Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Helmet! and another TWT Pie Run

Yesterday was yet another TWTexans Pie Run. This one was held in Hutto, TX, just a little NE of Austin.

I've been wanting to visit Lone Star BMW in Austin for a while, mainly because I'd heard a nasty rumor that they carried Caberg brand flip-up helmets.

My trusty 3 year old Arai had been damaged in the crash in Nashville in June, so I was in the market for a new helmet and really wanted to try a flip up. Dante's Dame had a Caberg Justissimo (link goes to a review) at the STN WV meet, and I really liked the features. Unfortunately her head is a bit smaller than mine so trying on her Xtra Small wasn't going to work. I don't like buying helmets without trying them on, so I've been delaying my purchase and just wearing my Arai.

According to Mapsource, it was 130 miles from my door to the pie run location in Hutto. Figuring in the 20 miles from Lone Star BMW to Hutto, I determined that if I gave myself 3.5 hours to get there, I'd have time to shop a little in Austin.

Well, after slabbing out to Austin on 290, they had Cabergs, but the only medium was a glittery (not flat) black. I kind of wanted a silver, but all my previous helmets have been black, and I'd rather reward the dealership for carrying these rare helmets. The sales assistant seemed knowledgable and was able to demonstrate the features of the helmet. A cheaper version of the Schuberth flip ups, the Caberg has an integral smoke shield that drops out from the helmet internals (no more extra shield to carry!) and the clear main visor has a fog-free coating. The flip up catch is metal (supposed to be better than the plastic ones seen on cheaper flip ups). It seemed to have adequate vents, but I don't generally sweat that much. My only concern at this point is that the Caberg is reputed to leak in rain, but we'll see how much of an issue that is.

I wore the helmet in the dealership for about 20 minutes to make sure the fit was correct with no pressure points. The price onthe box was $299... but again, I was able to try it on...so I figured on paying for that convenience. Happily, it only rang up to $250 at the register, much more inline with online prices. I got out of there in the $270 range including tax.

I walked out of the dealership and sat in the parking lot to transfer my helmet speakers from my Arai (note - I will need to buy an open-faced Starcom speaker kit with a boom mic). The Arai and the collapsed box for the Caberg all fit snugly into my trunk. I headed off to the pie run to show off my purchase.

After being social and consuming a pretty good mushroom swiss burger and some very rich peppermint patty pie, I decided to ride home on a somewhat twisty route. Rebecca had made her own way to the pie run, and wanted to ride back with me. I was fine with that, but didn't really want a large group since I knew I was the one with the route on my gps...and would be leading.

Somehow rumors spread and we ended up with 6 people total. Grrr.

I was feeling a little off during the first part of the ride. My new helmet was feeling weird - the noise was different and I somehow felt taller on the bike. At one point, I was thinking to myself that I'd had more fun slabbing out there alone that morning than on twisty roads leading a group in the afternoon.

I think I started to relax and have fun when we hit FM696 and I asked Rebecca to lead the 16 miles to Lexington. I waved everyone forward and got to have some stress-free time in the back.

From there it was more of the trading off lead that I'd enjoyed so much during the hill country ride. I'd guide us through complicated road turn-offs and then Rebecca would take over during the fast twisties.

At a turn-off about 80 miles into the ride, I asked Rebecca if she thought the others needed a break. I usually don't take breaks except for gas and food, so I didn't need one. She didn't think they did, so we continued on. About 20 miles later, Debbie passed the two of us and pulled the group over in a shady turn out, complaining that she "thought we'd never stop!"

I was able to rate the day's ride as thoroughly enjoyable by the time we hit US290 and started going separate ways.

I really didn't take any pictures today, but Rebecca posted a pictorial report on her blog

1 comment:

euromedic said...

I got the same helmet, except it is grapphite silver. Love the features, but did have some rainwater seapage where visor meets chinbar in nasty rainstorm a few months ago. Aside from that, it has served me well. Keep up the good work on your blog, have a nice day.