Loving My New Hair Style

I had been going to the same hairdresser for years. In fact, I went to the same one who had been cutting my mom’s and grandmother’s hair as well for the last few decades. While I had always been satisfied with her prices and personality, my hair was on the dull side as far as styles go. I wanted a change when I moved, so I went online to find the best hairdressers in the area I was now living in. I was very impressed with everything that I saw with Hair Icon, especially when I went on their social media page and could see pictures of hairdos the stylists have actually done.

I have worn my hair long ever since I was just a kid, and my former hairdresser just made sure that I did not have split ends and that my hair did not go past a certain length. I looked at the pictures of some of the women who have long hair, and I was just amazed at what I saw with their hair styles. My hair is straight, but I knew that there were different styles that could give me not only curls but some nice volume as well.

I looked at the hair styles of some of the women who have hair that is just about as long as mine, and I got pretty excited, thinking that my hair could possibly look as good as what theirs did. I made an appointment, and I was able to get in that same week. I told my stylist I was ready for a change, and she worked her magic on my hair. I went in with straight and dull hair, but I walked out with shiny curly hair that was even a slightly different color! When my mom saw it, she even made an appointment to have hers done there.

Purchasing Baby Bike Trailers For The Mobile Parent And Child

Keeping yourself fit and healthy takes more time and effort than you know. But for a busy Mom or Dad, that’s a little bit tougher. In parenthood, there are more and more activities to share, which will help parents with their exercise and at the same time spending time with their little ones. Walking around the park will do you good, but biking is much better. How could you do this with a baby around? The perfect solution for this is to purchase baby bike trailer in amazon.com. With hundreds of designs to choose from, we will narrow it down for you to help you know what you can purchase and how.

When you purchase baby bike trailer in amazon.com, the first thing to keep in mind is safety. Trailers are considered much safer compared to bike seats. It is advisable for the biker to avoid humps, wet or slippery surfaces and speeding up as the trailer might tip over. But all these can be prevented when you have the safety of the child in mind. The appropriate age range for trailer passengers would be around 1-5 years old as they could support their heads and withstand the pressure of the ride. ASTM International specifies for non-powered trailers to have a maximum allowed weight of 100 lbs to be pulled by the bike. This includes the required accessories and the passenger for a single-occupancy or a double-occupancy trailer.

The main parts to consider when you purchase baby bike trailer in amazon.com are the parts which will allow security and comfort. The harness should be much like that of a child’s car seat. Has plastic shades, where having it in tint is preferred, to prevent the child from rain and sun’s glare. However, the trailer needs to have proper ventilation too by having breathable mesh windows. The wheel rims are better when it is made of non-corrosive aluminum and it is lighter compared to steel. It must also have reflectors on the rear and sides of the trailer. Seating should be comfortable; it should have more legroom and could properly support the back of the child. As the biker wears a helmet, the kid must be wearing one for safety concerns as well.

When you purchase baby bike trailer in amazon.com, it is advisable that you carefully check its specifications and warranty. But it is a good thing that nowadays, going out of the house to shop for your needs is not necessary anymore. Consider purchase baby bike trailer in amazon.com as a convenience as you can order from a variety of bike trailers. It will provide you with the specifications, price range and gallery of designs. Online reviews are also helpful because you can be certain that the product you will choose were already tested by parents like you who considers safety, first. Now when you think of possible activities that you can share with your little ones and at the same time keep you fit, consider to purchase baby bike trailer in amazon.com. Whether you’re on a vacation trip or a simple ride around the park, you know that both of you will enjoy the experience.

Finding Bike Friendly Routes With 4G Internet

The bicycle has long been one of man’s greatest inventions when it comes to transportation. Before it was so common for everyone to have his own automobile, many people relied on bicycles or public transportation to get around town. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, the bicycle was perhaps the most liberating of inventions for women. Indeed, to this day the bicycle holds its ground. One of the latest trends is to commute by bicycle as a means to be environmentally friendly. If you’re new to biking, a subscription to 4G internet will get you all the information you need to keep your bike in tune and find the safest routes wherever you go.

Of course, some towns and cities are more bike friendly than others. Bike friendliness comes in many different forms. One aspect involves the attitudes of drivers. If drivers are aggressive towards bikers, obviously this is not to be seen as a gesture of kindness. Many larger urban areas have special bike lanes that are for the exclusive use of bikers. Unfortunately, without bike lanes, you are all the more likely to have issues with drivers, which certainly makes for an unfriendly biking environment.

