FTC disclosure tour-de-force here ...
GearChic's Joanne Donn
As legible as we are intelligible ...
Robin: Real quick here, because we have an amazing guest on the episode. Let's get through the anecdotal chitchat as fast as possible. Brian, have you started a one man caravan? No, didn't figure that. Okay. Moving right along.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah, I started it. I wouldn't say I got very far.
Robin: Define start.
Brian: Um, like four pages he's, he's still, he's still at the
Robin: party. Okay. Gotcha.
Brian: I just, like, I, like, I re I started it months ago and then today I'm like, Oh, I should read this. And, uh, and then my wife needed something and off I went. So anyway, I'll get
Robin: it. Hey, so get ready. I'm going to be texting you a lot, please do, because here's my anecdotal chit chat. Tomorrow, Monday, I have to ride to Harbor Freight an hour and a half away to get the screw removal tools that you Suggested I get so I can remove the fastener from my engine so that on Tuesday I can ride to San Antonio and pick up the headlamps for the bike Which were just jacketed by some guy who pulled into the park next to us and just happens to do custom work So he's gonna put this eighth inch of jacketed protective gel on the headlamps This is my fourth set of headlamps miles. So It's like this rubberized sort of sorbo thane type coating and that's gonna protect my headlights in the future And then after that on Wednesday My eBay fender arrives and I got to pull the fender extender off the old clean it up put it on the new So that on Thursday when the new carbon fiber fairing parts arrive The headlights can go into that before it goes back on in the front. It gets pieced back together Meanwhile, that's the same day. I'll be getting some m5 by 20 Miller coupling nuts They're going to distance my tail tidy enough that the signals aren't touching the luggage because it's a design flaw. It says four luggage equipped bikes, and yet the signals are just banging on my luggage. So that Friday I can take a deep breath. Saturday, I can work on the wiring all day and get my SAE to USB at the handlebars, three strand luggage lights for the running and brake lights, 95, 000 miles on this bike, just trying to celebrate it before the a hundred K mark. And it's slowly just becoming a paperweight. That's my anecdotal chitchat. How are you doing Brian?
Brian: I'm doing well. Um, I'm doing some boring work on my minivan, so nobody needs to know about that. I do have work I need to do on my motorcycle. Like I just got a bunch of stuff done on the vintage Suzuki. The KLR doesn't need anything because it's just rough and tough and doesn't need nobody for nothing. And, and the Yamaha has some, like, valve check, you know, just a heavy maintenance, but I'm saving that for, like, the deepest, darkest, worst pit of despair somewhere around February, January. I'm saving that because I want to savor it. I want to savor that work. I want to I want to have the heater on. I want to be able to focus on it and think about what's what it's for. And, and so I'm just going to save that for, for a couple of months, but yeah, it's, it's cold as hell here. It's it's, it just sucks.
Robin: All right. That's great. Really happy to hear it. Now. Anecdotal chitchat check. Now to introduce, it is our honor and pleasure to have the one and only Joanne Dahn of gearchick. com with us today to make our podcast look halfway respectable. Let's see if we can do something fun here. Welcome Joanne.
Joanne: Thank you. You don't need me to be more respectable. I can tell you already are. I'm just here as decoration. We're happy
Joanne: here. Thank you. Thank you. It's been a while since I've been on a podcast, so this is really great. I really miss doing these. Me too.
Brian: Joanne, I'm going to hit you with a couple of questions that we don't have anything approaching tradition here, but if we did, it would be something along the lines of, so, uh, did you ride today?
Joanne: Oh, um, I did drive today. I do have a manual. So does that count? I have a Wrangler. So it's the closest I, I can get to writing right now. No, I haven't written in a while.
Brian: That's about it. Yeah. I think, I think I moved my motorcycle out of the way once today, but yeah, that's, so yeah, that, that's, uh, We started asking that in the summer, and it's so we need to ask something different. And when the winter is coming around,
Joanne: yeah, same problem. It's cold.
Robin: If you're up north is like, so Brian, did you sulk today? Yeah, did it? Just sit and wait for summer, you know, spring to happen
Brian: today. Yeah, I just, I wept in a corner. No, the, uh, uh, snowmobiling, uh, but see in Indianapolis, we're not far enough north to get any snow. So I have to go farther north to even have a shot at getting on a snowmobile. And that's just like, that's like methadone. It doesn't really, you know, doesn't scratch the itch like, you know, the real heroin does. So it's just cold. Yeah. It's just cold.
Robin: Same. What about
Joanne: ice biking? That doesn't sound No. That sounds awful. You guys are crazy.
Robin: You two should argue. Brian loves arguments.
Joanne: I already argued with my husband. I don't need two other dudes to argue with. Okay, go on.
Brian: Yeah, I, I, like if someone said, here, try my ice bike. Sure. Why not?
Joanne: But With like studs and everything?
Brian: Yeah. But Uh, probably just die immediately. I don't know.
Joanne: What are they like? I don't know. That looks scary. No, I've seen videos and it looks terrifying. I don't know. People are crazy. I guess you need something to do when it's like zero degrees outside and that's better than being inside. I don't know. It looks scary
Robin: to me. It's some kind of Minnesotan thing. Anything Minnesota, Wisconsin. Ice fishing. Like they've got probably, what is it where they do the horseback riding and the rifling and the targeting and the skiing?
Joanne: That's an Olympic
Brian: event. Biathlon. Yeah. Biathlon, triathlon.
Robin: Yeah. So they probably have one that's like ice fishing, whiskey drinking, ice biking.
Brian: Yeah, I think the whiskey drinking has a lot to do with, with how these things came apart and came up, um, and, and yeah, like the, the, the spikes, I mean, you know, there, there's like arms and legs to get cut off. I mean, it's, it can be, it can be bad. Um, but yeah, it'd be tough to say no. Someone said here, hop on, uh, well, all right, well, that's the
Joanne: worst that can happen. You could freeze to death or die trying. Kudos to those that enjoy these things.
Brian: So what, um, And, and I know people can go to gearchick. com, which is what I did. And so I know the answer somewhat, but, uh, what you've been riding lately, uh, when you, when you were able to ride, when you did get out and ride what's in the garage anyway.
Joanne: Uh, so do you want me to tell people what gear chick is?
Brian: Yeah. Oh, yes, we need to, yeah, we need to explain Gearchick a little bit
Joanne: better. I mean, I almost feel not good enough to even explain myself in that way, because I haven't been updating it or keeping up with it the way I used to. I used to be really religious about it, and it was a weekly updating and writing and blogging and posting. And now it's like, once every six months, I post an update to say I'm still here. You're
Robin: not alone. There's, there's like, you, like the inspiration, the articles I'm writing anymore are in the 2, 500 word range. So I really have to arrive at big inspiration on a great ride to want to really
Joanne: post. Yeah. Uh, I started it back in 2005 or six. I always forget which year. And I really just started with a domain name. So I started the website as a way to communicate my frustration, but also share my, um, learning about motorcycle gear, about technical and purpose, you know, functional motorcycle gear, because I started working at a, uh, uh, back then a KTM Aprilia, a victory dealership. and Kimco scooters. So I started to learn about motorcycle, about selling them, not so much, but gear. I was really, I got a part time job in the apparel department selling gear. So, um, it came with very little, you know, selling motorcycles. It was really like, talk to the people who bought a motorcycle about gear, get them geared up, you know, with their purchase. So everything that I was learning about Product I wanted to share also because my own frustration of not finding the information that I was looking for as a female writer. So I started that website, just a domain name, a really bad HTML website that my husband taught me how to write. And then, um, cause he's a, he's a video audio
Robin: web. Did it have an advertisement for 5, 000 free hours of AOL on there
Joanne: somewhere? No, it's not that old, but I did try some Google ads and failed miserably. So. It just started with a basic blog and I started with a very simple premise of I just started riding and I'm shopping for motorcycle gear as a woman. And this is, these are some reviews of some technical motorcycle gear that I want to share with you because I really like them. So it's really evolved since then. I mean, honestly, it was just, it became more of the same over the last 15, 20, 18 years. I don't know however many years. So. It's just evolved to more reviews and just more mentioning of different product that I loved and I recommended because I would buy it and use it, or I'd buy it and hate it. Um, I was not sponsored by anybody, so I didn't get paid to post content. And sure, I would get some free product every now and then from different brands who were like, here, you know, you love our gloves. So here's another pair. But there was no, I didn't have like real financial relationships with anybody. It was just, this is stuff I'm buying with my cool discount at the dealership. And then it just evolved. So it, Luckily, it was a vehicle for me to, um, get better and learn more about product for men and women. I mean, to be honest, I know more about men's gear than I do women's because I had to help five times as many women, men, excuse me, male riders than female riders because there are more men. Um, buying motorcycle gear in the shops, um, and in general, right, the statistics are more men riding. So I actually know a lot more about men's product. And so all that knowledge and experience just kind of rolled together so that I could then go work full time in our industry selling apparel full time. So I ditched my office work. And then just kind of, it rolled over to doing this now. Gearchick is still there and I leave it up, but I don't post too much of it. And it's really just a fun recreational site, but that's not my job job. So it doesn't pay my bills. So
Robin: you don't tell the lie the way I do. So what do you do, Robyn? Well, I write for the motorcycle industry. I run a website and lead commercial motorcycle
Joanne: tours. Well, I mean, uh, I get to actually tell a little more truth because I do sell motorcycle gear for a living. So that's not a lie, but Not through my website. The website is purely anecdotal and it's, there's a lot of history. So there's a lot of brands on there that I don't work for. You know, now I work for Revit sport USA. So there is a lot of product there. I used to use from other companies all the time. A lot of our competitors and I left, I leave it, you know, it's old product. And there's actually a lot of really old stuff that I have deleted.
