash the suit while I eat. Hospital nurses offer to keep the suit at the nursing station (probably so the dirty suit doesn't go into the patient's room). Other offices (doctor, professional, etc.) usually have a nice receptionist that will find a temporary home for it. Eight times out of ten I don't even have to ask. For the other two, a polite request is usually met with a favorable response.

    The only challenge is running errands and shopping. I now just take the suit off and stash it in the cart for the duration. This has had the unintended consequence -- and benefit -- of changing my shopping choices. Rather than take the suit off at Home Depot, I just wear it into the local Ace Hardware -- where several employees are always ready to help me find what I need right away, get it, and get out the door in a hurry. Same thing for the quick food runs.

    The last hurdle is government offices. Standing in line at the post office with the suit on is a bit of a drag, so I take it off, park in a corner somewhere where I can keep an eye on it, and go about my business. No complaints so far. Same thing at the public library. Other government offices are less accomodating, so I just wear it. The good news is that I don't have to visit them very often.

    It's possible to have some fun with this. Two Saturday's a month, more or less, the local Harley dealer has free food for lunch -- hot dogs, burgers, etc. If I'm in the neighborhood and hungry, I'll stop by -- in my flaming hi-viz yellow Roadcrafter on my KLR. The looks and reaction I get from their normal clientele are truly priceless.

    The only problem I haven't been able to solve is how to deal with the suit if I want to park the bike at, for example, a trailhead where I want to hike. Given what I spent on the suit -- it's a semi-custom job -- I'd like to secure it and cover it somehow. Still working on that one.

    I think the hassle factor, if there really is one, is largely in my head.
    --
    Mark
    #84
  5. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    The gear up process is part of the fun for me. Gearing up for me includes all protective gear and even ear plugs every time I climb on the bike.

    On my M-F commute days I gear up some days 5 different times. Going to work, going to the gym from work at lunch, going back to work from the gym, going to teach at night and going home from teaching.

    Taking a car because I don’t have to gear up is not part of the equation.

    I take my time, and enjoy and process:freaky
    #85
  6. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    I like wearing all the gear.....putting it on is almost like a mental preparation for the ride. Plus I enjoy all the stupid questions I get asked by people who are riding in a T shirt, shorts, and sandals. I usually ask them what kind of flowers they like so when they are in the hospital recovering from head to toe road rash I can stop by and say na na na na
    #86
  7. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    +1 on that
    #87
  8. outpostbabu

    outpostbabu Been here awhile

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    Now if you're not interested in the whole getup with expensive helmet, jacket, gloves, riding pants, and boots you're not without your options:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28539595/

    KANO, Nigeria - Police in Nigeria have arrested scores of motorcycle taxi riders with dried fruit shells, pots or pieces of rubber tire tied to their heads with string to avoid a new law requiring them to wear helmets.

    Me, I'll stick to ATGATT because the short time it takes to put it on can protect you from a really long time in a hospital, or worse, a coffin.
    #88
  9. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    My GF is an ICU nurse. One of her patients had a turkey fly out and hit him in the face/chest. He spent several WEEKS in the ICU. Broke most of the bones in his face. Then he crashed too! Talk about adding insult to injury!

    No thanks! :nono

    MOTGATT for me. I'll delete riding pants for Draggin Jeans or Arborwear pants if I'm out runnin errands on the GS-Adv. Runnin errands on the bike is mo bettah than driving the F250 around! More fun AND better gas mileage to boot.

    M
    #89
  10. RI2CA

    RI2CA Deer John

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    In my younger years I remember doing 110mph without a helmet and slowing down only because my cheeks were flapping so hard. It was fun.

    This past June I wiped out and kissed the freeway at 75mph. Fortunately I was wearing ATG at the time. It was NOT fun. Now that I'm riding again, suiting up doesn't feel like much of a burden!
    #90
  11. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    I took a diving owl to the chest at 55 or 60. I don't know how fast those things dive or what the closing speed might have been, but it went through my gear and put a hole in my chest. The worst part was that it knocked me right off the back and I hit the asphalt going that fast. Fortunately I was wearing a nice one peice snowmobile suit (don't laugh it was like 1979 and we didn't have many gear options) that cushioned the blow and did not burn through. So no damage to my body other than some bruises and a beak hole right over my heart that required a trip to the ER.

    That was maybe two years after I started riding and exactly the moment when I first got serious about wearing riding gear.
    #91
  12. SheRidesABeemer

    SheRidesABeemer Go Big or Go Home.

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    The PIA factor is why I don't take the bike to work.

    Some of you can get geared up in 5 minutes? Good for you, I can't.

    Here is my commute via car:
    Get dressed for work, put on coat, grab gym bag, lunch and purse, get in car, drive 7 minutes to work, park in parking lot, grab purse, lunch and gym bag, head into work. Put down bags, take off coat, sit in chair for 8 hours...Elapsed time 12 minutes.