Nonetheless, with your subscription to 4G internet you can at least find the safer routes to take when trying to get across town. And that doesn’t mean you have to sit down at a computer before heading out on the road because with this latest connection, you have internet access almost everywhere you go. Where you live will determine the extent of your coverage, but you should know that the network is expanding every day across the entire country. Within a few years, if not sooner, you should be able to use your internet connection with as much ease as you make a call with your cellphone.

Your 4G internet connection will come in handy both in terms of your biking activities and for whatever else you use the internet for. Should you need some bicycle maintenance help, you can first look up the topic online and see if you can follow the instructions yourself. If not you can look up where the nearest bike maintenance shop is so you can get your bike in good health and back on the road. And of course, your connection will be fully capable of keeping up with all your online activities. From sending an email to turning in your most recent essay for class, you’ll be able to do it all wherever you go.

Thanks to your 4G internet connection, you’ll be able to find your way around town and get your bike fixed up without having to stop at home to hop on the computer. Whether using your multifunction cellphone or your laptop computer, you have the flexibility to use the device you want to use to connect. Until you know where the most bike friendly routes are, you’ll want to double check on online forums. Whatever information you need related to biking, your connection will have it for you whenever you are in need.

The Ultimate Cure For Helmet Hair!

There is no doubt about it, wearing a helmet is one of the most important safety features when it comes to riding a motorcycle. Indeed, and it does not matter if you are the one revving the engine, or act as sexy back-seat fender fluff, protection is of the utmost importance to all. Even so, when it comes to helmets, they are not very attractive and often come with another unpopular feature, a trait that has turned many ladies away from participating in this exciting pass-time. Undeniable but true, helmet hair is one of the most unappealing attributes bikers have to deal with, and even though men tend to see it as less of a problem, it affects both genders.

Unfortunately for you guys out there, today I am addressing only my own dilemma, and will try to find ways that will help me keep up my appearances, even after I remove my helmet. As a newcomer to this thrilling hobby, which I have enjoyed so far, I would like to discuss my own possible hair-do options, which do not include shaving my head, even if it sounds easy and convenient. Believe me, a crew-cut does not appeal to my femininity!

The rule I was told, when checking out the bike shop, stated that my helmet was supposed to sit snug on my head and leave no room for movement. This would enhance skull protection if it would ever hit the pavement. Worried about my noggin, and following those strict guidelines, I soon found out that, with my head barely fitting into this fiberglass capsule, there absolutely was no room for a baseball cap, scarf, bands or ribbons. So, what was I supposed to do now, other than pack a wig in the trunk?

Shortly before my virgin ride I frantically searched my dresser drawers and found a smaller scarf I once received as a Christmas gift. I hid it in my jeans back pocket and off we went. As soon as the ride was over and my helmet came off, I tied the scarf around my head, pulling my shoulder-length hair back behind my ears. A quick look in the bike’s mirrors showed me I was good to go. There was no hair wetting, spit or sticky gel involved and it was almost perfect. The only thing missing were a few hair clips, which could have kept the material better in place.

My husband and I decided to join a biker’s club and our first outing with them was going to be a scenic night ride, ending with a dinner at a restaurant. I checked out the place online, and even though it did not come across as a five star diner, I still wanted to look my best. Armed with my 40% discount coupon I hit the craft shop and bought a ball of fancy, cotton-based, glittery yarn and enthusiastically crocheted myself a nice head band. With a fine black border it would fit with any jeans outfit I had in my closet and, as an added bonus, was easy to store – even with two bobby pins attached to the side. Actually, it worked out so well I want to go back to the market and buy different shades of thread as soon as I can get my hands on more discount vouchers.

Reinforced by my intuition I knew deep down that there just had to be something else out there that would do us backseat mamas proud, but what? Baseball caps were not quite my style, and even though I feel attracted to hats, I only own one. I adore them, yet cannot find any standard North American sizes that will fit my European, undersized head.

While rummaging through some mixed sales bins the other week, I came across a gadget that piqued my interest as soon as it came in view. In my hand I was holding an invention I had never seen before, and believe it or not, it happened to be a master-piece! Actually, it was a rechargeable curling iron, one that even came with a fancy travel pouch. The price was right, and even though I usually am not much of a gambler, or an extravagant spender, this item made it into my shopping basket. As soon as I arrived back at the good old homestead I charged up my new friend and later that day tried it out. Amazed at the results I knew I had found a great solution to my helmet hair problem, and even if I do not intend to pack it on short pleasure trips, I will certainly hold it tight whenever we drive in club formation, up to another fancy dining hall.