Robin: I kid, but the fact is, is that I'm a web developer. You know, I love being in this industry. I love writing for the industry. And I love the little bit of, you know, sometimes it supports my habit, so to speak. But in the end, it's like, I'm a web developer and the rest. So that's the truth. That's the second answer I give when I have to look at the ground and look at my feet.
Joanne: I'm married to one, so I totally get it.
Brian: One thing I noticed is, uh, I love the, you got this whole series, So You're Short, for short writers, and the world needed that. The world really needs that. And, and you got the picture where you kind of lean off. Anyway, that's great. And it's also a lot of this stuff. It's worth keeping alive because is there a lot you need to add to it? Not really. It kind of goes through the really the basic principles right there.
Joanne: I think so. Yeah. I mean, I definitely left that up. I wrote it like four or five years ago and it's because people were continually asking me these questions just in real life and on social media. They were messaging me and I still get messages from people, particularly female writers. So, yeah, I just decided to add that as a resource because. I was getting a lot of, I get a lot of weird questions about my experience, what I own, what I have and what I've done. There's a lot of questioning about, you know, what did you, what do you do, you know, how do you do that? And what, why do you have that? And you know, when did you buy this bike? And did you do this? Did you lower this? Did you do that? So I wanted to have it all in one place of just all the stuff I tell people already. And I just got lazy writing it all the time in email form. I got tired. Yeah. I
Robin: have a question for you as the expert. And this is, this is catering to somebody who's brought this up several times. Sure. Uh, Armane Piper in Colorado. She always wants to know about the turquoise hot purple thing. Wait,
Joanne: did you say Armane? Yes. Okay. I was like, is it that, there's only one Armonia that I know of in this industry. So I was like, it has to be her. Cool.
Robin: She's hosted on this podcast for a good month and a half or so on the study during some seasons. Cool. She is one person who is vehemently against this constant onslaught of turquoise, hot purple, purple, hot purple, coice, coicerol, you know, it's like, can we get, you know, so. Yeah. You immediately on your site, I don't know if this is still available, but I'm looking at the perforated women's glove, black gauntlet, sturdy, strong, probably track worthy. Yeah. Soft leather, foam, you know, it's like these kinds of things. You've probably had firsthand witness the availability of such and the limited availability of such things. Yes.
Joanne: Turquoisey, purpley, thing is, is a constant struggle in our industry and it's a constant topic conversation among not only consumers, but also manufacturers like the company I work for. It's, it's really difficult I find as a consumer because well, now that I've seen it on both sides, it's actually fascinating because there's a whole level, a whole layer of that the consumer never sees or understands, which is business. Um, and it's business. And so what's very difficult to, I think, convey, but also make change and impact are those choices because there are still, as we all know, a vast majority of male writers who run our industry, especially apparel. There are no, as far as like, there are smaller businesses where a lot of women in the past decade have started business like at wild, you know, she started a company. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. She doesn't use anything like that in her product lines, you know, that's her point of view. But clearly it resonates and, um, I would say the same goes for the brand I work for. There is very little of that. There's minimal, there's like little sprinkles of like fluorescent pink, fluorescent red, you know, fluorescence.
Robin: We're completely independent. You can drop that name anytime you like, whatever you want to talk about.
Joanne: So, well, I, uh, you know, I am not. It's, it's hard for me sometimes. Well, what I'm trying to do is represent myself as gear check. And that's so different than representing myself as retail experience manager, Revit USA. Cause I really do want to talk more about product as a whole, like gear as a whole in general. Like this question you're just asking about is like color. Um, because I definitely want people who are listening to your podcast, who just have questions about motorcycle gear. Like I want to help that person. And I still strive to do that. So just spending this time with you, I wanted to be really focused on just these general kind of questions that I, as a consumer, I'm also frustrated with. And so get to work, Brian. So, yeah, I want to definitely just talk about anything related to gear, just as it relates to anybody and everybody, regardless of a brand that they choose. Um, but to Armone's point, those colors are driven by male points of view, but here's the other thing. They are also driven by female points of view because They are buying them, but it's a catch 22 because if this is the only choice I have between black and a turquoise, yeah, I'll probably pick turquoise cause I'm sick of black. So it's like, you're kind of forced to purchase. A lot of women are forced to purchase those colors cause there's no other option. Well, that's
Brian: exactly what happened to my wife, right? Could hated like the pink couldn't had, you know, you, you had to, she hated the pink and then finally ended up with like lavender and baby blue stuff.
Joanne: I mean, it's, it's still, yeah, I mean, it's still a choice though. Right. To do that lighter color than black me, I'm black, like my soul is dark and so I like dark colors. Like I would wear black 24 seven year round and, uh, but I don't do that because I, I just, I mean, I like it, but honestly it gets old, like me personally wearing black all the time. I do get tired of it. So I do love black, but I don't live in black all the time. And for my year, it's the same thing. I do like black, um, but I don't want it to be a hundred percent black. Like that's why I love Revit so much because they always would pipe in some red or they'd pipe in a silver with the black, um, you know, still, you know, clean, but a little pop of color. And that's what. That's my aesthetic. And I do like white sometimes. I do like white and black, but I'm, I actually don't want pink. I don't want bright colors. I red, maybe like red is probably the only color I've let into my closet. Um, but the other thing, yeah, my gear closet, cause we're, if it does a lot of white and black and I love that to me, that's a great alternative of a little brighter, a little different flashy, but not crazy. But the other thing about the turquoise blue purple thing is there are certain brands who cling to it. That's all they know. That's, they know it works. Girl pink. Right. It's like they have a formula. They sell to certain, you know, there are certain, uh, I think groups of people who love that and they should love it and they get to love it. So it should never be disdain for the female. Like, we should never ever be like, Oh, you're terrible. Why do you like this color? It's because you get to like whatever color you want. And it should never, right? I get to like black. She likes blue. Whatever.
Robin: If you weren't here, Brian and I get flat out mean to demographics sometimes. Just downright mean. Angular mean from, you know, a nosedive mean, but you're here. So we're going to keep the whole balance factor in play. And it's like, yes, if somebody wants to buy that product, shouldn't they have access to it? Exactly.
Joanne: Like some people like their bright green Kawasaki branded jacket, because it matches their cool new ZX6 and they love it. And that's great. But that should not be representative of the entire population of people riding Kawasaki ZX6s, right? Hey, there are people who love it, but not every Kawasaki ZX6 rider wants that green jacket. And it, I would say is no different than females, the Armanet or whoever walks into the store and says, Oh my God, I love this turquoise in this black. It's my, it's, I love it. It's beautiful. I want it. Hell yeah, she should have it. And she should not be demonized for liking the pink or the blue or the purple. Where I have, or I take offense to this is when manufacturers or. A lot of companies judge every female based on just this one, like, oh, every woman loves it. No, a chunk of them do. See, my
Robin: mom does this. Robin likes this and his sister likes that. That was when I was four. Things change. Right. Sometimes you want to mix
Joanne: it up. Everyone gets to like what they like, but it's, for me, the offensive part, and I use the word offensive because it is making sweeping generalizations, and that I think you can apply to anything in life. Any time where, you know, anyone makes an assumption about you without just, hey, talking to you first. That can be offensive. And, um, I don't like being marketed to with color, like blatant color. Um, that, well, you're a woman, so here's why you need the pink one. Like, that's very different. That's very different from check out these cool new pants. I don't know. Check out this cool new thing. They come in four different colors. One of them happens to be pink, one happens to be black, one's gray, and one's blue. You know, you get to pick one. So being marketed to like a five year old is where I have a problem.
