Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Motorcycle Commuting

Finally started commuting by motorcycle!

I used to 2-wheel commute when I worked closer to home - but then my commute grew to 30 minutes by highway, not including getting through the city to even get to the highway, and so I stopped taking two wheels.

Eventually though - Hubs needed the car more than I did and I had to start taking the bike. I ride a Honda CB500 XA and it is the perfect bike, not too short, not too tall, oomph enough to get me around, and cheap enough that I could actually afford it (sorry BMW). D rode with me a few times on the weekend back and forth to work just so I could get a feel for the route without being alone.

Surprising things to know-
  • Since traffic is so horribly bad on I-5 returning into the city at rush hour - I rarely get over 50 mph. That used to really bother me in a car, but on the bike it is just enough to get a good breeze through my gear and take in the scenery.
  • Since I have to leave a little early in order to get to work with enough time to change and finish / fix my hair and makeup - I skip the worst of the rush hour traffic in the morning.
  • The added height allows me to see further ahead the accidents I'm coming up on and gives me extra time to break.
  • People give me more room than I thought.
  • I can take the HOV lanes.
  • Since I'm not going out in full gear at noon to sit in lunch rush traffic - I save money and calories by bringing lunch more often.
As I am going from biker chick to office chic - I've built up a little kit and a routine to help make the transition.

First - In the evening I pack up my clothes for the next day and set out some casual comfy clothes to travel in. Sweats, T shirt - whatever I walk the dogs in, that's what I wear while riding.

Next, I make sure I have a lunch packed...not leaving the office for a drive on my break!

In the morning - I part my hair opposite of where I normally part it and put on a dew rag. Seriously, the dew rag is the answer to how to ride without getting 'motorcycle hair.' They are more easily washable than removing helmet pads, and they don't have to look like you belong with the Saints N Sinners.

Then I get ready in the morning as usual - dogs, purse, all that jazz. I skip foundation and just do eye makeup and tinted SPF gloss. Remember to get out the door just a little bit earlier so you can do the rest at work.

I pack up my purse, work shoes, change of clothes, and lunch into a large messenger bag and gear-up!

Gear Round Up!

Jacket - I'm still wearing my Firstgear TPG jacket with the d30 armor. It may be too hot for mid-summer, but I love it for fall, winter, and spring.

Pants - I'm using Joe Rocket Ballistic 7.0 Pants which I love because of the adjustable hem (shorty!) and the double zippers on the side for more air flow.

Boots - TCX Waterproof..not sure of the model name - it rubbed off - but the boots themselves are comfy and keep my toes dry and have ankle and shin guards.

Gloves - Scorpion EXO Coolhand II and are my most comfortable gloves...although I do wonder about how much protection they offer...the fabric sticks to the Velcro snaps and has begun to fray a bit... may be time for a new pair...

Helmet - HJC SY-Max Modular with sun visor. Great helmet - very light for a modular, but could use more / better venting.

Misc - cooling neck wrap, assorted dew rags and bandannas

Biker Chick to Office Chic - My Makeup Gear Bag

  • Bare Minerals SPF matte foundation powder. This clicks shut so you don't get powder everywhere. You can also put a little puff inside.
  • Hair elastics
  • Mini claw clips
  • Wet wipes - never know when you'll catch that bug with your face!
  • Tinted Baby Lips balm with SPF
  • Jewelry - I pack it away while riding. Earring backs are sharp!
  • Herbal Essences Mouse - okay, it isn't in my take-along bag, I leave this in my locker at work to fix any frizz and revive flat helmet hair.
  • Band-Aids - 'cause I take them everywhere.
  • Benefit's They're Real Mascara Mini. Why a mini when a full size is cheaper? Well, it takes up less space and you shouldn't keep your mascara that long. It takes me a year to use up a full size tube of mascara - but you should replace mascara every couple of months. This way I use what I have and then replace it. It may cost a tiny bit more - but new mascara is less costly than an eye infection.
  • Scented hand lotion - like perfume, but with moisturizing benefits!
  • Skinceuticals physical blocking matte tinted SPF 50 - this stuff is great! Matte SPF with staying power and enough tint for it to work as a sheer foundation.
Well, that's it for me!

What do you pack for riding to work?

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