Greasy Leather

One great thing about living in Cornwall is the weather…Yes I did really write that!

Someone once said that the UK doesn’t have a climate, we just have weather and that is divided into ten months winter and two months bad weather!

Personally, I tend to take the view that there is no such thing as bad weather, just a bad choice of coat!

Now a confession…I like wearing leather…

…when riding motorbikes!

Sure I have a variety of riding gear and modern synthetic alternatives are extremely good, certainly some of the stuff with Kevlar woven panels perform impressively, however my apparel of choice is good old-fashioned traditional cow skin. Riding clothing has to perform a multitude of tasks, prime of which is protecting the wearer in the event of a tumble, but it also is the first line of defence in keeping you warm, dry and comfortable.

That last one is a prerequisite for me, I have a set of Harley Davidson FXRG leathers that are so comfy to wear and that I’ve had for years.

Like many other things associated with motorbikes, there is a degree of maintenance required to keep your leathers not only looking good, but also to ensure that they don’t let you down when you need them. Leather being a natural material needs “feeding” to keep oils in it’s pores and therefore retain its water-resistant properties.

Last Saturday I took a ride up to Bideford on the beautiful North Devon coast, it’s just over 50 miles from Dookes H.Q. and my mission was to drop in and see my oldest pal “Vifferman.”

“Viff” and I go back a long way, well over half a century, in fact the only living person that I have known longer than him is my Mother…wow that’s scary! “Viff” had recently lost a good friend, in fact he had read the eulogy at his mates funeral only earlier in the week, I had to go see him.

Riding along the wonderful A39, the Atlantic Highway, in the morning was simply fantastic. Traffic was light, weather nice and clear, road dry, what was there not to like!

After spending some time with “Viff,” inspecting his son George’s model railway and enjoying a Devon pasty for lunch it was time to head home…and ride into darkening skies!

The trouble with coastal living is that the weather changes just like in the mountains, at the flip of a coin. We were heading straight into black towering Cumulonimbus storm clouds and true to fashion after ten miles we rode into it, one second it was dry, next, bam, rain!

I settled into a tedious further 40 miles of standing water, driving rain, gusting wind and spray. Lovely, not!

Once back at Dookes H.Q. and after putting Baby away in the workshop I got out of my riding gear and discovered I had…a slightly wet crotch!

OK, I know it I’m getting older, but I’ve not yet lost control of things down there just yet…well I’m pretty sure I haven’t anyway!

Sure enough, close examination revealed that my leather trousers had evidence of a bit of water ingress and this got me thinking; when was the last time I had treated my leathers to some waterproof dressing?

Guiltily, I concluded that it was at least two years ago. Whoops! As the FXRG leathers aren’t made any more, they’ve been replaced by hybrid leather/synthetic, I’d better look after these a bit better!

So yesterday there I was in the workshop with the radio on and leather gear spread out on the workbench. Using a pair of disposable gloves I spent a happy couple of hours thoroughly rubbing leather dressing into the leather. imageBy not using a cloth the warmth of my hands helped the greasy dressing penetrate deep into the leather and after a good going over the jacket and trousers looked a lot better for it as well.
I must admit that not wasn’t an unpleasant thing to do, certainly more enjoyable than the wet crotch anyway! I’m just kicking myself that I’d left it so long, but hey at least I wasn’t in the middle of a big trip when I found the leak.

I’ve just thought, there’s another pair of trousers that need doing…better dash and sort those now!

“Hell bent, hell bent for leather.”

Catch you later.


Photo101: Water

When I saw today’s assignment I had a great idea, but unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans.

Last night a severe gale blew in from the Atlantic with winds gusting to over 80 miles per hour, my gentle stroll along a North Cornwall beach turned into a trial of endurance and for the first time in my life I was blown off my feet, several times!

Now please, before the “Laughter Police” are called, I wasn’t ever putting myself in danger or in need of rescue by others, I stayed well back from the sea and checked the tides before I ventured out. This also meant that I didn’t get as close to the surf as I planned for the original idea, but I got a few reasonable shots that I hope you enjoy.

As an aside, the lens got so thoroughly coated with salt in the strong north wind, that I was reduced to licking it to keep it clear, yeck!

Anyway here are the photos!


P1050238This last shot looks so benign and peaceful, it wasn’t, I just wish it had sound so you could hear the wind howling!

I hope that these are watery enough for everyone!

All taken today on the beach at Crackington Haven in North Cornwall; 50.7445N, 4.6377W.

Catch you all soon.



Todays Photo 101 assignment needed a little bit of thought.

Yes, sure I could raid my library of previous photographs for suitable Water based shots, I am sure that I have loads that would fit the bill, however I made up my mind to take photos specifically for the course so hence the thinking!

I could have popped over to the nearest beach, we only live a few miles from the sea.
I could have found a stream or local river.
I could have taken a picture of puddle, but just for a change it’s not raining!

Instead I fooled around with a hosepipe for a few minutes and this is the result, I gotta say I’m rather pleased!P1030107

Gotta dash, all that water has left me needing to go to the little room!