Robin: Yeah. We need a metric system for
Joanne: gear. There is one. Starts at Euro 34.
Brian: There's several metric systems. Yeah.
Joanne: I mean, whatever, whenever. But yeah, color is, you know, it's hard. And then as you know, brands, there's business to be had. And when, you know, certain colors sell, it's like, it can be very challenging to Take risks, try something different without. You know, losing a lot of, of your investment, it's, it's just challenging and there's no answer. There's no like, well, you just do this, like it doesn't work that way. And it's the same as in gear and other jobs and businesses too. So it's, it's, it's challenging. It's hard. And, but the good news is this 20 years ago, the choices were like one hand. Now the choices are probably forehands. So there are more choices like with smaller businesses and then with, you know, big companies like the one I work for. And there's new companies that have started in the last 10 years and there's way more choices for women specifically. There are more. Um, and there's a lot more to be had and there's a lot more improvement to be made, but it's going to take time. And I try to remind women that this is a marathon, not a sprint. And if you were here 20 years ago, where I was trying to buy gear, trust me, you'd be thrilled with the choices that you see now that you seem to hate.
Robin: For being so well informed, you're so much more patient than I am, though. The whole marathon sprint thing. People know me. I'm not, I'm not patient. And I want to see things better for everybody.
Joanne: I, they are better. But that's the thing. Like, it's really, to me, a pessimist or optimist point of view that things, they really are better. Case in point, there was no such thing as a female motorcycle legging that didn't exist. It was appalling. It was absurd. Like, are you crazy? Zero. Now you go on to sites like RevZilla. We have one. Everybody has one. Everyone and their mom is making one. That's a huge shift and change. That is improvement right there. Maybe it's not the one you want, but it's happening. So I think it's. We all have to take a step back and look at, okay, well, what is great? Okay. Now what is crap? All right. What, what do we need to work on? But that's where I try to interject that or I can. Nice.
Brian: Nice. I have a detailed question and then I have another question. Um, one of the things you cover on. So you're short, which I love. So you're short. Um, yeah. And, and you, you kind of talk about boots with, uh, boots with like higher soles. Mm-Hmm. , higher heels and so forth. Mm-Hmm. . Uh, does that really help a lot? Or is it, you know, is it kind of a bandaid? Uh, that works? , how much time
Joanne: do you have? Okay. . So just, I'm gonna go, I'm trying to be really concise here. The answer is yes and no. So it's yes, when you need, um, a certain amount of extra height, like you need a little edge, you need just a little bit more, you need, you're just trying to get kind of to the next step, where it doesn't work is when you really are starting in the wrong place, you're like going down the road. On a one way street in the wrong direction and you don't have GPS, you're going down the wrong road. So you're completely lost here. And that's for me when people are purchasing motorcycles or riding motorcycles above and beyond their level of experience and above and beyond where they should really be and expecting a shoe to pick up the slack. Yeah. And something like, right, someone, and you know, a good example of that is. my partner bought me this motorcycle and said, I should ride this one. Okay. What do you know about, do you know anything about this motorcycle? And then she looks over and goes, what is it? And has no idea what she's just got herself into. Oh, but it's really tall. I need a big boot. That's not how it works. So I, I think I write in there, I think on that page, I have somewhere written in there about skill experience and not, and, and, um, having realistic expectations of what you're trying to accomplish with this boot, whether it's a wedge or whether it's a lift. But if you made really bad choices and did not think it through, didn't take the time to really figure out and research what you're getting into this life and death kind of activity. and you expect a 200 shoe or boot to solve your problem, that's not gonna work.
Robin: So would this apply to a British sport bike standard posture that has like way too many sensors that tend to fail and after a while you're the only person working on it even though that person that bought the bike promised they would be the ones working on it? Correct. Just confirming. Thank you.
Brian: There's some subtext there, Robin, right?
Joanne: Yeah, I think I understand it. Um, so it's, yeah, for me, it's, it's no, when your skills and experience are way too far back. Like it's, it's really more of a, of a support thing. Like it's, and for me, a prime example is, um, uh, when I, Um, bought this dual sport. When I rode this dual sport two years ago, I rode a different person's XT250 and they have it modified for them. Absolutely. As they should. Luckily, I was able to ride it because of my MX boots. And because I added a little lift inside, it just made it a little bit easier, but it was by no means like riding a Kawasaki Eliminator 125. Like it doesn't, It wasn't like that, it was just, it was just, you know, it was like enough to add a little, just a little bit more stability and control. Um, but now, now that I'm on a stock XT250, which I bought from Armanet's school, it was one of the last used ones because that dealership is only an hour north of my house.
Robin: You're not talking about a TW, you're talking about an XT.
Joanne: XT250. It's a 2018 and it was one of the last ones that she's rotating out for her school. So, um, I got it used at a steal compared to what everybody else is charging. So now, now that I'm back on a stock one, it is so low. It's like riding. I feel like I'm riding a training bike, so I need to tweak it a little bit, just a little bit. I need to actually need a new seat is what I need, a tall seat. So having. the bliss in the boot that helped me as a new dual sport rider attempting a new motorcycle type because I'm used to street riding, um, and then anticipating terrain and issues, you know, but mainly stability.
Brian: Nice. Nice. Are
Robin: you a MSF?
Joanne: I was, so I was certified from 2005 or 6 until 2015 and then I had to give it up because I moved to Philadelphia and I just could not maintain the certification. I couldn't maintain my weekend job and take on MSF work at this end part time, so I gave it up. I understand, but I loved it. I did. I loved it very much the time I did it. And so maybe someday, maybe someday I'll go back to it, but I already have too much work. And this is,
Brian: yeah. And maybe you and I can talk and Robin can just like go do something else for a while. Cause I got really interesting. Like you're getting into dual sport riding and I mean, you know, I, again, I was the same thing as a experienced street rider. Blah, blah, blah, got into dual sport riding. I, you know, it was starting over. I mean, it was. You know, and it was just fascinating, you know, well, yeah, okay, yeah, maybe I ended up on the ground a lot and, and, uh, yeah, yeah, a
Joanne: lot. And on my arm.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You broke. Yeah. I think you broke your arm.
Joanne: Broke my arm. Yeah. Um, but yeah, it's humbling. So humbling learning to dual sport and I love street riding still. And I love sport bikes still, but I do love this different type of motorcycle activity. And like what the tall boot did for me was it literally allowed me to get the balls of my feet on the ground. That's it. It did not. And one left flat, assuming the terrain is like somewhat level. Um, that's all it did actually. So those boots, when I added inserts into my MX boots, I did get four inches off the flat ground with no shoes on. But it's a dual sport bike. It has to have clearance. You can't hop up baby heads if you don't have clearance, you know, you can't clear things, so it was fine, but that's all the edge it gave me. Like I didn't get like all this tremendous height from it. I just got enough to have a solid left foot and then two balls of my feet, which is where I'm comfortable.
Brian: Yeah, and it's, um, and one thing I've noticed also, it's more important that you have good traction on the boot. Like if your footing is toes only, um, a lot of these fashion boots are really slippery or they just have little lines.
Robin: Sorry, you said fashion.
Joanne: Yeah, I mean, they basically,
Brian: yeah, you need, you need like, you know, you need like big ugly work boot soles, you know, with like, you know, that can grip on the ground,
Robin: just where a couple of ice picks. Yeah.
