Breaking in New Motorcycle Boots. Ugh.

Last year I wrote about the newest women's motorcycle boots from Dainese, the Torque D1's, the first true women's motorcycle boot that offers real ankle support. What this means they make it incredibly difficult for you to twist your ankle. Of course, the impact protection is also incredibly supportive as well. 

I didn't think I could wear these. I still am not 100% sure. My problem was that as a woman with a very small, wide foot boots like these from Dainese are incredibly difficult to wear. 

Typically I size into a US 6.5-7 (7 if it's a narrower shoe) which translates to about a Euro 36-37. These are a Euro 38. My feet are also incredibly high at the instep. My other weird issue is that I have a small cyst on the top of my left foot, so that makes wearing any tight shoes (like if I lace my shoes too tight) especially painful. 

Since these are fairly difficult to get my foot into so I had to size up. 

I've been wearing them around the house for about a total of 1.5 hours and luckily I haven't felt any pinching or piercing pain anywhere. Just tightness from a new pair of boots, especially race boots. They're just not easy. 

I did find that crossing my legs while sitting on a kitchen stool did make my toes go numb... so I recommend not doing that ;D

I've also added my super insoles to still give me the extra heel height that I like having.

They seem to fit okay, of course I removed the insoles that came with the boots but it certainly makes the heel and ankle space a bit tighter. I'm hoping as I keep breaking them in they only get better!

Just a little test ride.. in the kitchen! Always take your gear for a test ride at home so you can see what it might feel like to wear things for more than 2-3 minutes. 

Just a little test ride.. in the kitchen! Always take your gear for a test ride at home so you can see what it might feel like to wear things for more than 2-3 minutes. 

Breaking in new boots isn't fun. It can be a pain in the ass really. But I really wanted the extra ankle support that these boots offer that my old Sidis don't even though they took great care of my feet when I crashed two years ago.. I'm also doing a track day next month so I want to be ready for that too. 

Also, I'm trying to sell my new-used Sidis (not the ones I actually crashed in) if you know anyone who might be interested.

 

For Sale: Gently Used Sidi Vertigo Lei Boots, Size 37

Buy Me!

EBAY LINK: http://r.ebay.com/GqFTbn

These are gently used, barely worn. 

I bought them from a friend who only used them a few times also. 

I just can't break them in fast enough to fit like my original pair. :( My old ones are SO much loser. Ugh. 

I'm also going to try upgrading to some Dainese Torques in 38 to see if I can make them work on my weird feet. 

They don't fit me perfectly so I'm sizing up to 38 but I'm going to give them a try because I really do like the extra ankle support they offer. 

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More Pics of the Sidis above, I'm asking $150 plus shipping:

My original pair have lasted me 5 years, they wear extremely well and I love them to death. 

Email me if you want them or having sizing/fit questions. 

Also check out my post about riding motorcycles while short, because I use these along with special insoles to boost my height a little bit as well. 

Women's Motorcycle Gear Project

I'm starting a new project and I need some volunteers. I'm starting with a few volunteers to fill out my database so I can put this new website together. I don't have a name yet, but my goal is to help women figure out what might fit them, and how the sizing and fitments will work. 

Size charts only tell you so much, so I'm using real women with real gear (sorry, no casuals on this site for now) to help you shop. On this site you'll find measurements for every woman who submits a photo along with sizing and fit feedback from each person. Hopefully it makes searching for gear easier by also entering your measurement e.g. 41 chest and search results will deliver options for you that might work.  

Katherine in her Rev'it Levante Jacket (40) and Rev'it Tornado Women's Pants (38)

Katherine in her Rev'it Levante Jacket (40) and Rev'it Tornado Women's Pants (38)

So I need your help because I can't possibly be every woman who rides!

Fill out this google form and then email me some photos (instructions provided in the form) 

 

https://goo.gl/forms/4oz8vFgkGajIdfoF3

I might not use your submission depending on what it is. I'm still figuring out how this is going to work and be organized so the more data I have to start with, the better. Only 1 of each item can be submitted right now, so you can submit:

  • One Jacket
  • One Pants
  • One Jacket AND One Pant

I'm shooting for a launch this Summer so if you want to be notified when it launches, sign up for my newsletter.

Email me if you have any questions or post a comment here and I"ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thank you!!

