Bikers, are a stange group of people, we will happily spends large amount of money on things which other people tell us is the right stuff … I remember years ago, everyone had the buy Rukka (most still do), then and now it is Klim, both of them have been bought up by large corporations. And on the sideline one finds Stadler (the last of the big ones), then of the “B” like there are companies like RevIT, Alpinstarts, and so one. We are not discussing clothing for fast bikes, this is the “real” stuff for the traveler who wants to go and see the world.
Now as usual I’ve listened to the wrong people, and ended up with something which I should not have spend money on….
First back in February I decided to get an Klim Overland Jacket, as everyone rave about the price / quality, it did not fit me at all, and due to the wonderful customer service from where I got it from I could not return it (I was stupid enough to drive 35km with it on), which cost me 50% of the price – as funny enough no one else was interested in buying it … hummmm….
But as I really needed a new jacket, and my favorite; Stadler Tour was too expensive (+1100€), I decided to try with a Klim Latitude, which is a very nice jacket, which comes with the right amount of pockets, almost the right amount of ventilation (very few do – read; Stadler), and I was happy.
Now a few weeks back I was on my way to HUM Germany, and due to a brain fart I ended up face down on the asphalt sliding a few meters, which I would expect would not be a big problem. Ok, it did hurt like a bitch, but I was ok, my right leg took most of the impact, but my crap boots and trousers (BMW with good protection) left me with a black n’ blue leg, but otherwise ok.
The problem was (is) my right arm …. now back to a few facts;
– Klim only provide D3O Level 1 armor in their jackets (even Overland is only an upgrade, but still level 1).
– D30 is impact resistant
– D30 is NOT abrasive resistant
This means that if it hist something it will dispert the power of the impact, but when you slide over a surface it can fold up and not give any protection. That is a massive issue, as most of the problems comes from sliding ….
Our skin is made up of 5 layers, and my “small” spill where I landed with my arm underneath my body, the D3O albow proctetion folded up or slid away and did not provide any proction to my arm and the layer of skin which sits ontop of the muschle has lost the connecton to the muschle … this is reasonable painful… and according to my doctor who does diagnostics from the other side of the table this will eventually heal…. (do not get me started on Dutch Doctors – all of them)
But I have a used Stadler Jacket (which is too small) which comes with Level 2 back protection and hard shell shoulder and elbow protectors … so I could just move them across. Nop, no such luck, Klim’s pockets for protectors are too small.
So now I have a very nice jacket which looks like it should do, but it scares the living daylights out of wearing as there is practically no protection in it.
So what is it with a company like Klim, for me it looks like we’re all stupid enough to believe what they tell us – ie. they use the best possible proctors; they do not – they are the cheapest one can get from D3O, they have the best warranty; actually if the garment have been close to the ground at any speed they might refuse any warranty claims, lucky enough Gore-Text will help out. Most of their cloth fit like it was made for a cow, but we’re still happy to buy it, which I do not understand – we much be stupid.
This can only happen in The Netherlamds
Dump Drivers, well I spend on average 25.000km on the road every year and am starting to get the understanding that the general traffic law have been disabled or rendered invalid for about 40% of everyone who walk, bicycle, drive a mopet, motorbike, car, or a truck.
As I’m currently is a resident of The Netherlands, my general rant is pointed towards people of the origin of that country, not saying that things aren’t any different anywhere else, but that is for other people to comment on.
Some of my issues with people in general are:
- red light actually mean that you should not cross the street
- do not walk in the middle of the street, that is unhealthy
- still this thing with red light is still a small issue
- these white things on the road which look like shark teeth actually mean that you should not drive out in front of an oncoming vehicle
- there is also a reason why it is a good thing to have lights on when it’s dark, other people could not care less if you can’t see where you’re going, but it’s really nice to see that you’re there
- pedestrian only streets, actually mean pedestrian only streets. Not bicycles, and pedestrians
- bicycles are not allowed to drive beside each other… you’re taking up space which is meant to be used for other important things, like me
- they should all be banned…
- you’re not Valentino Rossi!!!