Joanne: Well, I'm going to counter you and say, actually, no, you don't necessarily need that, that it's a lot like modern sport bike tires, right? You can have a contact patch on the track of what, I don't know. Five inches long. I don't know. Like, right. You can barely have a contact patch and have so much traction in that tiny patch because of tire technology. Right? I mean, that's how everyone gets their elbows down. Right. And they're going a hundred. It's this, it's not exactly the same, but you can do a lot with just the ball of one foot. If you have a real motorcycle boot, not from Zappos, PSA, anything you buy in Zappos, it's never going to work. It doesn't work for you on a motorcycle, not the way you need it to. So pretty much, I mean, that's basically, that's a great, that's actually a great way to put it. I like that a lot. It's fascinating because if you also scroll, I think on that page, there's a photo of me. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm like under a pop up tent and I'm riding a friend's street triple, which is coincidentally the same year and color as mine. Yeah. And I've got one foot on the ground. I only have actually the left ball of my foot on the ground and I'm able to park. It's smooth though. So the parking lot is smooth because we're, I'm rolling into a parking lot. I was actually able to park that with just one ball of foot because of that, because I wear track boots and track boots have a tremendous amount of traction.
Robin: Oh, you can sleep standing up in those things,
Joanne: right? That's true. Yeah. So. You don't even need big, thick soles. It's less is, can be more if it's the right boot and the right technical product. So it's amazing how much you can get without a whole left foot. And that's where, I mean, a whole flat foot. And that's what I've always tried to tell people too, is you don't really need that unless you've made bad decisions. Yeah.
Brian: Well, unless, unless you're in the mud.
Robin: The future will say that you don't need that there may be a right now, as you get started and get comfortable with, there's a security about it.
Brian: Yeah. And if, and if you're, you know, and if you're in the mud and so forth, if you're, you know, if you're, if you're picking up a bike in the mud or pushing uphill, you
Robin: know, but are you just coming up with a random example,
Brian: Brian, or yeah, just, just things I've heard about. I've certainly have never experienced and the other thing that I think every motorcyclist needs to understand is that. Yeah. A dedicated motorcycle boot is worth it every single time. Absolutely. Street riding, track riding, dual sport, off road. Um, I, I, like for a long time I just wore like whatever boots I was wearing for tromping around the farm or whatever. Kangos. Makes a huge difference.
Robin: Did you just have the pocket for money in the tongue? The tongue in the shoe had a pocket for like a dollar for your lunch. Going to elementary school. I had that. Sorry.
Joanne: You don't want those on your motorcycle. Actually, well, you probably, you definitely don't want them on your sport touring motorcycles. Um, but yeah, for, I mean, for me, especially with my MX boots. Um. learning to ride. I did a dirt class. I did an, um, MSF two day dirt class at DC dirt camp, highly recommend. And, uh, we did the, you know, your standard MSF kind of dirt course layout in the grass field. And you do, you know, drills and turning and stopping and all the basics, literal basics. Cause I've never had training. I never had any dirt training before two years ago. So learning, even though, yeah, you don't necessarily need like full MX race boots for MSF dirt class. True. Right. You get away with. Sure, some hiking boots, just like, um, on a base paved MSF course, right? But for me being really new to dirt and being a street person and having absolutely no frame of reference for what proper dirt structure skills are supposed to be in technique, because I've ended up on the dirt on my sport bike, but not for fun. So, um, yeah, so I never knew what to do. There's a story there somewhere. Yes. Anyway. It's really bad. Yeah. I have a good one. Let's do that. No,
Robin: we gotta hear it. Go on. Conclude first and then rewind and tell us that
Joanne: story. I'll conclude very quickly. So learning to ride in a proper off road boot, you know, and if you've ridden off road boots, they're heavy. Right? They're pretty heavy. They're really, really stiff on the bottom. Like, it's like you're standing on cement, but you're not. Having that stability was instrumental for me to learn how to quickly stand up. Like, it took seconds for me, a minute for me to, to figure out, Oh, okay, I'm a stand and it feels good and it feels great because I had this really firm support underneath my feet. I couldn't feel the pegs. The boots are so solid. They're um, actually, uh, they're like full competition level off road race boots. So they're not even just light, cheap. Um, basic boots. So they had ankle support too, so that it made it feel like someone's hands were holding my feet on the foot pegs every time. So when I would get up on the pegs and stand and then counterweight and like pivot my weight, you know, to turn and do hard turns, it was really easy because it felt grounded and so I didn't feel. If you're like, Oh crap, am I going to fall or my feet going to slip? It just felt like they were literally locked in kind of like bicycle shoes into a pedal, a bike pedal. So it felt great. And I think that's why I got so good at standing fast. Like I stood up quickly. I didn't hesitate. It didn't scare me. It will a little bit, but it didn't, I didn't have the uneasiness of, I don't know if I can do this because I was able to, I had such a strong. ground. And it's the same thing with sport bikes. So if you are wearing vans and here you are barely touching the ground, right? And you're wearing sneakers that are soft that you can roll into a ball. How are you supposed to park your motorcycle? It weighs 400 pounds, right? Maybe 350. You can't back that up unless you are eight feet tall with flat feet. But when you're five two, you have no choice but to get off the motorcycle. If you're wearing. Boots or shoes that do nothing for you. So that's when maybe a tall boot could help you. But as I said before, it never solves problems that you are making for yourself.
Robin: I challenge you to write an article to cater to somebody such as myself on a MX on a budget. So I'm not all in on dirt. I don't ride any dirt for real. The truth of the matter is that if it's something I'd like to be able to do, I would like to have something that is up to your standards or Brian's standards, but. The definition of budget has to belong to the reader. Not what, you know, it's like, what is the best you can do inside of a, not just for boots, a 300 to 500 range that completes the outfit, puts it all together for the person who wants to go on a dual sport run and take the class with the MSF kind of thing.
Joanne: I think that's tough. I think with MSF, that's probably easier to do, like taking your MSF class and, but I, you know, I don't know. That's a tough one for me because knowing what a, a better off road or adventure boot can do for you. Knowing what they can do, it's really, it's very challenging, I think.
Robin: That's the trick though, because if somebody's thinking about doing this, we run into this as writers all the time. Yeah. Where it's like, if somebody's thinking about not getting any gear at all, and still is going to end up doing these things, what can we do to shield them from their own Ignorance. You know what I mean? This, at least get this much. This is going to cut into your ankles and you're going to have blisters, but you should at least have that. So we, yeah. So when you're done, you still have feet.
Brian: Yeah. When you get a K, when you get a KLR on your leg, which happens frequently, you know, you want to get, you want a good solid boot down there.
Joanne: No, that's a really good point. I mean, there are a lot of tremendous benefits. I don't want to talk poorly, certainly about budget product. That's definitely not what I'm trying to see here.
Robin: Accessibility product is a big, heavy thing,
Joanne: right? Right. It's, it's, and it, you know what, it makes sense. Like when you're just, I'm, I did the same thing starting out in street work gear. I didn't go all in and throw down 4, 000. It was a slow climb and it's very normal. And I think in a perfect world, yeah, everybody would throw in all, all, all at once, but it's really hard to do that. But you're right. There are a lot of benefits to even just entry level product over. Your closet. So that is absolutely an easy, that's definitely an easy article for me to write, for sure.
Brian: Around here, uh, flip flops, cigarettes, no helmet, uh, that, that seems to be the common writing gear.
Joanne: Yeah, and you're right. From that, just, if that's the starting point, absolutely. Even base level introductory gear offers so much more for the writer. Um, but yeah, you're right. That's, now that is a very easy thing to write. And I, I agree.
Brian: I think stuff like, uh, like, uh, I don't know if you remember Joe rocket, um, icon and even the built and the cycle gear stuff, just entry level, honestly. Yeah, it's entry level stuff. I think it has saved acres and acres of skin. It's saved a lot of lives because people will buy that stuff that would just, it's, it's not like people are. Throwing away their Revit or Climb or whatever and getting cheap stuff, their alternative is, is nothing or maybe a sweatshirt. And so I think that stuff has a role in it. People are like, Oh, it's horrible. It's horrible. Well, it might be, but it's, it's saved a lot of skin, I think. No, it
Joanne: totally has. It lowers the barrier to entry. It welcomes more people in. It's an inclusive way to bring people into the sport and gear up properly. Um, if they don't have enough yet, you know, to spend and it gets them to a point where they can be safe and comfortable. And then later, you know, invest more when they're ready or invest when they can. Um, and no one should be excluded for that reason, um, but you're absolutely right about that. It's no, it absolutely has saved a lot of people. It's really more about expectations. I think where people expect certain items to perform a certain way. Um. But that's not really what they're meant for, you know, or expecting something to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with, you know, what you're trying to accomplish. So that's where it gets messy. And that's the hard, I think that's the hard article to write. All of a sudden
Robin: this conversation is sounding more and more like my garage efforts right now than it is about this gear. Robin, the tool can't do what you're asking it to do and you just broke another piece of the bike.