Essential Tips in Preparing For a Motocross Competition

Basically, following safety precautions is the most important thing that any motocross driver can do. The twin disasters of motocross are not being able to manage body balance and control of the motorcycle at all times to accidents. As a sport, motocross requires solid contact with the bike on rocky, uneven roads. It is usually assumed that the biker knows exactly what’s expected of him and his bike when getting himself ready for the big event or competition.

Primarily, motocross lovers must have enough physical stamina and awareness, as this kind of sport requires a high degree of skill. The competition its self requires concentrating on tactics and systematic moves. This kind of sport is not just about the type of competitive motorbike that he has. It is also about physical strength, willingness to take risks and overcoming obstacles. For a motocross rider, aside from the physical qualifications, emotional health and intelligence is also desirable.

Secondly, a motocross enthusiast must also be properly equipped with, not only the finest motorcycle, but with high quality safety gear as well. Motocross riding apparel includes a solid helmet for protection of the head, a mesh safety leatherjacketfor protection against accidents and the elements, and boots as protection for the feet. Goggles for protection of the eyes are a necessary accessories and if necessary, hearing protection. Other motorcycle gear, such as the rider desires, may also be used and could play an important role in the overall performance of the motorcycle as well as the rider.

Mesh safety leatherjackets and pants, gloves and boots all belong in the motocross bikers’ essential riding kit. Choosing the best quality safety gear available will enable the rider to handle the pressure of being safe that is a part of the competition. Mesh safety leather jackets can come in a variety of styles and designs. A motocross rider can opt to choose one that serves the multi-purpose of off track comfort and looks and safety factor while racing. All of this apparel can be found at reasonable prices in online motorcycle specialty stores. There are many styles of poly mesh jackets, some with added features such as a zipper for pants attachment, padded pockets for storage of goggles and glasses, an adjustable waistband, removable water proof liner, elastic sleeve adjusters and many other features. Of course, they also come in a wide variety of prices.

All in all, the best weapon in winning a competition is to be prepared. It helps a lot to have a positive mindset about the event. A clear mind and clean spirit are healthy and good for the contest. Familiarizing oneself with the track where the event will be held, getting information about the nature of the contest, as well as, getting acquainted with the other participants can help boost one’s performance. Being a good sport is one rule that should always be adhered to. Stay healthy by getting enough rest and sleep weeks in advance of the event. Eat a well balanced diet, always including fruit and vegetables in your meal. Shop for the most effective energy drink and use together with your everyday vitamins.

A TattooMeNow Review

Deciding on your tattoo, especially if it’s your first, should be like deciding on your mate…at least the way you’re supposed to, anyway. You don’t want to make an instant decision on something that has long term consequences. You want to give it serious thought. You might even want to try it out a little, first.

You never want to feel that you have something to explain, either to your friends or yourself. So you need to do more than just go down to the local tat shop, look at the wall, choose something that “seems” OK and go for it. You need to take your time, open your mind to many possibilities, and decide intelligently. It’s going to be with you a long time, my friend.

There is no single shop I can think of that is likely to have the breadth and depth of choices that an online “shop” can offer. Maybe there is. Who knows? But what seemed likely to me when I began looking was that I’d more likely find my tattoos on line in the comfort of my home, not being rushed or feeling pressured. So I searched and eventually discovered that there are actually two Great (capital G) sites which run the show: tattoomenow and choppertattoo. In this review I’ll talk about TattooMeNow.

All tattoo site have lots of pics to look at and categories of images to choose from, but what makes TattooMeNow special is that it is more than just a huge selection…it is a community.

The members ask and answer questions, give opinions, tell war stories and show each other with jpgs and videos their own tats. It’s a great thing.

You have to become a member and once inside the membership area you will find that there are 6 separate divisions. The first is the Design Gallery. This contains over 4000 original designs with all the categories you can imagine: celtic, butterfly, tribal, biker, fairy, Chinese, dragons, portraits…you name it. You can print out anything you see that you want and take it to your artist. You can bookmark all the ones you see that you like and organize them so you can keep them in your private files for later use, if you wish. THe software is good for that purpose.

Second is the Members’ Gallery where all the members can show their tattoos and give and take comments about them. There are suggestions about adding or removing parts of a design, changing colors, etc.. You can rate designs and get ratings. It’s a great resource you couldn’t really find anywhere else and the pictures are all organized very clearly so you can find images of the type you are looking for to view and discuss.

In the Studio Directory is listed over 10,000 tattoo studios around the world, complete with personal reviews, ratings and descriptions: the whole 9 yards! You can find the good studios, avoid those with a bad reputation and see ratings. This alone could be worth coming here.