- you’re not Valentino Rossi!!!
- you’re not Valentino Rossi!!!
- you’re not Valentino Rossi!!!
- and no your new 120db exhaust does not sound great at 3am
- be my guest kill yourself by driving like a madman, but do it somewhere else
- you might be intelligent enough to get a license, but that does not mean that you should drive a car (very common in The Netherlands, where the common IQ for car drivers must be close to 0
- you know that there is a reason why cars have indicators
- you should then also know that it’s polite to use these indicators
- and when you finally get around to use the indicators, then use them more than once
- changing lanes on the motorway, is actually the same as entering a road (like an intersection), other traffic have right of way, and remember the indicators
- overtaking on the right is not allowed!!!
- there might be an option to drive in the right lane… MOVE!!
- motorway speed is more than 50km/h
- and no you cannot break in corners, it’s stupid, and it’s dangerous
- red light means STOP!
- please do not enter an crossing if you cannot clear it before red light…
- no, you cannot overtake that other truck within reasonable time…….
- try not to push other people of the road when you decide to change lane…. POLISH idiots!!
What amazes me the most is that people actually are not embarrassed but there misconduct in the traffic, it’s like everyone is allowed to do as they fell like. Someone told me some years ago that the Dutch have two national sports, one of them being football (which they are not very good at, looking at the results from the last world champion ship), and the other one being behaving like idiots in the traffic.
There is a television program; “Weg Misbruikers”, where they show all the stupid things people do while commanding a motor vehicle – the scary thing most of the people being stopped think it’s very funny – what’s wrong with people….
The Germans have a saying about the Dutch: “schwartzer schrift auf gelber rand belief gefern und bleib gesund”, which more or less means that if you see a car with Dutch numberplates make sure to seek cover, otherwise you might be in trouble.
I also sometimes do silly things, but in general I do my absolutely best to follow the law, that way one does not have to worry about the policy… and if something happens it’s not my fault.
I always talk about this thing I really want to do, which is travel the world, specifically on the back of a bike (that is motorbike). I think that while writing this, most of my family and friends would give a great deal of money for me to actually do it so that I finally would shut up (or that they would be happy to see go away for a few years) :-)
I just by accident stumped over a blog by a guy not too far from my hometown in Denmark, who actually have done what I would like to do…..
This guy Paul Randa Jensen, is from 1944 and circumvented the globe, and still is talking about doing Oz….. man how I would like to do that….
Reading this (from spiegel.de/international), I understand that some people have come up with a “great” idea. They want to make away with [stag]trafic signs[/stag]…
Reading this, make we wonder if the people makeing these decisions actually driver [stag]car[/stag], [stag]motorbike[/stag], [stag]bicycles[/stag], or just walk. Most people who move around in the trafic tend to ignore trafic signs in the first place, do they actually think that removing them will help!!
Living in a country where most indicators (you know the flashing things which will tell other people that you intend to leave the road, or change lane) are broken (even on new cars), this will not really help.
But it will probably save them some money on the budges, which will then be spend on mending people in hospitals instead, but that is a diffrent budget.
Also reading that Makkinga (some please in the Dutch province of Western Frisia) have done this, is kind of scarry.. But the worst part is that they will replace the tarmac with cobblestones instead is frightening; that will cause some broken bones for motorbike riders – these thing are slippery when they are wet, and it will cause acidents. But who cares it’s only a motorbike rider… praise to stupidity
The absolutly worst thing I know when I venture out on the Dutch roads is [stag]tailgating[/stag]. First I drive a [stag]motorbike[/stag], and if you don’t know it – these things can both out [stag]accelerate[/stag] almost anything, and on a strait out break anything (that is if you’re not driving a car which cost more that most houses).
So if I’m driving at 120km/h and have a car 5 – 10 meters behind me I get nervous, as I know that if I break hard there is a chance that I’ll end up in the hospital.
The other week I was told that in some US states you are at fault if you hit someone from behind, no matter what the reason was (well there might be reason why you would not be). I think that we would see less accidents caused by tailgating if that would be the law in this wonderfull flat country.
