• Nick

Here comes the Rainy Season

Things are really warming up now with temps in excess of 30deg. There has certainly been an increase in the amount of rain as well meaning humidity levels are up. It's meant we've had to go out and buy suitable attire for the changeable weather. Lighter raincoats that we can use hiking, but still look nice enough to wear around town, and a shipment of Kathmandu drifit shirts from NZ help with keeping cool and looking smart.

The other issue we've found is riding the bike in the heat can become oppressive. While our Dririder gear from NZ is great, even with the thermal liners out and all vents open, they are too much. Not to mention bulky to stow if we are on a day trip and wish to leave our gear with the bike in the panniers. We went shopping at a local Motorcycle Shop a few weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of the gear on offer. Having seen local riders out and about, what they were wearing, and also what was being sold as MC clothing in other places I've seen was leaving a bit to be desired in both the quality and safety departments. All that changed at Ricoland. Isles and isles of clothing, boots, helmets, accessories, components, gadgets and go fast equipment. No matter your bike or style of riding they had it all. Even the sizes were ok for me, although having lost a few kg's has helped. Pania now proudly displays new boots pants and jacket, and seeing how much more comfortable she is, I'll be returning Friday for some upgrades. Thinking the Dririders may go back to NZ for the March South Island trip we have planned. Decisions Decisions.

RICOLAND: Soooooo much stuff

So, apart from motorcycle clothing, I've made a few other extravagant purchases. I've bought a bike for back in NZ from a family friend. It's a 1999 Buell Cyclone M2. Wasn't really on the radar for that particular bike. Had been looking at other options but couldn't resist when he offered it to me. I've also bought a GoPro. Now, owning a Gopro is just the beginning of the expense. I have found that there is almost no end to the accessories you can buy and they are not cheap if you buy the branded stuff, however I've managed to buy a cheap microphone and some mounting kits that I will be testing on the bike and surfboard over the next few weeks. It's fun to use and look back on the footage but I need to find a 10 year old to teach me how to do some editing. The credit card also got a bashing with some other Amazon purchases. Comfy footwear is a must here. You do a lot of walking in Tokyo and there are shit tonnes of shoe choices. Also, my pushbike got a birthday. New tyres, pedals, and handlebars suited to urban riding. Oh, and we both got new hiking packs.

A few extravagant purchases

Another purchase was a new touring screen for the Honda. It comes up about another 10cm with the idea being a bit less wind turbulence for my lovely passenger. We have had one ride but the jury is still out as to how much improved things are on the back. It's definitely made a difference up front. The cockpit feels completely different and it certainly has reduced the buffeting on windy days.

Some before and afters with the new screen

So with all my rambling I haven't talked about last weekend. We packed up the bike last Sunday, set out for the rural outskirts of Tokyo, and did another mountain hike. It certainly wasn't as epic as our efforts a few weeks ago, however it was a first hitout with the GoPro, and we did this as part of a hiking group Pania met online. Mostly foreigners and all strangers. Was a great day starting at Musashi Station, and from there hiking a loop up and around Mt Konpira. A refreshing dip in the river and some well earned refreshments swapping stories with other expats made for a great day out. Looking forward to doing it again soon. On the note of exercise, our training regimen has been going quite well. Both of our weights have been coming down although I must admit Pania is doing better than me. A little setback for me this week though, as I seem to have picked up a groin strain and it's somewhat uncomfortable and painful walking any distance. I find myself getting stressed about my workout apps slipping behind, and I imagine my weight may bump a little. Yes I'm graphing that too, no you can't see it.

The final resting place of an old 40 series. Criminal.

I'll wind things up with a little snippet of my first attempt at using the GoPro on the bike. The sound was so bad I've replaced it with some stock music so be gentle. Hopefully I'll get my editing skills sorted and the sound right so we can hear the bike properly. Ja Matta!

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