Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday Ride to Triangle Lake

Sunday started out a little on the chilly and cloudy side. The temperatures were in the low 40's but it wasn't raining. Perfect weather to try out the new Tour Master Synergy Heated Jacket Liner that Troubadour bought for me on Saturday. The jacket liner has heating coils in the sleeves, front, back and even the collar.

A little back story.....

On Saturday we were at Discount Motorcycle Parts in Eugene looking at all the farkles and goodies they'd received since we last visited the shop. They had a display of this years heated jacket liners as well as leftovers from last year. Troubadour has been trying to talk me into purchasing a heated jacket liner since he bought his two years ago. I'd resisted until we noticed on Saturday that this year they changed the heat controller to a dual controller like the ones that Gerbings uses, and I've not heard good things about the reliability of Gerbings controllers. The new ones also have two knobs rather than push buttons. Hard to use with winter gloves on.

This prompted me to agree to purchase one now, as to avoid a newer one with the new controller later. I don't know if they make them in ladies sizes, but they only had men's in stock. I finally decided on the men's extra small. Not too snug of a fit and the arms were long enough - hooray.

Fast forward to Sunday.......

Troubadour hooked up the radios, made sure the plug for the jacket was out from under my seat and readied the bikes. Next came suiting up for a chilly ride, which requires a bit more thought to the layers. What I wore included the following: Under Armor knee-high snowboard socks, peel and stick disposable heated insoles, riding boots, yoga pants, Rev'it Sand pants with rain liner and quilted liner, long sleeved t-shirt, heated jacket liner, Rev'it Siren Jacket with rain liner, Columbia polar buff for my neck and Fieldsheer Aqua sport gloves. I felt a little like a kid wearing a snow suit all bundled up and hard to move. However, when I was on the bike it was easy to maneuver and not restricting.

I did notice after 30 or so miles that the controller for the jacket liner had come loose off the velcro strap on my leg and was hanging. I had trouble cinching the velcro up tight enough. The section of hook and loops were not spaced back far enough that they could be done up any smaller. Therefore it was loose on my leg and the controller clip didn't want to stay put. As I was re-clipping it one handed while riding (not recommended) I inadvertently turned it on. Up to this point I didn't feel cold so I hadn't bothered to try it out. It wasn't until my back started to warm up that I glanced down and realized that I had turned it on to medium while re-hooking the controller. I clicked it down to low and left it on.

Wow. It was a like a hug from a warm snuggly blanket while riding. As much as I resisted purchasing a heated jacket liner I can't say that I regret it. I left it on the rest of the day. It was like the heated seats in our Subaru. Nice on a chilly day.

We headed South and stopped in Veneta for a photo op. We have a QWERTY game on our local forum - a city for each letter of the alphabet in order, and the next city needed was a V.

We stopped for petrol at a Shell station in Veneta. (Paid $3.83/gallon for regular) While Troubadour was in using the facilities I saw that Mr. Happy matched the colors of Shell and snapped a photo.

From Veneta we headed west on Highway 126 towards the coast. After V comes W so we stopped in Walton for the next picture. The same forum member cannot get two letters in a row so Max was the subject for W.

From Walton we decided to head towards the coast as far as Mapleton and turn onto Highway 36 and make a loop.

Turned right at Mapleton and headed down the back country twisties. At Triangle Lake we pulled over to use the facilities and make a spot of tea with the Jetboil. I used the time while the water was heating to take a few pictures.

I thought about taking a picture of all the leaves on the ground and opted for a boot shot. I was thinking of Bobskoot and how he likes to have pictures of feet. Sorry Bobskoot, my feet are hidden in my boots.

And one without the zoom. Any wonder it is hard to find riding pants long enough - my pants are a men's tall and they are just barely long enough. This shot is only from the knees down.

(Troubadour heating water for tea)

After warming my hands up on the cup of tea I decided to wander and take a few more pictures of the scenery.

In that last shot you will notice that while I was out on the dock taking pictures, Troubadour was sitting at the picnic table, also taking pictures. He decided not to blog about the day, but gave me permission to share his photographs. I started as the photographer, then I became the subject.

And I'll end with one of my favorite shots of the day. This is the last picture I took on Sunday before we packed up and rode straight for home. It just sums up an awesome afternoon out riding in the crisp autumn air.

- Au Revoir

"No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face." ~ John Donne


  1. Same as you, I always resisted the purchase of heated riding gear. Before moving to the US, I was using my motorcycle all-year round (in Chicago it is simply impossible to ride in the snow...), but I never liked the idea of having something plugged to the battery while I ride. I have often looked at heated jackets operated by batteries, but I was never convinced by the quality I have seen.

    But I guess it will come a point in time where I will give in, I know it.

  2. Trobairitz:

    I have a cheap (inexpensive) heated vest, not the best but for emergency use only. I haven't used it since I had my GS400s which was years ago but I carry it everywhere, just in case, but I use my heated grips often. I had to make my own simple controller which is ON or OFF only with an electrical toggle switch from Home Depot and plugs into my battery tender 2 pole SAE connector. One day I will purchase a higher quality heated vest like yours with heated arms.

