But, getting back to the four reasons to write a blog post today:
1) Tiger is back on the road again
As mentioned above, it took a few tries in the shop to get the Tiger right. A few times I brought it home, checked it out and brought it back to the shop. A very frustrating experience and I still have to write an open letter to Triumph about this. I will also post this here.
What it comes down to is the renewed fact for me that even if I love a bike on a test ride I will first of all make sure I have a local shop I trust to do service and repairs. Especially warranty work is a problem in that regard as that is only provided by the manufacturer licensed shops. And in short: the Triumph service here in the South Bay isn't worth a penny. I was very close to selling the Tiger out of sheer frustration and getting a Beemer again - at least for that I have a local shop (BMW San Jose) that I have a little confidence in. Decided to leave that for a different time though - when the new R1200GS has matured a little and the first niggles are sorted out by BMW.
But, now on to much nicer topics.
2) First time I rode Page Mill Road after the accident in December
For me, one of the most important steps in getting back on the bike was to ride the same road again where I had the accident. It's one of my favorite roads in the whole area, it's the road I use to ride up to Alice's Restaurant, it's the road we mostly use to get into the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Yesterday I rode that route again and I felt okay. Careful, with lots of anticipation and slower and more careful than I usually ride – but I did it just fine and I feel better now. I also feel better about riding the Tiger again, now that I have that "test" done.
3) Andrea rode the Tiger the first time
When we were up at Skyline Blvd (CA35), I pulled over to the side and we switched bikes. I had offered Andrea a test ride on the Tiger for quite a while now and at one point snagged a low seat on ADVRider.com and now the time had come.
So we switched, I rode the trusty F650GS for a while and Andrea was following me on the Tiger 800. That was weird - seeing the completely different shape in the mirrors, at least when there was something to see in the mirrors when they weren't shaking due to the single cylinder vibration of the GS. The familiar but still unfamiliar look of the dual headlights, the wider stance, the different shape, and hearing the triple whine over the intercom and not underneath me was weird.
|Andrea on the Tiger|
Andrea managed great. We said that if she wanted we could switch again after about 10 miles on a view point along the way, but we passed that one, and passed more and more places and in response to my question whether she wanted to switch back again, I only heard "Switch? Why? I'm feeling just fine ...".
I guess the experience of riding the Tiger was very pleasurable, no need to switch gears all the time, just sometimes to modulate the sound level a little bit, the silky smooth, nearly vibration free feel of the engine, the otherwise very similar handling of the bike – it looked like Andrea was feeling all right. And she was. 50 miles and lots of nice curvy roads later we arrived at Road Rider in San Jose where we wanted to look for a new, slightly more protective (gauntlet style) pair of summer gloves for Andrea and I finally got my Tiger back.
|80 mile loop - Andrea rode 50 of these miles on the Tiger|
4) Andrea got a pair of really nice new gloves
And here's now the fourth reason for this post, a nice new pair of gloves:
|Held Evo Thrux Glove|
It's a very nice feeling and looking glove. High gauntlet with a protective pad on the side, kangaroo skin palm, padded super fabric inlays in slide areas, hard knuckle protection, more padding on top of the fingers and still great ventilation. A nice new glove for her and some added protection as a bonus.
I have a set of Held Air & Dry on order from Held USA directly, they aren't available at this time but should come back in in March. Hopefully they arrive soon – they are the replacement gloves for my BMW Summer Gloves that I damaged in my accident. Things are coming together again.