    Here is my commute via bike:
    Put work appropriate shirt on, put on riding pants and tall socks for riding boots. Pack pants, socks and shoes for work. Grab gym bag, lunch, purse and clothes, head to garage. Attempt to put everything into the hard bags of bike. Put riding boots on. Put on electric jacket and wind triange. Wonder where my badge is for work. Go back up stairs to retrieve car keys, head to car to retrieve badge. Put on riding coat, zip up two layer zipper. Remember that I haven't pulled out the cord for Gerbing jacket. Unzip outter coat, retrieve power cord. Ponder usefulness of electrics as I begin to sweat. Put on helmet. Take off helmet. Put in ear plugs. Put on helmet. Open garage door. Search for just the right pair of gloves for weather. Notice the wrong face shield is on helmet. Take off helmet, change face shield. Put on helmet. Pull SO's big honking bike out of garage, pull my own bike out of garage, start up big honking bike and drive back into garage.
    Enjoy new garage door opener, close garage door. See that lights are still on. Open garage door, shut off light, close door. Sit on bike, search for electric power end, plug in. Watch glove fall off other side of bike. Undo electric plug, put bike on side stand, retrieve glove, replug jacket. Take calming breathes. Click on heated jacket, put on gloves, put down face shield. Wonder were sunglasses are....screw it, I'll squint. Back away from garage, ride 7 minutes to work. Elapsed time so far 23 minutes. Find motorcycle only parking in garage, back in carefully. Take off helmet, set on tank. Open both hard cases to retrieve, work clothes, gym bag, lunch and purse. Attempt to carry all this crap into work. Answer stupid observer questions related to the weather and riding to work. Drop off bags at office, continue on to ladies locker room to change. Remove jacket, boots, socks and riding pants, stuff into two tiny lockers. Put on work clothes, roll eyes in disgust over wrinkles. Put on socks and shoes. Head to mirror. Attempt to brush hair into something appropriate for the office. Head back to office, sit in chair for 8 hours. Elapsed time 35 minutes.
    #92
  13. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    I have the advantage of being male and being a land surveyor in an engineering office. All my nicely dressed cubicle dwelling coworkers are used to seeing me show up in boots wearing wrinkled clothes and carrying a pile of winter gear while sporting a ridiculous hat-head hairdo. In addition to looking rather scruffy, I find that having the surly demeanor of one used to field work in DC's less than affluent neighborhoods pretty much stifles any unwanted commentary on how I look. Image is everything.
    #93
  14. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    I feel your pain. For me there is only about a 5 minute difference.

    In you case (if you are reporting accurately) it is 23 minutes.:huh

    Even then IMNSHO I would ride.

    To arrive at work with a smile at the cost of 23 minutes IS WELL WORTH THE SACRIFICE. :ricky
    #94
  15. 650VTwin

    650VTwin Been here awhile

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    For me, getting geared up is an enjoyable part of the riding experience. Being prepared is satisfying.
    #95
  16. majlee_vmi

    majlee_vmi Tidewater 41009

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    New lurker here, but enjoying reading the ATGATT discussion. To be honest, the title caught my eye - wanted to figure the acronym out. I used to be an ATGSOT until I came to Germany. A coworker was forced off the side of the autobahn by a drifting station wagon - it's always a station wagon in the left lane doing 160KpH here - seeing the difference his gear made compared to the complete totaling of his Bimmer Sport Tourer was enough to convince me - I'll take the extra time as a fair trade.
    #96
  17. Capt_Aubrey

    Capt_Aubrey Been here awhile

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    If convenience is the critical variable, the cage wins going away. Not even a contest.

    SheRides: any chance you could store clothes at the office? Not knowing how dressy your office is, and recognizing the simple fact that this is harder for women than men -- I knew a woman who rode to work, and she worked in a relatively formal environment. She had to look professional. She solved the problem by turning a vertical metal storage cabinet (same color and finish as a metal file cabinet, but has two vertical doors with shelves inside) into an armoire -- took out enough top shelves so she could hang clothes from the top, and store shoes and folded clothes on two shelves on the bottom. She standardized her work wardrobe around two high quality lightweight wool pantsuits in dark colors (black and navy, I think), two or three pairs of shoes, and three or four shirts. Grooming tools and supplies were in a bag slightly larger than a man's shaving kit.

    The only clothes she took every day were one clean shirt, to replace the one she brought home the night before. When she arrived, she'd shed her gear into the cabinet, grab the suit, shirt, and grooming bag, and change. Coming back, she'd store her riding clothes and put on her dressy shoes. Ten minutes.

    I'm guessing you can fill in the other details; I'm working from memory here.

    She did say that an unexpected benefit was that she spent less on clothes, both time and money. The decision as to what to wear every morning was largely made, and after a week or two she never worried about wearing much the same thing every day. She always looked professional, and after the first few days, nobody noticed.

    Maybe this, or something similar, might work for you.
    --
    Mark
    #97
  18. 3power

    3power Cafe'er

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    lol . . so from what I gather from this thread - it's not only ATGATT, ATGATTAYLI. (All the Gear, All the time - AND YOU'LL LIKE IT!). Honestly folks, we ALL know gear is used for a reason and not one person has posted differently. But, I can't rightly believe that anyone walks outside to their bike in 95 degree weather and says THANK GOD I GET TO WEAR GEAR TODAY! lol.
    #98
  19. tuffgong

    tuffgong Bon Pilote

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    I think the short distance is the main factor in the equation. I might very well find such preparation pointless as well. Having said that, there are alternatives to your present routine/method. Stashing clothes/shoes, different overpants,boots etc. Can't imagne needing the vest and related cold gear for such a short trip,regardless of the outside temp.
    #99
  20. nvdlboy

    nvdlboy Long timer

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    I'm in the short commute (12 minutes) camp, plus I have to haul my computer back and forth. Living in a townhouse with no carport/garage means that I have to load my Givi trunk with computer, lunch goes in the tank bag, take the cover off my bike, unlock it, stash cover/lock+cable in the house (or my car if it's close by), move my wife's car, pull the bike out, put wife's car back (I would've been at work already if I drove the car) and head out. Regardless of the additional time, I love riding to work, so I do it unless I'm running between buildings to multiple meetings... generally 2 or 3 days a week in the summer.