    You make a good subject, hamming it up for the camera. I smile as I look at your boot shot

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. I have never felt the need for a heated jacket liner, but good for you enjoying your new gear. Plus, kudos to troubadour for getting it for you.  However, I had not heard of the heated insoles, so I will get some and give them a try. Do they work well?  Loved the last photo.

  4. @TuscanFoodie - I think in Chicago you'd have to put ski's on your motorcycle instead of tires. The store also had heated jacket liners that were powered by rechargeable batteries that fit in the left front pocket. Was a neat idea because you'd still be warm even when off the bike, BUT there were only three small squares/patches of heat. One over each breast and one in the center of the upper back. Wasn't good enough considering it was the same price.

    @Bobskoot - Glad I could make you smile. I always use my heated grips unless it is the middle of summer, and even then I've been known to use them on an early morning or later in the evening ride. I have really poor circulation so the heated grips, and now the liner will really help.

    @Gary - I didn't feel the need for a liner either, but I am glad I have it now. I get cold on the bike pretty easy since it is a naked bike. This will help extend my riding season. The heated insoles were a bonus. I picked up a package (one set of two) for $2 at Wal-Mart. They stuck to the bottom of my socks. I didn't think they would work that well but I was pleasantly surprised. My feet were warm all day and my toes only got chilly towards the end of the ride. If they had of been stuck further up towards my toes I don't think they would have been cold. I even had them on after getting home and they were almost too warm in my slippers. They didn't cool off until about 9 that night. Lasted almost 10 hours. Would definitely recommend them and will buy them again.

  5. So far, I haven't felt a need for a heated liner either though I am thinking about it just to simplify the amount of gear you would need to bring on a long trip. I still have some chemical heat pouches that I've used for winter camping and x-country ski trips. I must have good circulation since I rarely get cold and I've only turned on the heated grips to test them. (They work too well).

    I like your pictures, it looks a little like here... If you only look up.

    You may be working on "X" for a while if the town name needs to start with it.


  6. First of all I really like the second and third photos down from the one of Troubadour waiting for tea. The one of the dock you will be later standing/dancing on is very crisp.

    This is my first season for heated grips and I love them already.

  7. As much as I like to shop for new motorcycle gear, I have never actually wanted heated gear. If it is getting too cold for riding, chances are there are ice and snow on the road, and if that's the case I won't be riding at all. The West coast weather is quite mild compared to Alberta fall and winter, hence I still feel fine in my Olympia jacket with liner, a fleece shirt and a T-Shirt.

    You captured the mood of the West coast fall very well, and I like the reflective pictures in the water. The last pic is my favourite.

  8. Looks like a perfect Autumn ride and great photos for the day! Gotta love the jetboil. My thermos doesn't keep things warm enough for me. Much better to just heat things up fresh on the spot!

    Don't you love the heated jacket! It's a whole new world :) Funny the resistance to them. I was the same way and didn't have one my first two winters (or grips). Didn't want the fuss, didn't want to be wired to the bike... Now there is no turning back!

  9. @Richard - thank you. Soon all the leaves will be off the trees and it will look a bit more like Alaska, although we'll never have the mountains you do. I miss real mountains. These are more like hills. We know there is no town that starts with X so we either have to skip it or find a street or business that starts with it.

    @CircleBlue - thanks for the kind words about the photos. We have really been enjoying the Canon cameras. Aren't heated grips just the best. I just love them, they are great in combination with the hand guards too.

    @Sonja - Without some type of heated gear I couldn't ride much below 45F. I tried it last year and had to stop and warm my hands on the engine of the TU. Should have put my toes on it too. Compared to Calgary weather, Oregon is like living in the tropics. Snow was always pretty when I'd go visit my mom when she lived there. I don't know if I captured the mood of the west as well as you did your Portland photos, but thank you.

  10. @Bluekat - The jetfoil is a must for hot drinks on the ride. It is nice it packs so small and comes with it's own cup too. Resistance to heated gear is futile. I love to ride and enjoy being warm at the same time. Win win.

  11. Only people like us ( hard core riders ) would even consider having a picnic by a November in the Northwest!

    Looks like you'll be riding to coffee by yourself on Saturday, again, eh? :)

  12. As a native of Minnesota, I find this sort of thing... soft. And I love it. There was once a time where I would have shrugged such gear off, but now, anything that keeps me on the road longer, or more comfortable (safer, so long as I'm not falling asleep) is welcome. I ride too much to think about what my hardened hometown folk would have to say.

    Lots of nice picture. Looks like an absolutely gorgeous ride and wonderful fall day. I miss a real fall. *Sigh* It just got cold here, I don't feel like I had a real fall experience this year, as we jumped from nice weather to cold. And now, I dress like you, a mummy in 12 layers to keep my temp up.

