The February Newsletter was written on the beach of the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. This month’s letter comes together on the beach of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Yes, these are both inspirational places but I don’t travel here each month just to write a newsletter.
As it works out, I will spend the entire month of February and a good portion of the month of March in the Dominican Republic serving our family foundation, Smiles for Hope, through a teaching position at the dental school where I am now an honorary Professor of Dentistry. I will also be hosting an expedition of 38 Crown Council members who will be serving on the North Shore of the Dominican Republic near the now devastated country of Haiti. I hope I can bring some worthwhile material to your hearts and minds even though the newsletter is assembled so far ahead of distribution.
Learning Curves Taking Three Wheels
One of the Iron Horses in our family’s stable is a three wheeler. Many years ago I combined a Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster with a Lehman Trike Conversion kit. The resulting trike looks cool and eliminates that challenge of a dropped bike that can arise from time to time with a conventional two wheeled bike. However, despite the benefits listed above, the three wheeler also has some serious drawbacks.
The riding experience is totally different. I am always running into or over something with my rear wheels because I have ridden on two wheels for the last 44 years. With thought and practice this could be overcome. The three wheeler handles totally different from a conventional bike. You steer rather than lean to counter steer. With some practice, you can eventually become accustomed to this. So, the bottom line is that if you are feeling it is time in your riding life to go for three wheels, please know it can be a challenge.
In light of this discussion, I want to make you aware that Harley Davidson has recently teamed up with Lehman to carve out its place in this niche three-wheeled market. Take a look online or visit your local Harley dealer to see this new Tri Glide for yourself. It now comes in the Electra Glide as well as the Street Glide model.
Lehman manufactures the large frame that goes over the axle as well as the molded plastic body work and fenders. On top sits the standard Harley tour pack, which is good for holding a lot of stuff. In spite of the loss of saddlebags, the new body contains a huge trunk with 4.5 cubic feet of storage. This provides plenty of space for storing all the items necessary for a long road trip.
The width on my Lehman Sportster combo from fender to fender is 44 inches and I am always running into things. The new Tri-Glide is 55 inches wide – 11 inches wider than the Sportster. Man oh man, I would mow ‘em down with the Tri Glide! These guys will never take over the two-wheeled market but you may be part of the niche that this three-wheeled ride appeals to. The great thing about the Tri-Glide is your local Harley dealer can sell, service and warranty this three wheeler. If this piques your interest, take a look and see if it fits.
Product Recommendation: Gator Skins
These are worth a try for those early spring rides and for that early morning cold at high altitude on a summer ride. Electric clothing works great to keep you warm on those cold rides, but at times it’s a bit of an overkill and a hassle due to the dangling connecting cords and the controller. For many of those cool-to-cold rides, Gator Skins provide a good alternative. Gator Skins are made of a combination of polyethylene, nylon and lycra microfibers and are very light, water repellant and effective at keeping the cold away.
Microfiber material works by trapping a thin layer of air between the cloth and your body. Normal body temperature heats this layer, providing insulation from the cold. At the same time, this miracle material is excellent at wicking away sweat and body oils, so you never feel as if you’re wearing a portable sauna.
A complete Gator Skins outfit consists of pants, top, glove liners, and a fleece lined neck warmer, which are worn underneath your normal riding gear. Just how effective Gator Skins are depends on your tolerance to cold. For me, they did the job until the wind-chill factor got into the mid 40-degree range. Others have reported riding comfortably in as low as the high 30s without the addition of electric clothing.
One of the biggest advantages to Gator Skins is their flexibility. As the ride warms up, you can shed the various pieces to reach a comfortable temperature and, as the material is thin and light, you can always find room for them in your bags. At the other end of the temperature scale, using Gator Skins in conjunction with heated clothing should allow you to ride in weather that I only want to read about, not experience!
I was particularly impressed with the neck warmer. It tucks in nicely under both your helmet and your jacket to seal that area and keep out leaking air that can defeat even the best of cold-weather gear.
Gator Skins is one of those products that you should always have at the ready, tucked away in your saddlebags. They work as advertised and should serve to extend your riding season well into the cold months.
A Final Thought
Sometimes, the fastest way to get there is to stop for the night.