Joanne: It totally is. And I try when I used, when I was selling in a store environment every day, um, to people who, just like you said, Brian, about people who are used to wearing nothing and it's just normal, right? Maybe it's just the way that people ride around them, that the expectation is you don't really need much and talking to people who don't. who are just entering the doors, right? They've just pulled up to the parking lot and they know nothing about what's behind these doors. It's really, for me, it was always important to, to say, Hey, Brian, what do you do for fun? Like, what are your other hobbies outside of motorcycling? What is that? Brian? Give me like two, I don't know, two, three things you love to do. That's not motorcycle. I
Brian: can't think of anything. Nothing. It's not motorcycling. Okay. He's a writer. I don't know. You write. That's about it. And yeah, and I would, for example, a good analogy would be tools. I like to work on things
Joanne: and fix things. That's a hobby, right? That's exactly. Or you could be a chef. Like what if you're really serious about cooking? Well, what's the difference between this 20 hand mixer and a KitchenAid? Huge difference if you're, if you're a chef, right? Or whatever, if you're an electrician, there's a big difference between your Harbor Freight wrench that breaks in half and then, you know, a really nice snap on, right? And it's the same thing. And finding those analogies for people is how I would always communicate the benefits of better product. That yes, if you buy this Harbor Freight wrench, yeah, it'll probably. Unscrew whatever you need to screw, that's its base job, but maybe maybe outside of that, it may not. And, um, when I was living in Philly, my favorite analogy was handguns is guns because every person there carries or shoots guns. It's very real. You know, every, almost every person
Robin: there. I'm in Texas. So
Joanne: yeah, I hear you. Okay. So my husband is an enthusiast, hardcore. And so, and he rides, so he's perfect package. Um, so that would be my, like, especially selling an Arai, you know, a 600 Arai over a 300 HGC. I go, well, what's the difference between a Kimber 22 and an S& W? Aren't they the same? No. You know, why? Yeah. Tell me why. Like, tell me really. Then they can figure it out. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Tell me why you as a handgun enthusiast or whatever, enthusiast, why is that different? Well, here, now look at your, now look at this product. So just kind of explaining that very basic concept that these are not, just because these are things you're not familiar with, doesn't mean they are what you expect them to be. Like we're not in a mall, we're not at the Ross, we're not at a TJ Maxx here. We're in a very specific place with protective product.
Robin: Motorcycling is no matter what we do, it's an overblown cult.
Joanne: It's a fun one and you can, you can get out. You can leave whenever you want. But yeah, there's a lot, yes, there's a, and there's, you know, it's life and death. And I think people, um, really feel for their fellow motorcyclists and it becomes very personal. I think of like, if you don't wear this, I know exactly what's going to happen to you because I've seen it and I've experienced it, but it's really hard, right. To impose that on someone who's not ready yet.
Robin: Not to be confused with, if you don't wear it, like you're talking about, if you don't wear anything, it's like, that's a big, this serves as a really wonderful warning to anybody who's about to get into writing once they take the class, even if they say, yeah, I'm definitely going to wear the gear, you can go in and say like, well, I've got this much budget and this is what I'm gonna walk out the door with, but here's the warning. You can buy that stuff. It's going to do the job good on you, but. You're going to spend a lot more as the years go on, you're going to keep raising the game and going for the better helmet. It happens every time. If you do it
Brian: right. That first 500 helmet is a, is, is a, is a plunge and then you find out it's worth
Joanne: it. Right. And there's no, that's no different from any other awesome hobby you get into like skiing, like you're new to skiing and you might rent equipment, but then maybe a year in, you're going to buy your own set, right? You're going to invest in, in it more when you're ready and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Yeah. So, but this
Robin: sounds like you're trying not to tell the story. Oh, sorry. We are not, this podcast will not end until we understand. So there
Joanne: was writing. So there I was, um, on my street triple. Well, I've actually several times. I mean, so I've only had sport bikes, so there's a page somewhere in there about me and you can see all the bikes that I've ridden or owned, but I've only owned six, seven motor. Eight motorcycles, like in my name, like my motorcycles, but I've thrown a leg over maybe 30 different bikes in my, just in general, like a friend's, like, here, test ride this, or I've rented a bike, or I've just had the opportunity to ride a variety of motorcycles in addition to the ones I own. Nice. Um, but I've only owned sport bikes, so, um, after our first. Two wheel vehicle, which was a little scooter in San Francisco, then we started buying motorcycles, sport bikes. And, um, as soon as I started to ride long distance is like a hundred mile days, 200, 300 mile days and trips and weekends, you know, out adventuring and exploring on my bike. Um, you know, you use your Google, but I mean, way back then you were using Google. And maybe books, maybe maps to find roads, really cool, twisty roads. Right. Yeah. Um, and you end up on roads that might end like, so a lot of my rides, uh, like in Northern California, I would just, there was one ride I went on with a bunch of women from the passionate forum. Have you ever been on passionate P A S H N I T. com. Passionate. com. Yeah. Passionate. com. It's, uh, started by a wonderful man named Tim and Tim is an amazing, uh, sport bike enthusiast, sport touring enthusiast. He tours, he's probably toured a million miles on his Hayabusa. He started this website to start reviewing and sharing roads in Northern California. So if you live in Northern California and you want to know all the cool roads and routes and places to go, you really need to pay for passionate. com and get access to all of his ride reports. This is like 20 years of history here. Can't do. We went on a ride, it was a girly ride because it was just all women, and so we went riding and, um, my friend Nancy, she led one of the days, she routed it, and we were on this long ride, and, and we were riding through some back road, and then the road ended, and it was all gravel, for like, I don't know, maybe half a mile, it really wasn't that long, but that was my first time on the dirt, on my sport bikes, that was my SV650, And it was, I'd never been on the dirt, not really like sure on the side of the road. Okay. Getting off the freeway or something, but not like out riding. And it was terrifying. Um, yeah. I'm like, I don't know what I'm doing. You know? So she coached me through it cause that's what she does. And um, she actually teaches a street masters, uh, motorcycle workshops. And so that was my first time on the dirt. And then after that, uh, That bike, I got the street triple and so the street triples when I really started doing like long distance because I moved to the east coast, I bought the street triple a year later and I did numerous trips from Philadelphia, uh, east cause there's no, there are no good roads in Philadelphia. You have to go like six hours north, you have to go six hours west, um, and then you have to go a day out. You have to go to Virginia, West Virginia, you have to go to the down south.
Robin: Oh, I love those
Joanne: states though. Right. West Virginia, right? 250. Fantastic. Amazing, right? So the closest to Bay Area riding for me was West Virginia. Um, and then Western, a little bit of Western PA, but really PA is just kind of flat and there's not much turn, like elevation change and smooth riding like there is in California, Bay Area and West Virginia. So West Virginia, uh, PA, I just was, when I first moved there, I was obsessed about finding roads like. the Bay Area roads. Um, there's two freeways in the Bay Area, 36 and nine highways. There, that was where Alice's is, Alice's restaurant. So where that is, it's nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains and that's where some of the best roads in California live is right in there. Um, so I was trying to find roads that I could find that were somewhat close. So when you live in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, you have to piece together like 20 roads to make a route. Yeah. There's no such thing as go right out nine and come back. Mm hmm. That doesn't, there's no such thing out there. So I was obsessed finding roads. I'd go on Google and see if they were paved and a lot of these roads would just end. So like one time I led a ride with like six people and we ended up, um, Oh my God. It was like in the middle of, it was like Western PA somewhere. And it was like really great switchbacks and hairpins, but it was all dirt. Okay. Yeah. All dirt and gravel, all of it. And we had to just tool, I had to tool through that. I don't know. I didn't know what to do. I don't know how to ride in the dirt on a street triple. So I'm, you know, going slow and just kind of like going 10 or 15 miles an hour to get through that. And that was one route that I did that in, but there were countless rides like that I would do and get stuck on the dirt. The one that. I remember the most is the Blue Ridge Parkway. My girlfriend and I, we met up in West Virginia to go riding together. So she lived in North, South Carolina. I lived in Philly. We met there to go hang out and go riding. We decided to go off to the Blue Ridge Parkway and ride. Kind of off and on it. So we found a really great road off the parkway. The
Robin: stitched roads are better than the BRP by far. Right,
Joanne: like, Blue Ridge Parkway is lovely. It's fine, whatever. But that really wasn't what we were doing, exactly. So we got off of it. I thought I found a really good road. And I did for a while, but then the payment ended. It just ends there and maybe because they're always repaving, I don't know, but it was paved at one point and then it just stopped and we ended up on this, like, steep uphill switchback gravel 11 lane road. You couldn't turn around like, when it, when the, the pavement ended. I'm on my street triple when the pavement ended. You couldn't there wasn't room to turn around like yes in a perfect world. I wanted to turn around and she was on her bmw f650gs Um,
Robin: so she can turn around the street triple r's turning radius is it's got to be dipped down lower I
Joanne: would have had to do like a hard 10, which i've done like a hard 10 point turn and a one You know i've done that but not on gravel and certainly not with my track boots Like I, when I, you know, when I tour on the street, I actually wear my track boots. So um, she's like, do you want to turn around? I said, yes, but I don't want to turn around because this looks really hard. We're up, we're pointing uphill. And I, the idea of like turning around and going back the way we came was more terrifying than just going up the moderate hill. It wasn't a hill climb or anything like it wasn't like enduro, like. You know, big rocks or anything. It was just, it was literally just gravel. Trials
Robin: bikes on the street triple.