    Keep riding!

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  13. @ Irondad - Is it crazy that I see nothing wrong with a picnic in November in the PNW? And yes, I'll be going to coffee solo. You working the range is like a Siren's call. It is a lure Troubadour cannot resist.

    @ Brady - I have gone soft compared to when we lived in British Columbia. Long walks in sub zero temperatures and snow were the norm. We walked around Montreal when it was -36 out. That wouldn't happen now. My former self would kick my soft butt now. Bummer you didn't get a real fall. I didn't realize with your temperature changes over there you missed it. Stay warm.

  14. Siren's call? More like call of duty.
    Manly man stuff.


  15. Trobairitz

    Wow is the only word that comes when I look at your pictures! They are breathtakingly beautiful! The best thing about motobloggers is they share their love of adventure and their trips. through their pictures. Bravo!

    I have just purchased a TourMaster ladies Transition jacket and Flex pants. I LOVE them! With the liners in I haven't been cold or wet. The jacket has lots of venting and tons of pockets! The pants are pretty amazing because you can zip out the rain liner, quilted liner and then zip off the front of the legs down to mesh for summer. The length is perfect and I am not having to roll them half way up my calf like the J.R. Ballistics I had, being short is the bain of my existence. Maybe one day I will get some heated stuff, but I am toasty warm. I have never been so happy about a jacket & pants, after my misery with the J.R. Stuff. I have learned a valuable lesson about gear, spend a little more and you will be happy, buy cheap & consider it crappy.

    What brand of boots do you own? Again I spent less and my feet are usually cold and wet if it rains, there isn't anything waterproof about them. I am desperately searching for a decent boot. Suggestions?

  16. good on getting some heated gear. I love mine. good to see someone else using a jetboil mid ride to make tea ;)

  17. @ Dar - thanks for the kind word. I too enjoy how we can follow along with other bloggers on their adventures.

    The Tourmaster items you bought sound pretty neat. It is nice to be able to zip out rain liners and quilted liners. That is the way my Rev'its are. I too learned the hard way not to buy cheap crap. Of course it takes a few of those purchases before you realize it.

    The boots that I wear are a Harley Davidson Melia boot. Here is a link to where I bought them online. They were $129 at the time.

    They are pretty true to size. I usually wear between 7.5 and an 8. I bought an 8 and they have served me well, but they aren't a cold weather boot, have leaked really bad in the cold rain and the leather has stretched a bit so I can only wear winter socks with them. My feet were pretty toasty this summer in them. My next boot will be the Sidi Jasmine Rain Boot. A little bit more money and a whle lot more boot.

    I like that fact that they are a vegan boot too which is important to us at this point in our lives. I only wish that our local shops would realize they need to carry some ladies riding boots. I hate having to buy them online but that is about our only option around here. When the shops carry women's boots they are usually only one style or brand. I posted this blog when looking for boots the last time.

    And now you know I went ahead and chose the Melias. And once again I'm thinking of new boots but at least this time Sidi has the awesome Jasmines, the reviews for them are great. Good luck on your boot quest.

    @Chris - The Jetboil is the perfect accompaniment to a late fall picnic in the rain. It seems a thermos these days doesn't keep liquids as hot as they did back in the day so we prefer to make tea fresh when stopped. I think a Jetboil is well worth the money.

  18. Trobairitz. The Sidi Jasmine rain boots have been recommended to me as well, but I can only get them on line too. I need o be able to try shoes on and I hate hassling with returns. I tried on the Women's Icon Reign boot, designed in Oregon, they were comfy but I had trouble getting the right one zipped, my calf muscle is very muscular and it would zip up all the way. They were really nice boots and I would have bought them.

  19. @Dar - You think if the women's Icon Reign boots were designed in Oregon I'd actually heard of them or could buy them locally. Ummmm no.

    I have the opposite calf trouble. Most boots are too large in the calf and slap, slap, slap back and forth when I walk. Very annoying. I may have to keep an eye out for the Icon ones, but my guess is I'll go with the Sidi. I like ordering from Revzilla because your first exchange is free. I don't even think you pay for postage and they have a good return policy. That is where I got my jacket. Good luck in your hunt for boots.

  20. Anything to keep you comfortable on the bike longer. And allows few layers. :)

    I hadn't even thought of bringing the stove along on a ride. But we rarely partake of coffee or tea, so it slips my mind. Oilburner usually opts for Dr. Pepper, even on those cold days. I will have to give it a thought as it forces a better breaking point than a gas station.

    Wonderful pictures! Great location. Loved the one Troubador snapped of you with reflections in the water.

  21. @BeemerGirl - Problem is, I still had the layers on because I needed the rain liner. Although I didn't have the quilted liner in the jacket, I guess that helps. I remember Dr. Pepper. Used to be my drink of choice. When taking night classes 13 years ago I always had a can with me to drink during class. I used to say Dr. Pepper made you smart. Alas, I cut out all soda over 5 years ago. Just carbonated water now.