Adventure of an Adventure

Yes, I am on the adrenalin rush as soon as I am away from the routine of my life. Happiness is not a quantity of what I achieve – it naturally fills me up for the reason that there is no better reason to be away from the regular routines of life to explore and find the hidden self. The real true self of me that fears no one and loves everything around be it the tiny ant or a huge elephant(though I didn’t meet any of them) yet the feeling is constantly ringing inside me from the moment I am up for exploring this Adventure.
This very adventure was already lit from the last night experience of first time seeing a real folklore play in the real traditional way in a small town of Lochinver Pub, followed by a beautifully starry milky way so much to see that eyes can’t believe in its beauty, the sparkling water of Achmelvich (Yeah, I mean it). These five brilliant student from the University of Glasgow, invited me to join in – Jump along, we are going to see the real sparkles in the water (Yes, it does sparkle when you step inside the water). At 2am, we jump on the beach in total darkness, and hey hey… the minute we scratch our feet in the cold water – it wasn’t as cold as it initially felt although the air factor was chillier than water. I have never seen something this amazing ever – the water does glitter if you put your feet in it and go further ashore. Some of them decided to strip and jump in water while the scene was too unreal – half skies rain – half skies milky way – the waves of the sea and everything seemed to be nothing more amazing than a dream – Was a reality instead.


View it in Large here

I have packed myself up for a road trip aiming for real sense of adventure beyond a ordinary scraps of travel and motorcycling. I have taken a step beyond and loaded my car(first ever personal life-time adventure that involves the car) with the bicycle to explore the Sandwood Bay – not much that I could find on the internet about cycling terrain and whether it was suitable. There were traces of unconfirmed information but that was enough to put the strings together for a unknown experience. You can possibly get a glimpse of the track on the Google maps(Satelite view). The day so far has been Amazing, Sunny, partially rainy and quite windy – if that sums up, it was good as long as Sun was out there. So After my little explore and walk around The Old Man of Stoer I was headed now to Blairmore, Sutherland.

The jouney from Stoer to Blairmore can be described as seen below :

When I reached there, it was just the passing cloud which didn’t dampen the spirits to go on and push myself. The first quick act to put the bike together as I had the wheels apart. The rain started to get heavier and my helmet goPro mount gave up. Hence no videos from the move and I did miss the action because my face fall was left unseen, several small water crossings, the water gullies that made me flip over one with face down, a slide through the sand while coming down rushing in full adrenalin but that is all for my personal memories now.

So the first stop coming through the rain shower covering some distance and after the first fall, it was time to share this moment to all the people out there.

& the surface becomes even more smooth – the second fall, a gentle one managing to get our big boulders and trying over balancing act on a non-MTB.

The time to hit the sand tracks and yeah, you just can’t get through the tracks – they are proper challenge to get through on a hybrid 🙂 bike.

Time to give up the bike, and walk the end bit.

& the moment Finally. The emotions, the peace, the calm and the surreal beauty in nature. It can’t be better although no complaints about the weather, I enjoyed it pretty much, made me feel like 13 riding through the amazing rough terrain to the bay.

The last and the final bit before the return. I ran wild through the dunes, rolled, jumped and even had sand in my mouth – that is power of kid inside you.

For those more keen on breakdown of the ride .. Nothing really compared to everyday 20mile per hour ride but the obstacles slow you down pretty hard towards the end of the ride. The last 4 to 6 kms is where you will have to get off the bike everytime you see the water gullies made between uneven boulders.
Sandwood Beach Ride01

Sandwood Beach Ride02

The Last bit of the graph above shows the points where the falls happened and in the last 40th minute flip(Ass up, face down moment).

 

The last of the series, is the Cape Wrath. The last Northwest Frontier of the Mainland UK. The area used by Ministry of Defence(MOD) for good part of the year. Watch out this space.