Joanne: Basically. So we just kept going. We're like, all right, well, let's keep going. And so it was like two miles of just windy uphill on the street triple. And then eventually we ended up on the parkway because there's all these little weird turns off the parkway. Yes. You know, there'll be like a random road. Yes. So I just end up there, I'm like, thank, but. I
Robin: said this on like, last episode, two episodes ago, that the road we use to promote our seven day tour is a road out of Candler, North Carolina, that just leads from Candler up to the BRP, and it's just some offshoot. Random. Yeah. And I just, there was nobody on it and I got the whole thing from start to bottom. I was like, well, here's a lie. I'll tell the customers let's use that. Come on. We're not writing this. Join us.
Joanne: That, uh, I don't, yeah, I mean now on my little two 50, sure. No problem. That sounds great. I'm totally down, but not on, um, not on my sport bike and like that, my bike has so much torque in first gear. Like I had to be really careful in second. Just not to spin my rear wheel out. I mean, I had track tires. Like I had like aggressive Michelin's on them with very no rain zipes, but you know what? I'm going to call that Michelin right now because, uh, I'm a diehard Michelin girl forever. I will never, ever, ever switch out of a Michelin tire because, because this is why for, um, for the street triple, I don't know. Okay. I'm not adventure tires, but at least for street bikes, the, um, those. I had old power RSS, not pilots. It was like the next generation tires, the traction and all the next gen tires are so amazing. Every time I got stuck on the dirt, it was with a Michelin. So even on my SV, I was on old pilots. They were on old pilot power. Their tires
Robin: worked out in the end for every incident is what you're saying. They
Joanne: did exactly. And then when, when I got the street triple, I upgraded to the new power lines, which was like the next gen pilots. And the traction is like. Um, I've slid out in the rain in those no rain sipes. Those things are amazing. Definitely
Robin: talking in our wheelhouse now because we've we've debated so many times about that. I feel no difference in the R6s versus my, my road smart threes. They're identical except for the price is double for the Michelin. So I call them out as like, nope, I'm not doing it.
Joanne: I'm going to guess that it's the rain traction because that's where I've had, I was the most impressed was not on the racetrack, although I did take them on the track where I'm a believer and the reason why I'm a Michelin girl is because how they handled in the rain. And wet on the street trip. I'll back you up on it. That's probably why?
Robin: Never an issue for me. So, so the Dunlops did fantastic. The Michelins did fantastic. And this is the only argument I'm making this entire episode because you're here. And I got to be very careful because how awesome
Joanne: this is. No, that's totally reasonable. And I just don't want to jinx it and try something different. I'm like, they've saved me. There's no need for me to change. Like, I'm good. I've got road five now. I love it.
Robin: There does seem to be a brand transition that feels weird, you know, like if you change the brand, something's different, you can definitely, that I do get.
Joanne: They've saved me so much, I'm like, I just refuse to give them up because they've done such a good job. So, yeah, up until the two years ago when I rode dirt for the first time, I'd been on the dirt more on my sport bikes than on an actual dual sport or dirt specific motorcycle. But I didn't know what I was doing. Yeah. But the worst one was when I So when we moved to Philly, my husband had this, we both sold our bikes here. And I mean, in San Francisco, we lived there. So we sold the sport bikes and then we're like, we'll just buy new ones when we go over there. We just don't want to spend the money to transport our bikes. So when we moved, he bought, um, his dream sport bike, his dream bike was to buy a. Which he'd finally bought was an 06 or 07 speed triple in roulette green. So he hunted one down and bought one in New Hampshire and then he rode it home. He got it at a steal. So that was like his dream bike. So he still has it. He loves it. So when he bought that, I had a, another SV650, which I bought when we moved. So I bought an SV650 naked. The more upright because I had an S model. So I had that bike for like six months. I bought it in March and then I sold it in a year. Okay. I bought it in March and sold it the next year because when I bought mine, he had bought the Speed Triple. So I decided to just ride it like, this is a great bike. I want to ride it. The problem with the Speed Triple in that generation is they're absurdly tall. Like, I couldn't get both feet down at the same time. They
Robin: were the beginning of the Street Fighter profile, I think. Yeah. Like, before KTM, that one did it. Yeah, they
Brian: kind of had the butt in the air. Yeah.
Joanne: Yeah, because the 06 and 07 has a different slope, right? It's got a stubby tail, and he's also 6 foot 200 pounds. So, suspension is for him, you know, it's for him. Like, it fits him amazing, as it should. And the speed triples are not set up for people like me. So, that was actually even harder because I can't get both feet down. I can only get one toe. Down at a time 'cause it's that tall. So at the time I had to, I, I still have to, is hop. So I have to very quickly hop one foot to the left one foot at a time, even to get the side stand down. So I fell in love with it. When he bought it, I decided I would write it to work. I, I just wanted to ride it because before that we had a sprint. We had a tramp sprint in oh one, and it was amazing. And that bike is, oh, the ST. Yep. So we had a Lucifer orange one, and that one was the ergonomics are a hundred percent different. So it was actually a lot lower and, and way, uh, just different. It was easier to ride. Oh, they're
Robin: fantastic like that. They have just a deep scoop for a seat. Excellent.
Joanne: It was, it was great. Right. And the, and we bought it for a steel and the guy had modified it completely. Penske shock, everything, risers, the whole nine. So he sold that and then he bought his dream, you know, roulette green, speak triple. I just always felt the pressure to like, all right, I have to be really careful. I can't drop this. I have to be really, you know, I fell in love with it so much because I, I was writing it to work. And then I decided to take it on an overnight. So I took it overnight from Philly up to, um, the border of New York port Jervis. It's like this lovely scenic part at the border of PA, New York. And it's lovely. So I did an overnight weekend trip solo and took the bike up there. And mind you, I can't get both feet down. I have to do one foot. So I'm being very careful and it's all, and I'm doing a paved ride. You know, I'm doing like back road riding and really pretty road, just a nice road ride up north and back. And I get to Port Jervis and it's, um, there's like a lake there, I guess. And there's a little island. So I decided to turn across this little bridge. Like, Oh, what is over there? So I go across this tiny little bridge. It's like a, you know, an old school bridge with like wood and like steel, you know, it's not like a paved road. Okay. Yeah. So I ride, I ride across it. No, it's fine. It's a bumpy little bridge, whatever. I ride across it and you get to the Island and it's a private road. Okay. So it's one lane.
Robin: They could have told you before the bridge.
Joanne: I didn't know, and it's not paved. So when I get off the bridge, it's dirt.
