Thursday, August 9, 2007

POTGPOTT vs ATGATT - alphabet soup? Not for riders in the know (well, at least the ATGATT, I made up the other one...).

ATGATT = All The Gear, All The Time
POTGPOTT = Part Of The Gear, Part Of The Time

I started out riding five years ago as a POTGOTT rider. As a new rider in Florida, I wore full-finger gloves, jeans, over the ankle boots and a shorty helmet...all the time. Hmmm, guess that really made a POTGAOTT. In summer it was too hot to wear a jacket and what the heck, I got nicely tanned arms.

I'd been riding a year when I participated in the Pony Express Relay for Breast Cancer, sponsored by the Women's Motorcyclist Foundation (WMF). I decided to do the entire Eastern Trail which went from the opening ceremony in Orlando, FL to the closing ceremony in New York City....and we got there via Chicago (imagine a group of 100+ riders going through Chicago twice in one day!).

This experience was life changing in many ones, one of which was my introduction to first, the wonderful founders of the WMF, Gin & Sue, as well as all the staff riders and second,
The Motorcycle Tourer's Forum. Both were wonderful sources of education and information about motorcycling safely.

This meant learning how to ride safely in a group, doing day after day of riding, discovering protective riding gear and why it should be worn. My gear on the ride and then my solo return home, typically consisted of
my requisite jeans, shorty DOT helmet, full-finger gloves, over the ankle riding boots, combined with a lightweight mesh shirt (this was in August) and topped off with a Draggin' Jeans Kevlar shirt (my pre-ride concession to the "what ifs" of an accident). Once I returned home to FL, it was POTGPOTF, meaning the helmet might get shed at times. (Hey, accidents happen to OTHER people, right?)

Since then, four more years and 55,000 miles on the road have made me a bit wiser. Too many friends, friends of friends and relatives of friends have been in accidents...that hits close to home. When I toured the country in 2005 after my husband's death, I went ATTGATT (okay, we won't count that 1 mile jog from the hotel to the Harley dealer on a hot Arizona afternoon when I left the helmet in the room Joe Rocket Alter Ego. It was textile but panels zipped off to expose a mesh base....perfect for those hot temperatures. So that was added to the closet...and it worked out great. I bought it a size too large on purpose, that let me layer a good fleece jacket underneath.

I have also graduated to a 3/4 helmet (which was a full helmet back in the 60's & 70's before full-faced helmets). I have trouble with helmets...I wear an XS and most dealers don't carry that in stock because of the limited demand. Imagine my surprise (and glee) at finding a gorgeous 3/4 helmet in my size at 50% off...at the Harley-Davidson dealer in Albuquerque. Normally I wouldn't have taken a second look, but in this case I had, just the day before, endured 3 hours in bone-chilling temperatures as I rode from Las Vegas, NM to Albuquerque where I had an appointment for my 1k service.

That helmet is now such a favorite that I ordered a replacement online way before I knew I would need it....in fact, once I bought that I never used the shorty on the trip again. I've found that even a black 3/4 helmet (this one has a flip face shield) is cooler than a white shorty helmet...except if you are in city stop and go traffic.

When I decided to go RVing last year, I sold off a lot of motorcycle gear I didn't use. That meant the Joe Rocket Alter Ego went on the block along with several other items. I added some new gear, most in pink to be more visible. I wasn't planning on longer rides but just in case I kept the black textile jacket & both the mesh and textile over-pants.

Now that I'm evaluating everything once again....I've sold off several jackets and ordered a NEW JR Alter Ego. This one is red & black (rather than the almost all black of the old one) and in my normal size. I know that once you go ATGATT you never go back.

Till next time - keep on rollin',

1 comment:

  1. That all sounds good. Road rash isn't good.

    My house sale did close on time as scheduled yesterday. But I am not homeless as I do have the motorhome. And now Pat & I will begin making her house over into our house.


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