The Discussion Forum is just that! Anything you want to talk about whenever you want to talk about it. If it’s tattoos, this is the place.

And there is the Video Vault which is really a lot of fun. People share their videos of themselves and their tattoos and some, as you might imagine, are very creative and very entertaining. You also get to see artists at work and hear them give some valuable advice you would never have the time to gather if you had to foot it. You can see how they put them on…and even how they get them OFF!! Whew! Want to know what happens at Tattoo Conventions? Find out here!

And last is the Media Library. Here are dozens of some great e-books with titles all over the scale, including health, well being and fitness training…really. There are some treasures in here and these e-books are a truly invaluable resource.

So what’s wrong with TattooMeNow? What’s the problem? Well, there really isn’t too much to complain about. If you send in a support request, you’ll get an answer, eventually. They’re kind of on biker time. But the truth is you can get answers to your questions real fast on the forum by other professional tattoo artists, so I don’t think this is too serious an issue but some people will not like the feeling that they can’t get to the “source” immediately, if not sooner..

New designs are coming in all the time and being added to the library. They seem endless. There is even a section called the Tattoo News which keeps you up to date on member news. Chopper-tattoo which I’ll talk about in another review, focuses more on the designs alone and isn’t as concerned about providing all these other benefits. That decision makes it an excellent alternative for those who just want to get some of the hottest, award winning designs and don’t care too much about the bells and whistles (which have real value and are not to be dismissed!).

I give TattooMeNow high marks for really providing most everything you could ask for and continually working to make it better. These guys and gals are serious and using them as a resource is likely a real smart way to go. It’s an important decision, getting a tattoo. This is an important resource. It’s definitely worth checking out.

ATV Accessories Information

Some of us are content with a good book and a glass of wine to qualify for having a hobby outside of work, but for some they seek bigger thrills. All-terrain vehicles are growing in popularity for their adrenaline-pumping stability on rough terrains such as steep hills and mountainous territory. ATV accessories are in high demand by these bikers, and as such there is a broad range of choice on sale to the public.

Many bikers on ATVs are also interested in the maintenance and upkeep of their bikes. The sport, for them, encompasses the whole spectrum of off-road biking including cleaning, maintaining and showing their vehicles in various demos and rallies. Before the bike hits the supercross track, there is often a rush at the ATV accessories store as bikers hurry to make sure their vehicle is the best it can be. Fine-tuning a vehicle is imperative if the rider is serious about performing to his or her best ability.

A popular choice for those buying ATV accessories for their vehicle is protection from the elements caused by the rough nature of the terrain. Shields and overfenders protect the bike and the rider from spray and debris being kicked up at them from the tires. Also a rider may want protective clothing, eyewear and headgear to keep them safe under the potentially dangerous circumstances of off-roading on rough terrain.

Whatever the needs of the ATV user, the priorities are for a well-built, durable vehicle. Consumers should look for affordability without compromising quality and reputation. Especially in competing, there is no room for error, and as such, many ATV riders look for a name they can trust when shopping for parts and accessories. Many brands offer online advice and help guides to maximize the potential of the part or accessory they are fitting.

Enthusiasts have many different reasons for where they shop for their ATV accessories, ranging from recommendation, to price and availability. Luckily for ATV owners, the internet provides a huge range of resources with plenty of research materials to make sure the customer is going to get exactly what they are looking for without hours of legwork searching through high-street stores. Reviews and customer feedback make it easy to see reliable suppliers and recommended brand names, whilst a quick online search can give information on any brand to confirm whether it will perform to the standard required or not.

Men’s Leather Vests – Bringing Style and Comfort to Your Motorcycle Wardrobe

The men’s leather vest has gained some speed when it comes to popularity for a number of reasons including the fact that they are stylish, the go well with the rest of the biker’s outfit, and they can provide an extra layer of warmth on a motorcycle trip in times when a full out motorcycle jacket might be too much.

One of the biggest reasons that the men’s leather vest has become so popular is because of the fact that they bring a high level of style and class to the table, and they help incorporate a little bit more of the great leather look into the rider’s wardrobe which is often what bikers are going for when they purchase this type of product. They sort of help the express the rider’s dedication to the motorcycle industry and show how devoted they are to being a biker. Perhaps an individual just likes to where leather clothing too, which is also a valid reason that one might purchase a men’s leather vest.

