Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rev'it Winter Gloves: warm hands, cold heart?

The cold hands, warm heart had gone too far. Besides, my original gloves ("Best" brand) I bought 4 years ago for my Kymco scooter were getting rather pungent inside.
Not good. So I scoured the net (i.e., I googled "winter motorcycle gloves") and pondered the possibilities.
After much soul-searching and doubt, I decided NOT to get heated grips for my Enfield. Even though they could be a 50€ solution, I still think my Balita Roja's whole electric system is a little too shaky to put up with that kind of hanky-panky.
So I watched the product comparison video at the Revzilla website.

Aside from gaping shamelessly at that guy's biceps, I saw there were differences in gloves I should be paying attention to.

I figured they'd be cheaper in the States, so when Javi and I were in Philadelphia visiting my brother for the New Year, it seemed like a good idea. Lo! and Behold! It turns out Revzilla is actually based on Philly and has a showroom there. SO off we went.
No, Anthony the Biceps was not on duty, but a nice biker chick sales girl patiently showed my their whole arsenal of hand shoes, as the Germans call gloves.

The Alaska model by Rev'it seem top of the line, and have features I like a lot: protections on the back and side, reflective bits, full gauntlet with two velcro straps, one up at the wrist to really seal it tight.
The down side was the price. I paid $189 plus tax, which was about 155€ in total. But I found out when I got back to Madrid that they are available here for 129€, tax included.
Gonna have to do more comparative shopping awareness classes or something.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Biryani at Benagli restaurant in Madrid

No bike post today. My office mates and I went into Lavapiés neighborhood in Madrid because Grant had spotted a new Bengali restaurant that looked pretty authentic. We had high hopes for getting some authentically spicy food, but got a bland rice dish instead.
Run by a Bengali family (the wife seated us and was in the kitchen a bit, her son served the table later) We (and the one other diner who arrived later) had the only dish on offer today, a beef biryani. We had a veg samosa-type thing for starters (I can't recall the name) and water, since there is no beer or wine there. No alcohol may be virtuous practice for a devout family business, but it may be hard to convince the madrileños of that.

The locale was frankly a dive, which was actually good. It reminded me of places far away. The food was ok but I expected more flavor, color, and spice. See for yourself:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jaunting around India

This is Sushil K. Pingua's bike. He's traveling around India for who knows how long. I caught up with him on Google+ a few weeks ago and have become an avid follower and admirer of his adventurous spirit and general gentlemanly attitude about it.
He's got a website with his story.  And he posts almost daily on Google+.

I'm not envious. Not one little bit.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New accessory from India

Fellow Royal Enfield forum friend Carlos lives in Hyderabad and wrote of a cool store he found in his neighborhood. They sell all sorts of Royal Enfield stuff, from saddlebags to spare parts for every imaginable piece.
He got me this round tube-shaped bag for 4 euros and brought it when he was back in Madrid visiting last month.
It's pretty nifty, if you ask me. I'd love to go back to India and have a look around myself!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Ride to Cáceres on Christmas Eve

8 p.m. on Dec. 23.  Javi had left for the Canary Islands. Alone at home and looking at working on Christmas Eve. Sniff.
Then I sw the weather report for the 24th. Sunny and warm all day. I called my friend Nuria in Cáceres and found out she was hoping for company, too.
Next morning I had a wonderful ride down the 330 kilometers to Extremadura. In fact, I was there by lunchtime.

 We had a great time, nibbling tapas outside until almost dinnertime. Which we turned into an impromptu "smorgasbord" of our own:
My family will notice the herring, the shrimp, the bondost farmer's cheese and the knäckebröd (hardtack). I love Ikea truly I do!

Nuria's place has great views of the old city. You can rent by the day or week, if you want. She actually lives next door.
The thunder rolled in at night and in the morning the sky was grey and heavy.

It started to rain on me by 10:30 Christmas Day (I had to be back north, in Robledo, for lunch with Catherine and her mom and Carolina on the 25th!) and continued the whole drive, which took 5 hours or so. Uff. But well worth it.