Robin: Yep. No, we do that here. Where I was not
Joanne: alive. That's all right. It was the first time I'd been on the dirt on his motorcycle ever, like crap. So then I hop lightly off, I was like, okay. And then I slowly turned, I got, cause I get off and park my bike cause I don't really stand
Robin: and do the whole like, let it fall into you, back it up, push it forward, let it fall into you, back it up? Probably like
Joanne: the whole Gravity turn? Yeah. Like, uh, if you search my blog, I have a how to park guide. Nice. GearChick. com. I got. Thank you. So I got off and then I carefully, cause I thought maybe I could ride on the road. No, it was a private. It was like, no trespassing, private road, whatever this road is on this Island. So that was the first time I was on the dirt on his bike. But then I quickly learned that a lot of the roads there, they just end like some road on Google that looks regular, the pavement stops maybe because they're repaving. And I ended up so many times on that overnight on the dirt. Just I took a picture at one point where I came to like an intersection like a V and I stopped like I keep ending up on the dirt. I think I took a picture to be worse if
Robin: you just kept ending up at that
Joanne: intersection. I did not want to end up on the dirt, but I had, I just kept ending up there and that's just like East Coast writing. Apparently, that's just the way it is. It's just, yeah,
Brian: Arkansas does that too. Uh, they'll, they'll build this beautiful, beautiful road up a mountain, wonderful sweepers. You're just hauling along and then it stops. Uh, we ran out of money. We'll come back in five years, but it's the rest of it,
Joanne: I guess.
Robin: With some ludicrous guy at the end of the woods at the end of the road saying, they're here to steal my gold. It's private. Get out. Yeah, pretty much. Yeah.
Brian: That's it. Maybe.
Joanne: But yeah, I hightailed it out of there. I was like, all right, I need to go. So then I turned around, but yeah, I ended up on the dirt a few times on that bike. And I was just terrified of dropping it.
Brian: I mean, after you've had some dual sport training, even on a street bike, you know, you have some idea what to do anyway, you know, it's, you know, you're not just. Completely clueless and trying to
Joanne: survive. Yes, at least it was. Yes, at least now it's a little bit more comfortable, but it's still to me, it's a whole, it's still a whole thing of retraining. It's really hard to retrain myself to get away from what I'm used to. And with street writing, so it's still kind of scary and I don't love it. Yeah, I mean, I like it a lot, but it's definitely not natural yet. And after I crashed and broke my arm, it kind of sent me back a little bit.
Robin: Yeah. See, that's what I was about to say was that given what you were talking about before, all of this inspired discussion is coming from a standpoint where you were saying that there hasn't been a lot of writing. And for you recently or this year, even, I don't know, no, I'm taking inspiration from this as well, because there's a whole lot of things that I just decided to take a break from this year in terms of availability and time to ride, even though the miles were still big. Sure. You're kind of ramping me up for next year to say like, you know what, get fit again, get healthy again, uh, get your endurance up, practice, practice, practice. These are the things that need to be on my agenda. So this conversation is helping me a thousand fold in all directions. I got to say, Brian's on the hot seat, Brian, if you have to fire out three questions, get the ball rolling with her again, what would those questions be? I've
Brian: got a list. I'm sorry.
Joanne: Yeah, yeah. I love a
Brian: list. There's a whole hunk and a whole episode we could do on coming back to writing after a serious injury, right? Getting your head in around that. I mean, I've had to do that the fear.
Joanne: Yeah Totally
Brian: so that that's something that would that would take some time to dig into because I think you have I think I'll have some neat things to say about that And as far as I know, Robert hasn't broke anything, so he can just sit and watch. Lucky. Well, don't, I don't recommend it. I did just
Robin: get hit by a deer. Oh, no.
Brian: Oh, like recently? Yesterday.
Robin: Wait, in a car or in the truck. Yeah, our big F 350 King Ranch 6. 7 Lariat something long name. That doesn't count.
Brian: If you're getting hit by a deer, that's, that's what you want to be in. Yeah. Very true. One of the things is motorcycling and a lot of times it's really tough to find the right tribe or. People, you know, to be around, uh, you know, a lot here in Indiana, we're really close to Milwaukee. So I'll let you guess what most of the writers around here are writing. Um, yeah, but, uh, yeah, it can be really tough to find that. And like in dual sport writing, like I've shown up a few times. So somebody on ADV rider. com will set up a ride. They'll show up and it'll be. Like it'll be like people they'll do stuff. I don't want any part of like, they'll be going across pastures that don't belong to them. They'll be doing sand and stuff like that. And there'll be people like, Oh yeah, this is, this is, this is an easy heel. It's just, it's just a bunch of baby heads. And then there's a mud bog at the bottom. It's only a foot deep, you know, what, what, what's wrong with people?
Brian: Yeah. Like, there's no, like you need a, you need a diamond system or something like they have in skiing. I think dual sporting. Yes.
Joanne: Uh, yes. I recently went to, well, this year I've been able to go to both of the RevZilla Adventure Fests. So Sturgis and Mojave. And I went to Sturgis cause it's closer to Colorado. So we got to trailer our bikes there. There's been also the DRZ 400, but we trailered both bikes and we got to actually do some riding on them at the Black Hills.
Brian: And they do some, I've, I've, I've actually used those tracks, um, uh, out in South Dakota for a dual sport ride. And yeah, they do a pretty good job of grading them. Um, And that helps a lot because people just, Oh, yeah, this is nothing. And, you know, you're going straight up, uh, you know, somebody else's pasture and it's a mud bog and it's like, stop it.
Joanne: Yeah, I went, yeah, I went on an easy ride there and there was some two track in the middle. It was like four miles, three miles of two track, like not mud. But you, what was mud maybe it was just like, yeah, not great. And it's your attention. It was my first time doing any, any in a year. Like I hadn't really been doing much writing. So I, I, in my helmet, I'm like, I really don't want to do this, but I couldn't just stop and turn around. Like there was no like U turn. So I just had to do it. And I did, I did it. But it was. Terrifying. I'm going to
Robin: extend the invite then because we're heading to New Mexico next. And Maggie's Street Triple R is down here. This would be paved only. And if you feel like going for a long ride, I've got a three day thing we do in New Mexico that is curvy and baller and fun.
Joanne: Oh, paved down, done. Paved. Paved. Perfect. Um, totally enough of that. But yeah, I found going to that event was actually fantastic to find some, to find some people. I mean, of course, you know, the people are coming from all over, so that's hard. And I'd say finding people like where you are, that's, you know, that's probably the harder thing to do. Um, what I've noticed is that there are a lot of local, more locally based. dual sport and adventure groups on Facebook, um, to find people. But to be honest, I have been terrible about taking advantage of them because I've just been so busy traveling for my job and I haven't been good about going out to practice and like get some seat time. Um, uh, for me, my goal is probably to reach out to go riding with some of the women's only adventure groups that I've been able to find, um, that are, yeah. And so for women that That's definitely something that we have, um, that I definitely recommend a lot of women explore because the men's only groups when they're predominantly men, the dynamics are very different and it's just different. It's not worse. It can be, but it's just different. It's a different dynamic and you, um, benefit in a very different way. Um, I think. Yeah, I, it's, I think you're right. It's just very difficult, I think, to find those friends. When I was learning to street ride, um, and do some, you know, really get into sport touring and get outside of San Francisco and actually go out riding and do day trips, we joined a meetup group that two friends of mine started and they've Since done away with it, cause they moved and they're not doing it anymore. But it was a, it was a very specific street riding group, touring and sport touring, um, and met so many great people there. So I would go out on the ride, those rides, um, as often as I could. So I racked up 6, 000 miles in the first six months joining that group. The
Robin: world needs meet up again. It used to be
Joanne: a free thing. Yeah. Oh, is it not free anymore?
Robin: No, that's what killed it. I think. Is that now people can't meet up because they have to pay.
Joanne: Well, now
Brian: there's Facebook. Yeah, and they're trying to get on Facebook and it's, it's Facebook. I know.
Joanne: Well, I, I, but I think that Facebook is still a good resource to find people. Um, and there's so many now that you can look at the different groups and kind of read through kind of if they have rules or guidelines about rides and. um, you know, get to know people. Um, but I would recommend, I, I don't know if I'm just jaded and getting old, but I don't like writing with people that I don't know anymore. I, I, I, I liked, but it, and not that I'm not, it's not that I don't want to meet these people, meet people and say hello and get to know them and become friends and go writing. It's not that I just don't want to show up on a Saturday. to a ride than I don't know anyone yet and just go riding with a group of people I don't know. Yeah. Without having to get to know them first. So I would probably find a group where, Hey, we're doing a, just a meeting for burgers and shake, you know, just to go eat on a Wednesday night and socialize off the motorcycle. To get to know people and get to know their riding style and the way they ride or, you know, to see like, like you were saying, you know, you know, fellow beginners, fellow newer, newer riders.