Another reason that many purchase men’s leather vests is because of the increased level of comfort that they can provide on those cool motorcycle trips. Sometimes it can get so cold on the motorcycle that a jacket just doesn’t do the trick when trying to stay warm. This is where a vest would come into play in provided added warmth to the rider. They create another protective layer underneath the jacket and because the leather is often times quite thick, it helps trap in heat which in turn keeps the rider warm. Men’s leather vests also come in handy when you need an extra layer for warmth, but don’t quite need to go so far as putting on a jacket because that would make you too warm. Vests are made to cover the torso only, which is the most important area when it comes to keeping your body warm on a motorcycle trip because it’s the most exposed area, especially if you don’t have a windshield on your motorcycle.

Finally, if you’re looking for that last piece of leather to complete your wardrobe, then the vest is just what you need. You may be looking to have a complete leather outfit including boots, chaps, jacket and vest. You may even go so far as to purchase a leather hat as well. If you’re looking for a complete leather wardrobe, then the men’s leather vest is just one piece of the puzzle that you may be missing.

You can shop for men’s leather vests online or at your local motorcycle shop. Vests come in a number of different styles so make sure you take your time to find the perfect vest for you in the size that fit’s the best. You’ll be glad you took your time and will be able to enjoy your vest for years to come.

How to Ride a Motorcycle Properly

So you want to ride a motorcycle? This article will address the proper riding techniques and tips and will give you the base information on what you’ll need to know on starting to ride a motorcycle.

Motorcycling is a great deal of fun. But it’s very important to learn how to ride defensively and respect the motorcycle and it’s power. If you start out with this attitude at the outset, you will ensure that you’re entering this high risk activity with thoughtfulness and self-preservation, and it will make the riding experience so much more enjoyable.

Perhaps you know what type of motorcycle you want, or you already own a bike, or maybe you just want some refresher information — no matter who you are or where you are in the process of riding, you can use this online guide and information as a source of information on anything from how to start riding to wearing the proper gear or to whatever.

And please know that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers rider safety and education courses. The courses are covered in more depth further in this article and found as its own section on our site (you can go to our website for more info on the MSF rider courses.

Proper Riding Gear

Whether you are just learning to ride or you’re already an experienced biker, remember to always wear your safety gear. Going down on a motorcycle hurts, there’s no denying it. Have you ever fallen off a bicycle? Remember how badly your skin and hands hurt because they were scraped along the street or sidewalk? Remember how easily your knees and elbows bruised? Now magnify that based on the speed your traveling on the motorcycle. Even if you’re driving around the block in your development or driving in a parking lot, you will easily scrape yourself up worse than any bicycle fall. I’m not stating this to scare you away from riding a motorcycle, I just want to make sure you protect yourself by wearing as much safety gear as possible, including gloves, leather jacket or armored clothing, boots, goggles or sunglasses, and a helmet (which is required by law in most states) . Go to my website to view the proper gear and shopping pages. Once you have your proper riding gear, you’re ready to get on the bike.

Getting On

Before you just jump in the saddle, you should do a T-CLOCS check of the bike. Let me explain —- EVERY TIME before you ride, you should make sure it’s fit to be on the road. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a checklist they call T-CLOCS:

T — Tires, wheels (air pressure)

C — Controls (clutch lever, throttle, brakes/pedals, cables, hoses)

L — Light (battery, headlights, turn signals, mirrors)

O — Oil (and other fluid levels)

C — Chassis (the frame, suspension, chain/belt, etc.)

S — Stands (kickstand and/or the center stand )

If the motorcycle checks out just fine, you’re ready to get in the saddle. Always mount the motorcycle by throwing your right leg over the seat. When getting off, always bring your right leg back over the seat. This is done for two very important reasons: 1) The kickstand is on the left side of the bike and that’s where the motorcycle weight is hanging. 2) When getting off, it is very easy to burn your leg on the exhaust pipes on the right side of the bike, and you don’t want to get your leg caught on the seat and pull the bike down on you.

So, starting at the left of the motorcycle, grab a hold of the handlebars, put the weight of your body on your left leg, and lift and throw your right leg over the seat and onto the other side of the bike. Take a seat on the motorcycle. Take your time and get accustomed to the bike. Make sure your mirrors are adjusted properly to where you’re sitting, get used to where the controls are (horn, turn signals, lights, etc.). While the kickstand is still down and holding the bike upright, put your feet on the pegs and get a feel for your leg positioning.

Now before you put that kickstand up and start riding, let’s walk through the controls…..