 

California Superbike School

I'm excited to tell you that I've signed up for a trackday with California Superbike School

I've read and heard great things about the school, the training and the experience from friends and the interwebs. The school was founded in 1976 by pavement god Keith Code, it was the first to offer one on one track instruction. He's written several books including the famous "Twist of the Wrist, Volumes 1 and 2".

I've had a couple track days and I've had 2-3 interactions with track coaches to give me advice about my riding. However, I'm really hoping that I'll get more consistent feedback from a coach who can watch me throughout the day to see how I'm doing from start to finish. It's an all day class, starting promptly at 7am and presumably finishing up in the afternoon. They even provide lunch and drinks/snacks.  

"You will improve. You are a far better rider than you’ve ever let yourself hope to be. We have a system that works." -superbikeschool.com

I'm not here to race, I'm certainly not here to ride better than everyone else. I want to simply ride better than Myself. Improving our riding skills is always something that we're responsible for as individual riders. One on one instruction and attention is difficult to get a regular track day, so I wanted more. I'm not necessarily looking for someone to stand next to me the entire day (which would also be cool) but having input every time I get out on the track sounds like a great way to improve my skills. 

There are some misconceptions about track days, that they're only there to teach you how to race your motorcycle. False. California Superbike School is one of the many exceptions to this rule. If you have a high performance machine, you owe it to yourself to learn how to ride safer and simply become a more capable rider. 

Because I've never ridden with them before, I start at Level 1

"Level I addresses the six most common errors riders, from novice to world-class racers, make and why. " -superbikeschool.com

YES! I love this. 

For $475, I signed up for a 1 day course on July 31st at New Jersey Motorsports Park. I will be riding my own bike, so the cost is a bit lower than renting their BMWs. I can't wait to take Goldie to the track again with Keith Code and friends. Hopefully he's there so I can get a selfie! 

Goodbye MSF, It Was Nice Knowing You

My old site, San Francisco City College via motorcycle school.com

My old site, San Francisco City College via motorcycle school.com

12 years ago I committed to becoming a certified rider coach with the motorcycle safety foundation. Last month I gave up that commitment. To some it's not a big deal. Just a job, whatever. 

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To me, it meant meeting new riders, feeling their excitement and helping many of them overcome fears, anxieties of learning how to ride. After I took my first safety course in 2004, it led me to incredible confidence, happiness and a passion for riding I never imagined.

I learned so much in my short coaching career, and I definitely owe it to the San Francisco school that made it happen for me. They were incredibly supportive, encouraging and positive. I never left that school to teach anywhere else because I couldn't imagine finding another school that treated students the way we did. My bosses were always focused on creating positive learning experiences for their students. Sometimes there would be folks that didn't quite follow that philosophy but they didn't last very long. If they were there only for Themselves, then it was painfully obvious they really weren't there for You.  

Im so sad to give up my certification for now but I hope someday I can get back to teaching again. I really loved every minute although it was hard at times.  

It was one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever had and I'll never forget what I learned, who I met and how it helped me evolve as a person. 

In the meantime, I'll do what i can from over here... 

Women's Sportbike Rally West, July 14-16 2017

Me and Goldie at Fontana Dam in 2015

Me and Goldie at Fontana Dam in 2015

I'm excited to announce that I'll be flying to Los Angeles in two months for the Women's Sportbike Rally in Big Bear, CA! 

The Rally was started 12 years ago by a couple of girls who just wanted to ride their sportbikes and meet likeminded girls who were interested in doing the same. 12 years later, it's grown to a few more women. The event not only benefits women who ride sportbikes, but the Skin Cancer Foundation in honor of one of the event's cofounders, Tiffany Weribach who passed away at the tender age of 24 from Melanoma. 

I attended my first East Rally at Deals Gap two years ago and loved the ride down from Philly. I am thrilled to not only attend, but also present as a speaker to share everything I've learned in my short riding career. 

This year's rally is going to be a little different from years past with the introduction of workshops to share as much knowledge with our fellow women riders as we can. 

The only way to grow as a motorcyclist is to keep learning. Especially with high performance machines that may need different attention as a rider. I'm thrilled to help promote this event and convince some of you to come with me! I'm flying in to Los Angeles and renting a bike (unless I can find a generous donor), as I don't have time to ride across the country right now. 

