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Supercommuting by Motorcycle

2006-07-13 , ,

I’ve begun my twice-weekly supercommute from Albany to NYC, roughly 165 miles door-to-door. I had to go in to the office four days this week to train new staff but couldn’t face the 330 plus mile round trip each day, so I made for the mid-point and stayed with my in-laws. I really start next week and since I need to be in the office two consecutive days a week, plan to break it up by boarding at an acquaintance’s place for the overnight.

I don’t mind the rain but Wednesday it thunderstormed, really stormed, with penny-sized hail dropped from the sky and lightning striking the ground. It finished off with a tornado that touched down in Hawthorne, a town along my route. Discretion being the better part of valor, I left my bike parked under the FDR underpass and took Metro-North.

A few other observations and comments:

  • The aerostich roadcrafter is fine at speed but after an hour of stop-and-go traffic, I’m cooked. Mesh, vents or a multi-layer jacket of the shell, waterproof liner, insulated liner variety is in order.
  • I’ve had the ‘stich for four years and the zippers are still stiff and the water-resistance of the cordura is limited. The water-resistance gets worse the dirtier the suit gets and I have two years of grime on it. I must wash and retreat it soon (the frequent rinsing by rain and puddles isn’t good enough). I also plan to try treating the zipper fabric with Aquaseal and rubbing beeswax on the teeth.
  • Undergear. Ex-officio boxers are the most comfortable undergarment around and they really do wash and air dry overnight. Patagonia cappeline is good but somewhat thick and they are oddly cut with a very high waist. Underarmor is cool wearing but despite being tightly fitted, rides up and the ‘flat’ stiched seams chafe. The wicking
    t-shirts from Columbia and EMS work but under a polo shirt result in a a soaked polo so I’m changing in the office or just going with the polo shirt and wearing it as it dries.
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that blue jeans are the worst thing to wear under the ‘stich. Jeans are hot and the heavy cotton cloth soaks and stays wet. Wrinkle-resistant chinos (though no match for the wrinkle-making powers of the ‘stich and 90+ degree weather) or tropical weight canvas pants are far more comfortable and less out of place at the office.
  • I’d almost forgotton how much I like the R100GSPD. It’s fun, fast enough, dodges traffic easily (as much as I dare) and I’m getting 40+ mpg despite heavy traffic. It’s ugly enough that no one has messed with it when it’s
    parked though some other motorcyclist help me out by snapping off my right rear turn-signal stem when they leaned their bike on its stand. Thankfully [Max BMW](http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com) had one in stock.
  • Sometimes I wish I had a sixth gear and I need a wind shield sized somewhere between the nearly useless stock small fairing and the barn door-sized parabellum. Adding to the wish list, I need a better seat- the stocker is good for ninety minutes before I get pain and have to squirm around. I plan to try an [Alaska Leather Buttpad](http://www.alaskaleather.com/) if they have them at the [BMW MOA rally](http://www.bmwmoa.org/rally/rally06).

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