Controls/Hands&Feet

Let’s go over the basic controls of a motorcycle. Get familiar with the key controls like the brakes, clutch, pedal shifter, throttle, and turn signals. This will enable you to learn fairly easily and then we can work on technique. I say this because you don’t want to be looking down at your feet or your hands while riding.

Let’s start with the right side:

Your right hand is responsible for two major functions in motorcycling – accelerating and braking. If you turn the throttle by twisting the right grip toward you, you apply throttle and give it ‘gas’ to the engine. Do not overdo it here as a little twist will do the trick. If you pull back on that throttle too hard, you’ll end up on your butt before you get out of the driveway. So be gentle with this control.

The right hand also controls the front brakes, just like you would have had on your bicycle. Pulling the lever toward you applies the front brakes. You want to gently add pressure to braking as you don’t want to yank the lever too hard, forcing the front brakes to lockup, thereby causing the bike to skid, and possibly end up in an accident. Most bikes are able to come to a stop using a two-fingered technique (your index and middle finger on the brake level while the thumb is under the throttle and the other fingers are on top of the throttle). Some bikes require all fingers around the lever and the thumb under the throttle. You’ll need to assess and use whatever technique works best with your bike.

Your right foot is used to operate the rear brake, but just note that when you use the front brakes, the rear is a little less effective. See, what happens is when you break with your front brakes, the bike’s weight is transferred to the front. Rear brake application is more useful during low speed maneuvering.

Use this as an approximate guide for braking: Slow speeds up to about 10 mph, you can use your rear brake. Speeds above 10 mph, you can use your front brake lever. Now, in any case where you need to come to a quick and sudden stop — USE BOTH BRAKES!! It’s been proven that using both brakes in an ’emergency stop’ can cut the stopping distance by more than half.

Clutch

Now the left side:

The clutch is the lever just forward of the left hand grip. Sportbikes typically only require only a two-fingered operation (or pull of the lever), while other bikes like the cruisers and touring motorcycles typically require your whole hand to pull the lever and engage the clutch. The clutch is used as a way to connect and disconnect the engine from the transmission. If you’ve ever ridden a stick shift in a car, you understand what I’m referring to. In essence, when you pull in the clutch lever, you’re cutting off the power to the rear wheel and bike will coast as if it’s in neutral even if you’re in a specific gear. Once you release the clutch, the engine kicks in and if you’re in gear, and will power the rear wheel.

I’d suggest you practice this part before you ride off for the first time. Practice by gradually and slowly pulling the clutch with your left hand. Don’t think of it as off or on. You need to find that spot where the engine begins to engage. Each bike is different, so you have to find that ‘sweet spot’. I’ll give you more info when we get to starting the bike and riding off.

Shifting

Motorcycles shift differently than cars. The thought process is the same (Pull clutch/throttle off, shift, release clutch/accelerate), the motorcycle shifting is handled by moving the left foot lever (shifter) up or down with the left foot. The typical shift patters for motorcycles are:

— 6th gear (if applicable to your bike)

— 5th gear

— 4th gear

— 3rd gear

— 2nd gear

— Neutral

— 1st gear

Most motorcycles fit this pattern, which is referred to as the “1 down, 5 up” or “1 down, 4 up”. Finding neutral with your left foot will take some getting used to, but you’ll pick it up pretty quick. The gauge in front of you will have a green “N” that will indicate you are in Neutral. There have been comments and arguments from all over stating that you can shift without using the clutch and it won’t hurt anything. I agree that you CAN shift without using the clutch. My argument is that you SHOULD use the clutch when you shift. Over the long haul of your motorcycle, it will be worth it to use the clutch every time.

I mentioned it earlier with shifting, but here’s how the shift should be done: If at a complete stop, pull in the clutch with your left hand, shift down to first gear with your left foot, ease off the clutch until you feel the motorcycle moving forward and give it a little throttle. If you are already moving, pull in the clutch with your left hand and ease back on the throttle with your right hand, shift gears with your left foot, ease off of the clutch your left hand and twist the throttle to continue the acceleration. I know it sounds like a lot to remember, but when you’re moving, everything happens quickly. Some happen simultaneously. Pull clutch/throttle off, shift, release clutch/throttle on.

Starting it up

Ok, we’ve covered a lot of functionality of the motorcycle, and now we’re going to ‘fire it up’ and start the engine. Most motorcycles these days no longer need to be kick started. We all have that image of the biker jumping up and thrusting his leg down to get the bike started. Not anymore. Here are the steps to follow to start up your engine:

— If you have a choke on your bike, pull it out completely

— Turn the key to the ignition position (you’ll see all the gauges come on)

— Flip the red kill switch down to the on position

— Hold in the clutch (not necessary if you’re in Neutral, but a good habit to just ‘make sure’.)