On Saturday, July 15th I'll be presenting two workshops. My first one is dedicated to the cause of riding motorcycles when you're short. Because well, riding really short bikes isn't as fun as riding taller, faster ones :D

Then I'll be doing a gear seminar to help you find the best options including the top performance brands, custom options, and how to figure out proper helmet fit and sizing. I'll also be fielding any specific, personal questions you may have about gear as well. 

For More Information about the event including registration and details visit womenssportbikerally.com

I truly hope to see you there. 

First MotoGP in Austin, A Wall of Death and Really Fast Motorcycles

*Drool* KTM USA Tent at Circuit of the Americas, Austin. What I wouldn't give to take this baby for a 1,000 mile test ride. 

*Drool* KTM USA Tent at Circuit of the Americas, Austin. What I wouldn't give to take this baby for a 1,000 mile test ride. 

The reason we flew out to Austin was to watch MotoGP, it's the tip top of international motorcycle racing. But along with MotoGP, other classes were out racing that weekend namely MotoAmerica. Which is "a professional motorcycle racing series sanctioned by the AMA and FIM North America." 

Valentino "the Doctor" Rossi, 38 years old, 7? time MotoGP World Champion. To most, a pavement god.

Valentino "the Doctor" Rossi, 38 years old, 7? time MotoGP World Champion. To most, a pavement god.

Whereas "MotoGP is the pinnacle class of world championship road racing". The machines achieve a maximum output of over 240 hp and reach speeds of over 340km/hr.  Watching live motorcycle racing is just awesome. If you're interested in the technical aspects of MotoGP, click here.

Racers from all over the world compete to win the title of MotoGP Champion. They race motorcycles that *no one* can buy, motorcycles that frankly, no one can really ride except champions. They cost millions of dollars, and are supported often (but not always) by the factory brands such as Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Ducati.

I urge you to go watch the Faster Series (Faster, Fastest, Hitting the Apex) on Netflix/iTunes/Amazon/wherever. It's an incredible look into the sights and sounds of MotoGP. 

The Doctor, as he's known, showing the pavement who's boss with mere inches making contact with the pavement while moving at steady speeds between 100-200mph?!?!  Photo: ValentinoRossi.com

The Doctor, as he's known, showing the pavement who's boss with mere inches making contact with the pavement while moving at steady speeds between 100-200mph?!?!  Photo: ValentinoRossi.com

Something that has always fascinated me are the physics of motorcycling. Physics to me, are like magic but REAL magic, supported by Science and Facts! You can't really see it, but it's happening and can be measured to match up what your eyes are seeing before you. 

It's something I highly recommend experiencing at least once in your lifetime. 6-8 years ago, we went to MotoGP at Laguna Seca in Monterey with friends to watch and it was exhilarating. 

The Track

When I think of The Circuit of the Americas, the first thing that pops into my head are the signature stars and stripes across the entire track. Red, White and Blue colors are everywhere which isn't too unusual but I would say of all the MotoGP tracks, this one is *especially* patriotic to its home country. 

View from The Tower, looking down on Turn 3 with all the glorious stars. 

View from The Tower, looking down on Turn 3 with all the glorious stars. 

And Turn 3 was a great spot,  with a nice tv screen to see all the action along with feisty commentary from Eurosport.

Check out a short video I took from the MotoGP Race on Sunday afternoon:

I wish I had incredible camera skills, but if you want to see some beautiful motogp photography, check out Photo.GP.

After the final race on Sunday, they opened the track for 30 minutes and let us walk around for a bit.

The Tower

Ever since I saw this Tower in photos, I always wanted to get to the top to see what the view was like. The elevator was out, so that meant we had to climb to the top. It took awhile, but totally worth it. The view was stunning, and you could see the entire track in any direction. 

But it's not just about big motorcycles racing, it's about the little ones too like this minimoto track some kiddies were practicing on:

And then there were the Budweiser Clydesdales touring the country, with Austin as one of their stops. Look at these cuties, they were gorgeous and Huge! I love how the one in the back is totally cheesing in the background. They seemed excited when everyone was there to take pictures with them. 