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Supermoon of 2014

The power that consumes me in real self. I love watching these special views and spending nights sleepless under the calm of these moonlit nights.
For the large view click here

KEIS Heated Inner Gloves – REVIEW

All these years riding in winters and yet knowing that I do not like the cold fingertips I was on the hunt for the heated gloves. There are lot of options to choose from at first and too many questions as each seller has its own selling point. A lot of time spend finding out the real good ones as these all heated gloves are well over £150 mark in general. First few brands that come to the mind are GERBINGS, KEIS, EXO2, WEISE(latest), ALPINESTARS and few others (I possibly don’t know of).

I had my own limitations in terms of what I want – as I wear a HG leathers jacket which has a zipper and cuff that is not too big to take any wide cuffs from the gloves inside it yet close it perfectly fine for riding in rains. I wanted something that would slip inside my jacket at the same time. I was surprised that none of the glove makers think of this thought that biker would want to avoid the water coming down the gloves and letting that water get inside of your gloves. Really a shame as that was my biggest deciding factor.

I headed to the Infinity Motorcycles store, Hanger Lane as I wanted to be 100% sure before investing into something that I would regret later. Jack was kind and courteous enough to explain me the inner workings of these gloves and which one would suit me as I was cutting down on my options as I was sure that I do not want any glove going over my jacket instead it needs to go under the cuffs.
Coming to the point where nothing really fits to what I wanted KEIS inner gloves at £59.99 was the only thing I could think of. I would say, a bit of limitation but yet that is all I could get. I was offered a external charger at £59.99 if I want these inner gloves to be operated separately without fitting them into the battery but it would have proved too costly in real essence of it. Most other products from the KEIS gloves range have heated element on the top end near knuckles. This was the only pair that has heated element on the fingers as that is what I actually need instead of heated upper knuckles or upper part of the hand.

Now, after the first day of its usage I can officially tell you the good, the bad and the ugly about it in practical scenario. My ride to work is about 100miles and just under two hours in the early morning rush hour on the variable tarmac conditions from country roads, Motorway riding and city traffic.

Fitting/getting into one : Ok, all said – these are not the thinnest of the inner gloves you would think of. If you have got the thick fingers be ready to check these with your ideal over gloves. I have decided to use them with the lobster kind of over gloves as my HG normal finger leather gloves are too tight and very uncomfortable to wear these inside. I also bought SPADA Eighty 2 Lobster kind of gloves along with these to enjoy the toasty fingers. I later ending up ordering HALVARSSONS JOX Gloves as the SPADA length was issue fitting it inside my leather cuffs again. Fitting wise these would take one to either getting used to feeling comfortable or ordering a different type of over gloves. I found it quite annoying joining these to the power supply coming from the battery when wearing lobster kind of gloves.

Heating/Comfort : Alright, here comes the good part – you would have your fingers feeling toasty within first 2minutes and you would feel quite good warmth getting generated around your fingers. Lovely to feel the warmth but soon you would know that this will get to the point where you may want to stop it from heating but there is no kill switch. Either you take the heat as it comes or remove it from the power supply. There is no science around these very basic gloves but when on the move you would realise they just maintain the equilibrium for the fingers when on the motorway as the wind-chill factor eventually pushes the limits of real testing. These do come out quite good on the motorways and full marks on the heating elements in it. You can use these gloves for hiking in snow or even cold climates if you shell more £’s for external battery that can last for couple of hours as the selling peeps say.

Price : These are towards the higher end of pricing but then it does offer what you want out of it. I would possibly add to this blog when I have thoroughly tested these to the use . I do feel these are expensive as anything under £50 would have made these hot sellers for all the winter riders. Just a tenner over £50 and it kills the general riders approach to it.

Alternatives : WEISE Montana Heated Gloves @ £199.99 but they would keep you full on blast warm and the comfort wise too good for what they offer. I did not find KEIS fully heated gloves to the price they are selling them for – they seem pretty normal for the price you would not want to pay for them. Alpinestars heated gloves are fairly out of stock on most online and in-stores so they do not have niche market in real scenarios for them.

My Ratings : 4.5 out of 5
Bottomline: If you can afford these for few winter rides you accomplish then go for these without a doubt. You will struggle for first few times getting used to them but once you find the right comfort with them – these will keep your finger frostbites as things of the past.

Feel free to ask if any questions.

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