Archive for July, 2012

My FXRG Textile Jacket experience

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2012 by bleiglass

Before starting on my 4,202 long summer ride to Cascais Portugal (via Ruedesheim), I had to expect many different weather conditions. From a cool German spring to a hot Portugese summer, my Road King had to carry clothes for all eventualities. This is when I decided to get a new all-rounder jacket, from Harley-Davidson, the

FXRG(r) Textile Jacket with Pocket System

First of all: this jacket surpassed my expectations, and with one of the wettest summer in Europa on record, I stayed dry. Primary goal achieved.

Secondly, I stayed warm and I stayed cool. I just love the shoulder vents, they open like the radiator mouth of a sportscar to suck in the fresh wind, circulating it inside the jacket, leaving by the 2 back vents. No heat builds up, no sweat, heaven while riding under a torching sun.

Thirdly… there are lots of pockets, and even more zippers. As I tend to misplace things even in the 2 pocket of a jeans, a few less would have been fine for my limited organisational talent. This said, the 2 large front pocket system (I call them flaps as they open like big flaps) can be very helpful, as you can just throw into them your gloves, scarf, glasses, maps, camera, GPS, drinks and food. Very big and handy to carry all your little things to the hotel, but it gets a bit bulky if riding and used as a cupboard.

Of course not all is good: for a right-handed european male the american main zipper is difficult to close, its just the wrong (female) way around, but once engaged, the large slider handle is very well formed and with its rubber surface, can be easily opened and close with a heavily gloved hand while riding.

The shoulder vents zipper however can not be operated while riding, at least not by me.

The jacket comes with a comfortable “… removable, lightweight, breathable PrimaLoft(r) warmth liner that can be worn separately”. Well, I removed it and left it at home, this is something to use in winter, too much for summer. And the practical removable kidney belt was removed and also stayed at home, though when test-wearing it felt very comfortable. Its a nice way to avoid the jacket slipping up your back, but its too warm in summer.

You must appreciate the effort Harley Davidson marketing department put into the advertisement text for this jacket. CoCona, Kevlar, PrimaLoft, Finguard and Scotchlite are all names that have to inspire trust, and I must say the jacket did not disappoint one second. OK, I did not test its “superior abrasion resistance”, lucky me). Then I really do not like 2-way zippers, never used them (for what?) and I stay confused by the numerous pockets. Each having its own name and label like “cell phone pocket”, “goggle pocket” and “cargo pocket with lens cloth” is a bit over-engineered when all you want is a cold drink.

I must admit that XXL can be tight when wearing some fleece, so my jacket is a XXXL. The problem I had in the past is that some producers think that if you are XXXL, you must be a giant, and your arm length is huge. Well, I am 5″7, and though my arms are properly proportioned, they don’t belong to a 6″9er. Good news is: on this jacket the arm length is acceptably short, I think Harley knows the average beer induced shape of their customers. Thank you.

Finally some may consider the price tag a bit steep (GBP 579), but you get a reliable and safe jacket which will not let you down. Cheap clothing is rarely good, and as I like to say: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing”, this jacket will help to keep the weather where it belongs: outside.


Olympic Game Lane

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12, 2012 by bleiglass

I was a great friend of Olympic Games, and basically still am, even have some tickets. But what is done on our London streets is outrageous, I would say illegal. How can our elected authorities hand over part of our roads, paid by our taxes, to corrupt, bribe taking IOC officials, and profit maximising sponsors CEOs.

Yes, I am affected in my daily commute, and yes, I am very angry.

I hope this stupid idea will only lead to chaos, but I fear it will lead to injury if not death. Squeezing all road participants (bicycles, motorcylcles, cars, taxi’s, busses, trucks) into a single lane will lead to a warzone, specially if in their Zil lane the BMW driven official cars by the happy Olympic family will not even need to observe city speed limits. They are clearly above the law, and that is very wrong.

I am labelled NOT a member of the Olympic Family, having to pay 130 GBP fines each time I use their reserved lane.

Looking at these Game Lanes, and having watched Wimbledon and their hawk eye system, I have one question to my dear readers:

When did I actually use the game lane?

Look at these 3 scenarios:

Click to increase size.

No, its not about the leg, but the rear tire. If I still touch the white line (B), am I safe? And what proof does the city warden need to provide, his “memory” or a photo?

Please advise.

And if you are a specialist (or policeman) here some more questions:

Can I venture into the Game lane for some seconds to evade a collision with a bicycle or white van? How long may I stay in it? What proof do the authorities have to provide? Video? And in case of a mechanical breakdown, can I stop on this lane?

As I said: I hope only chaos will result, not injury and death.