Of course there's also a few stands to buy some gear. I couldn't resist buying this "coolshirt" from Taichi. It's basically a zip up baselayer for hot weather. I got a really bad sunburn on Friday and I needed something soft up against my shoulders so this was perfect. It feels silky to the touch, really soft, I'm looking forward to wearing it in really hot weather to see how it compares to my other hot weather baselayers. I bought a Medium and it fits me perfect, not too tight / not too loose. You can check it out here

Wandering around the track, there were also some cool areas to check out including shopping, bikes and bikes. 

The Food

I think I gained 10lbs. SO much deliciousness in Austin. The food was fantastic, and the barbecue was amazing. 

I swear practically on every corner was a food truck. Even in the parking lot at this adorable pet store. 

Yep, those are fake dogs on the roof! 

Yep, those are fake dogs on the roof! 

And food trucks parked in the pet store parking lot. 

And food trucks parked in the pet store parking lot. 

Handbuilt Show

We spent Friday night at the Handbuilt Show, a popular event in Austin that happens the same weekend. It's remarkable what people can make with their own two hands. 

There was also a Wall of Death Show, which I missed, but my husband got some slow motion action live from the Wall:

Slow motion video of a brief moment at the Wall of Death, at the Handbuilt Show Austin, 2017

We had a great time in Austin, I really hope to go back next year.... Thank you Austin!

What's With Women's Motorcycle Gear?

 

I've been working at this for 10 years, doing everything I can to help my fellow female riders gear up, and ride (better, hopefully). For my next YouTube stream this Monday, I want to give you my side of the story.  

I feel like every time women's gear is brought up online, there are so many negative, uninformed reactions to what we have.  I know it's not perfect, and there is a lot of work to do to improve what to we have but there's more than just "make it better". 

So join me, let's talk about it. And figure what we can do to improve things because it's a two way street. 

Monday Nights, 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific. 

Click Here: My YouTube Channel from your desktop or laptop, because then you can live chat with us and send your questions/comments!

Otherwise email me a comment or question so I can share it

 

 

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Women's Sportbike Rally East and West 2017

Photo at Fontana Dam, Women's Sportbike Rally East 2015

Photo at Fontana Dam, Women's Sportbike Rally East 2015

Two years ago, I went to my first Women's Sportbike Rally at Deals Gap. It was also my first time riding to the infamous Dragon. It was the longest solo ride I'd ever taken, and on Goldie too. 

This year I'm not only going to try and attend both rallies (still need to get time off approved) but I'm also assisting my friend Brittany Morrow, the National Director of the Rally. You may know her as Road Rash Queen. I just know her as a cool ass rider named Brittany.  

I'm excited to help her promote and share the rally with my fellow women riders who love riding sportbikes! Nothing else like it exists, and we want every female who rides a sportbike or is interested in riding sportbikes to attend. 

For the 3rd year in a row, the West Coast will take place at Big Bear Lake, CA in Southern California. And for the 12th year in a row, the East rally will take place near the infamous Dragon in Fontana Village, NC.

If I attend, I'll be hosting seminars and workshops too so stay tuned for updates when I make my final announcements for both events. 

For registration details and event info visit the website. 

New Time: Monday's LiveStream about Motorcycle Boots

Last week I talked about choosing a motorcycle jacket. I gave you some tips and advice on what to think about when it comes to making the best choice. If you missed, watch now:

WHEN: 9:30 PM East / 6:30pm West (so more Left Coasters can join in!) My last few streams were at 8pm East, so I'm pushing it out so my friends out west can also join :) 

WHAT TOPIC: Motorcycle Boots: How do you choose a pair? What do you need to consider? Why is it not a great idea to buy your motorcycle boots on Zappos? And for my fellow women riders, I'm going to give you ideas for men's boots that work really well for us for different lifestyles including ADV/Race and Touring. We know that men have far more options, but luckily brands like TCX and Dainese make sizes small enough for us to wear. I'm also going to break down fit differences between mens and women's boots.   

HOW TO WATCH:

1. On your Smart Phone/iPad/Tablet: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WnZw1kF5M48&client=mv-google&layout=tablet 

2. On your Desktop/Laptop: http://www.youtube.com/user/GearChic/live

When you log on through your desktop or laptop, there's a handy chat window to send in questions. Otherwise, you can also text or email your questions: gearchic@gmail.com    

See you then!  

If you missed the LiveStream, watch now: