Me and My Bike

My Bike

My bike is an '85 FJ1100. Best bike in the world for this sort of thing. At the beginning of the trip, 31K on the odometer. I've owned it for six years - bought it for myself for my birthday. Givi hard bags, everything else is stock. Lost the lower bodywork four years ago. Haven't missed it a bit. I have a cover over the tank that came with the bike - presumably to cover up the small dent. I put a matching dent in the tank two months after buying the bike by tipping over at a gas station. I've toyed with the idea of getting them fixed but haven't gotten around to it.

You can also see my camping stuff under the bungee net. I carried a tent, sleeping bag, thermarest sleeping pad ( one if you don't have one already and ever do any camping), stove, and other stuff. The brown thing hanging off the back is not a custom pool cue or an artist's easel, but is my fly rod.


I wear a two-piece Aerostich suit. This has the convenience of being able to use the jacket separately, but mostly it is the only way I could possibly get one to fit - they don't come in women's sizes! I got new pants this year, which was a great investment. The old ones were in perfect shape, but I'm a little bit heavier than I used to be, and it was either buy new pants or lose 10 pounds. I figured buying was a lot easier! It is one of the best things I did, as the extra room makes the pants a lot more comfortable, and I can wear them with a couple layers of things underneath if need be.

Underneath I wore three-quarter length lycra shorts. They're not very bulky, and slide around in the pants, which is great. They're also not hot. If you wear bike shorts or something and leave the skin exposed, I find it sticks to the lining of the suit, which is yucky.

I also wear a Conspicuity vest. I heard about these long ago on and have been meaning to get one ever since. I finally got one of the SuperSeeMe models, which makes me look like a truck! My helmet is a new (!) Shoei RF700, which is a major improvement over the old RF108, and the white is nice. It is complete with Geeky sticker.

My boots are some kick-ass cowboy boots I bought from JC Whitney years ago. They are decidedly no-frills, but the leather is thick and the soles are nice non-skid rubber. My gloves are Fieldsheer Kevlar somethingorothers, with rivets on the palms. The main reason I bought them is that they felt awesome when I tried them on. One disadvantage of both the boots and the gloves is that they tend to turn things black. The gloves only do it when they get wet, but the only way to get it off is with Comet or something. The boots leave faint black marks on my socks, but they wash out, so I've never worried about it.

The boots have been waterproofed many times with Sno-Seal, which is awesome stuff. I guess I oughta do the same thing for the gloves.

I also wear sunglasses under the helmet, and earplugs (the squishy foam kind) most of the time.

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Annie, 15 August 1996