So what would one do if one had a week of [stag]vacation[/stag]? see that is a good question. I tend to belive that one should go a see thing (preferable thing which one have not seen before).
So starting Saturday June 17th somewhere in [stag]France[/stag], to be precise in Saverne, at 9am (torture btw), this years [stag]Triumph Raid[/stag] of France was started…. well not exactly it was closer to 10am as the person who was responsible for the coffe had misplaced the key to the room where it was supposed to be served:-)
So everyone ready we set off, I have to admit I did not have an idea of what to expect, I kind of knew the distances (as was told that it would not be a race…. ya right).
- Day 1 (441km):
As said earlier, we started from Saverne, and went out on the longest and for me the toughtest route (probably be cause I was nervouse, and had not really a hugh experence in driving in mountains). 480km later and very very wet (for some odd reason the weather gods decided that on top of the nice weater we should not get too cocky…) we arrived to our first destination, Hotel Auberge des Lacs, don’t ask me where it is as I have absolutly no clue (which would not be the last time I would be lost that week).
- Day 2 (371km):
We started early, on a slightly damp Sunday morning (great no gas for non-french – you need to have a French creditcard to get gas on Sundays), oh well half of our small group where French so let us attach us to some French bike drivers… not the easiest thing in the world. I successfully lost my fellow drivers, but we did meet up again on the top of ‘Col du Meraillet’ (I think – I was lost again), arrived at Hotel Glacier des Evettes, and was ready for a very nice sleep…. btw was way too tired to have the desert, it was probably very very nice.
- Day 3 (332km):
Nice day, not too warm, and not too cold. Got distracted by my GPS as it decided that the route only was 42km long, and having to play catch up did not wote for a good day. That was sorted out, and finding some more ‘normal’ people to drive with (that opinion would change:-)), the whole day actually was quite nice, I got a bit of a suntan on one mountain (can’t remember which one, there was a few of them, actually the Frence have a whole bunch of them). We ended in good manner (without getting lost to many time) at Hotel Moulin de la Salaou at Castellane. btw does any one know why Frence people think that a shower means that you have to hold the showerhead while you’re having the shower.
- Day 4 (374km):
Some time ago I read about an area in France which is a small perl, not that many know about it, and it is absolutly beatifull. I’m talking about the Verdon, if you have a chance go there – I did, followed the whole thing and ended here
Also we saw [stag]Mont Ventoux[/stag] – highly recomended. The clime up is about 20km, and slightly more down (all included). Perfect tarmac, and incedible long bends which can be enjoyed on a motorcycle. 253
We got a bit lost on the time issue, and when we finally arrived at the hotel we where actually so late that people where getting out to look for us. All ended in happiness, and we had a good deserved sleep at Hotel Le Petit Calbertois.
- Day 5 (417km):
Humm, shitty roads, and rain, was what started that day. But apart from that nothing really bad, lots of driving, roads with gravel (stange this was a bad day in my memory). And btw very hot.
We saw Navacelles which is really nice, if one have enouh wather, by G.. that was a hot place. For once we where not the last to arrive at the hotel, which this day was Hotel de l’Eveche.
- Day 6 (265km):
What can one say, short day with lots of long stops, and more photo stop than I want to remember. btw one of the most unpleasent places to be when the blatter is full is on a motorbike driving on mountain roads:-)
Cannot really remember the hotel which was Hotel de La Chartreuse.
- Day 7 (275km):
Last day, actually already to go home, but we had to have this last day which saw us with roads with gravel in a way which I do not want to try again for a while. Very long lunch, a few stops for refreshment, and so on. We ended at Magny Cours, in Hotel de la Seygliere. The funniest thing which happend that day was when on of the French drivers jumped in, in the middel of the dinner yelling ‘oui’ when the French won their 1/8 in the worldcoup.
At that point I had 850km home, and I left the next morning at 6am, and yes finding gas was yet again a problem……
Will I do this again? YES!
More photos can be found here
click on image