— Push the engine start button (black button located below the red kill switch)

— Slowly release the clutch (make sure you’re in Neutral – the green N will be lit up)

If you have a carbureted bike, you may need to twist the throttle a little to get gas into the cylinders. If it’s fuel injected, there is no need to throttle.

Warming up/Choke

Warming up a car engine is basically a thing of the past. But a motorcycle engine requires the rider to trust the engine will perform at its optimal level and therefore, must be warmed up before taking off and riding. Once the engine has turned over, allow it to sit idle for a minute to several minutes, and do not rev the engine during this time. Revving the engine can cause issues as the oil may not get properly distributed to the moving parts. Again, if your bike has a choke, begin pushing the choke back in until the motorcycle is idling properly and not sputtering. You’ll get used to the sound of your engine and will easily know when the engine is warmed up. You can use the temperature gauge as a general guide that your motorcycle is warmed up and only start off when you’re confident your engine won’t sputter or fail because it’s not properly warmed up.

Kickstand

Today, most motorcycles have an automatic shut-off if you try to put the bike into gear while the kickstand is down. So, before you attempt to switch into first gear, balance the bike while sitting on it, and use your left heel to pull the kickstand up into place. If you have a bike that has a center-stand, the process is quite different. You’ll need to stand up while straddling the bike and rock the bike forward in order to get the stand retracted.

Now let’s get riding!

Get going

Now that you’ve gone through all the preliminary steps of making sure you’re wearing the proper gear, checked the bike over to make sure no issues (T-CLOCS), are now comfortable with where the controls are, how to shift, how to brake, etc., you are now ready to ride!

Here are some of my suggestions for getting the feel and taking it slow: Practice where the clutch engages the engine – pull the clutch all the way in, and shift down into first gear. Hold it there and relax. Very smoothly and slowly, start releasing the clutch. At a point somewhere halfway between pulling it all the way in and having it all the way out, you should feel the bike start to lurch forward. This is the ‘sweet spot’ where the clutch engages the engine/transmission and the rear wheel begins to move.

Now take your time and just play with this feeling. Let the clutch out slightly until the bike moves forward, then pull it back in. Do it again. Do it again. Get comfortable with this feeling.

Ok, now that you’ve got the feel for where the clutch engages, now it’s time to move. As the motorcycle begins to move forward, twist the throttle with your right hand just slightly to give it some gas and you will start moving forward. Once you start moving, pull those feet up onto the pegs. Get comfortable moving with the bike. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to keep the bike stable once moving forward. Once you’re moving at a rate of up to about 10-12 miles per hour, you’ll hear and feel your engine race and you’ll need to pull in the clutch/close the throttle, shift upward with your left foot (pump it upward), release the clutch and twist the throttle to accelerate. It may sound like a lot to do in little time, but trust me, it’ll come naturally with practice. Do the same (Pull clutch/close throttle, shift up, release clutch/twist throttle) to pump the shifter up again to get into 3rd, etc. You also do the same to downshift the bike into a lower gear, except instead of pumping the shifter upward you are pumping it downward. To come to a very controlled and steady stop, you can downshift your way and let the engine do the slowing for you. Again, practice this and it will come naturally to you.

Turning

Now you’re a rider…but wait, what about turning the motorcycle!? Have you ever ridden a bicycle? Ok, if you have, it’s almost the same with turning a motorcycle. Anything under approximately 8-10 mph, you actually turn the handlebars to steer the motorcycle. Once you get over about 8-10 mph, there’s a lean that’s involved. Say your motorcycle is at 35 mph and you’re coming up to a right hand turn. Slow the bike down and downshift to where you are comfortable BEFORE you get to the turn (use 2nd gear as an example). Say you’re now at 12mph as you enter the turn. Push the right handlebar to the left slightly and lean to the right to make the right turn. Yes, I said that correctly. With your right hand, you push the right side handlebar slightly to the left to make a right hand turn. Push left, lean right, go right. It’s called countersteering and it works. Most bikers will tell you ‘that’s not right’, but trust me, they are doing this exact thing and sometimes don’t realize it. And if you take the safety course, they will cover this subject. You can also practice these exercises in a controlled area like a parking lot. Click here to view the various motorcycle exercises

All of the above that I’ve discussed takes practice. The idea is to start and stop and ride as smoothly as possible. This will be your key to a safe and incredibly exciting time on the road with the wind in your hair, bugs in your teeth, freedom that only comes with riding a motorcycle. Remember to check out the riding courses offered in your area. Enjoy! And Safe Riding!