Robin: So that's kind of the flip side. If you know the kind of people that you like to ride with. Then you can usually get a feel pretty quick in a conversation as to whether or not this is a person you would trust to maintain safe distance, staggered formation, using technique, trail breaking to a delayed apex and a blind corner, not using the entire road, unless they have a really big field. You know, it's like. I want to know that they're not.
Brian: It takes a lot of experience to get there though. It takes a lot of experience to figure that out.
Joanne: But I'd say. And mistakes. Yeah. And yeah, I think you just have to find those groups where the message is, we are here to have a good time, but we're not here to outperform each other. We're here to get to know each other. We're here to go to lunch and find a cool place to eat and have a really casual leisurely I'm here to outperform all of you or whatever, like you can, I think, get a really good sense of the group. And for me, it was getting to know the founders, like just as people and friends, like, Oh, hey. And just talking to them. And then we became really good friends. So yeah. You, yeah, and then talking about motorcycling, like I'm new cause I was really new at the time. She was husband and wife. They were, you know, we were kind of in the same place as far as learning styles. And then as their group grew and more people joined, you know, then we met a lot of those people and got to know them. And became more comfortable to ride with them. And it was instrumental for me to learn to sport tour and actually just to learn to ride better. Cause I sucked. It's the slow cook. Yeah. Cause, but it, you know, it's, I think it is, it is really hard, especially when you're not great. You're like, you're okay. You know, you're safe, but you're not that proficient or that good. It's hard to find people who have the patience to help you be better because you have to ride with good. You have to ride with good people to get better. You can't go riding with people who are terrible and get better.
Robin: Shoot, you can make enemies trying to find good riders to ride with, you know, the desire to become better and the pushback you can get from people who aren't open enough to try to help you find that. Or,
Joanne: you know, we would have rides where there would be different rides happening the same day. So like, okay, the easy ride is going to happen with this group. So like. The wife, she would take, Hey, I'm going to lead the easy group. My husband's going to lead the fast group because he was a faster, he liked to ride fast and hard. So they would split the people up. Like, that's always a good sign, right? Is if there is a group of people that there's going to be some division. And I want to know who the leadership is. I want to know who is in charge of organizing this ride. Who is going to be in charge of, of leading the ride? I want to meet you. This is
Robin: where Brian comes into play. Cause you would show up if you were at a Suzuki GS rally, Brian would be like, I don't know. Here's your maps. Be safe. Those guys are quick. Those guys are slow. Everybody's friendly. Hang out. See you when you get back, which I think if you were to receive that information, haven't set everything off, that actually can be calming. Like, okay, I guess I can take a breath and figure out where do I want to be, who do I want to be riding with? Yeah. It's just another perspective is all.
Joanne: Totally. And I think that is where a lot of male driven groups can take a cue from a lot of women's specific motorcycle groups. Because I've ridden in both environments. I've ridden with all guys. I've led groups of all guys. I've ridden with all women. I've led groups of all women. There's a very different dynamic and a really good example of that is a women's specific off road event called Over and Out. Pennsylvania out in Tamaqua. It's near Jim Thorpe. It's women's only off road and they're starting to do adventure. You cannot be a guy and just show up and register. You're, you can't register actually. Okay, I'm
Robin: guessing that's over and out
Joanne: moto. So like Maggie would have to register and she could bring you. That is one of the best events I've ever been to as a female rider. Um, it was absolutely amazing. The rides were actually, the trails were all cleaned and prepared and scouted by men. So all the trail dudes were the ones out there scouting everything and cleaning everything and getting the rides ready and getting the routes put together. And then support. So like, if you went down or you needed help, they had a whole, they were really organized so they could like radio, like they had really great maps. So you could say, I'm in box G five. This is where I fell down and someone would come help you. So it was really, really well done. Nice. But the dynamic with all women is that the end goal is literally just. to go have fun. The end goal has absolutely, there, it's just different. You know, when a, when a lot of guys get together, I think very naturally a common goal is. Who's the fastest? Who's this and who's that? Not to say that women aren't competitive. Well, we can be, but generally speaking, the dynamics tend to be more social and fun. It tends to drive in that direction. Sure. With specific groups of women, absolutely. It can be really, really competitive and really aggressive in like this over and out kind of environment. It's all very, Hey, I just want to hang out and have fun and like get to know you and go check out this trail. Cool. Let's go together and like supportive. Like it's just different because In general, we are, women are different animals, right? We're different people. If you can, go join a women's only riding
Brian: group. That's awesome. Yeah. It is something, you know, like leading a ride or putting, you know, even just leading a ride for a day or putting together a tour or whatever, you have to really consciously Absolutely. Be mindful about fighting that macho BS
Joanne: thing. And you have to make it really clear, I think. Even with all guys, yeah. Yeah, you have to, I think, set, uh, from the very beginning, a strong precedence and also demonstrate it too, that. We're here to have a good time. I don't care what you ride and I don't care how much money you have. I don't care what you do or how long you've done it here and have fun and check out this awesome road, maybe make friends, have some good food, maybe find some ice cream, you know, find a good restaurant and some really cool scenery. That's not, that's what this is. And if you set that ground rule in the beginning of the expectations upfront, what I've observed is most guys that I've, they're like, Oh, cool. Awesome. That's great. I think, you know, fantastic. Let's have fun. And most people are on board 99 percent of the time. Everyone is on board with that. It's when you don't address it and you leave it off the table. And then everyone just says, okay, well, I guess. I'm going to go up front because I'm fastest or whatever. And it's, it's just setting expectations. This is how this ride is going to be. If you do not like that, you should not come. And that was the kind of messaging my friends would have is this is not that if you pass someone on the inside line. Just as we're going out of the parking lot, we're never riding with you again. Exactly. Like those are safe, right? So safety rules, safety meeting was very, it just set very clear expectations of this is the kind of group this is. And this is not for you. If you want to ride like that, if you don't want to ride like this, you don't have to, we're not forcing you to hang out with us. But do not hang out with us if that's what you're trying to do, because you're right. So it was a lot of, it was just really those ground rules. And I think people just have to communicate with each other more often to, to share that. And if you're showing up at a ride and you're hearing nothing at all, anybody about, okay, this is how the day is going to go. And this is how we're going to respond if someone gets hurt or whatever, then you probably should turn around and not ride with these people. Like, if there's no communication, to me, that's a huge red flag, like, where the hell is the safety? Right? Like, where's the leadership? And I think that's how you can totally find somebody to ride with.
Robin: I like your style. It's been our pleasure. The name is Joanne Don. And her website is gear chick. com and she's got tons of solid advice for you, whether you're male, female, non denominational, whatever it is, there's some kit that will protect you. And she's going to write about it more because now she's inspired and she's going to. Get back to it and some writing as well. And I can't enough for being here. It's sincerely been something we've been meaning to do is reach out to more people, such as yourself and just say, come tell us how it is, and maybe we can tell you a thing or two, and it always works out to be a great conversation. In your case, it really is raising the bar. So I can't think enough, Joanne Don, I appreciate you being here.
Brian: That's our episode for this round. Tune in next time for more discussion on all things specific to sport touring or universal to motorcycling as a whole. For Radio TRO, I'm Brian Ringer.
Robin: I'm Robin Dean.
Joanne: I'm Joanne Dahn. Safe travels, everyone.
It's an auditory smorgasbord this episode, folks as we talk up the one and only Joanne Donn. She's vaguely stoked to be here, what with all of the deep diving into the secret science of motorcycle gear. Technicality and purpose is her game ... among many other things.
Heed our confessions to weirdly enthusiastic behavior wherever riding boots may hide. Ponder profound queries constructed from cryptic phrases about color scheme. It's a sublime thrill ride that points directly at European measurements and Merica's resistance to them.
Finally, we fall down an offbeat rabbit hole: MX race boots and the MSF dirt class. Who's game for some engrossing light topic conversations thrown around rubber on the road? Make that bowl of popcorn and hit play!
Joanne Donn is the skilled, insightful and established motorcyclist responsible for GearChic.com. Her exploratory development of worthwhile riding gear carries influence that every rider should consider. Also, she's not afraid to debate ... which is fun.
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Did We Miss Sump'm?
Sixty percent of the time, we're right every time. What would you add to the conversation and why? Your input is invited. Leave a comment!