Buying a Motorcycle Helmet – Some Key Facts

Buying a Motorcycle helmet, at most times isn’t such a big deal for bikers. Normally, a biker is likely to pick up an inexpensive, yet quite utilitarian motorcycle helmet from a store. He is likely to choose one that looks good and stylish too. In other cases, they may not buy the helmets themselves and ask their friends, relatives and companions to do the same.

In the whole process of helmet-buying, a person needs to clearly know what features he ought to look out for in a good motorcycle helmet. As was said in the case of a majority of bikers, just a few brief, passing glances are simply not sufficient. So what should a biker do, since helmet-buying a serious business? We will see soon.

What Helmet To Buy

There are many people who are of the opinion that helmet buying is not all that serious business. However, take my word, they’re wrong! Surveys have revealed convincingly enough, that riders wearing helmets are less likely to crash than non-helmet wearing ones. Even if you meet with an accident you could come out of it with fewer injuries and avoid permanent disabilities, caused primarily due to head or neck injuries. Motorcycle helmets ARE IMPORTANT. The bottom-line is this.

Now, let me tell you that buying a helmet is not all that easy business, because there are factors apart from safety, those regarding comfort for example. The easier way to find out which helmet is of a greater quality is to ascertain if it conforms D.O.T. standard (Department of Transportation, US).

The determining factor that makes a D.O.T helmet is its impact-absorption ability and a strong fastening system that remains intact even in the face of worse accidents. They are well-made as they conform to some sort of a national norm. It is for this reason that it is wiser to choose even a non-expensive D.O.T helmet in place of an expensive one that does not meet D.O.T standards. It also provides additional features such as increased comfort and durability.

Other Functions Performed By A Helmet

There are also other things that a motorcycle helmet does. What? Well, to begin with, they cut out the extreme noise caused by winds while riding. And it also protects your eyes from insects and dirt. The helmet-visor gives you much improved vision.

Still thinking whether to buy a helmet? Don’t think; start searching for your helmet right now. Also try to get a pair of motorcycle boots if you can. And don’t forget a motorcycle jacket to protect your body – and help you look cool! Always keep in mind the interesting facts above when shopping for all your motorcycle goods.

And for help with your purchases, head online. Open your browser to Google or another top search engine. Type in keywords regarding the items you need, and then review listings that show up. When checking out on a site, watch for a secure browser or the “https” to be there. This means you can rest assured your transaction info remains confidential.

The World Is Going Gaga Over Trousers Made of Materials That Look Like Leather

One of the hottest and the current trends this fall and winter is the “leather look” – real or faux. Whether it’s a celebrity or any fashionista, everybody wants this piece of clothing in their wardrobe. Leather is not just restricted to jackets but is used for trousers, skirts, bags, shoes and much more.

This material, which looks like leather, is not real and is not got out of butchering animals. The faux leather can perfectly mimic the popular snake-skin, crocodile, and very expensive calf skin. It does not involve killing animals and importantly, is not overly priced since it is not real leather. This material is light, stretchy, and breathable. It gives sheen and a sense of luxury and also adds a wild style.

Leather apparels are always known for their style quotient and have always been a favorite material among fashion designers. Many renowned fashion designers have claimed that leather not just brings sensuality but also defines one’s figure or physique accurately. It is a tight fitted material so is best worn by people who are slim and petite.

Though leather is always expensive but leather look like or faux really gives that extra edge. Women like to flaunt their curves, so they can team faux leather pants with a sequenced top or a nice baggy pullover. Men always like the biker look and turn to leather jackets to achieve this look. Women also love to have biker jackets in their wardrobe for that biker chic look.

This material is super stylish and sexy and can be utterly feminine when it is used to make skirts. Flaunting outfits made of faux leather give you that extra edge and make you stand out in the crowd. This fabric is versatile and gives a complete makeover to your wardrobe. Leather is durable and so is always preferred by people who lead a rough lifestyle. If compared with the price of other fabrics, it turns out to be expensive but is long-lasting. But never the less, it always helps you create an impression on people and make you look preppy and chic.

Designer label leather look like apparels are readily available online too. Sometimes there are great offers and discounts associated with the clothes available online. Online shops also offer you the assistance of a virtual stylist who can help you pick the right sort of clothing. These experienced stylists are known for their work and help you pick clothes as per your body type. Taking the help of these stylists is worth a try if you are looking for something new and trendy this season. So this winter, make a style statement which is hot and sizzling.