Riding in the country

Since last week I have being going out on my BMW F700GS and riding for hours each day leaving from Russell and venturing out in a variety of directions. Generally I ride alone but last week I rode with a member from the BMW club John Lang to Gananoque and yesterday I rode with Mike Fritz.

Besides enjoying the back roads of eastern Ontario and the sunshine that has eluded us most of the summer, the idea was to finally get myself in a physical position to actually go on a long ride. Since the beginning in 2012 with the Vespa GTV I have always had either middle back and butt issues when I would ride too long. This prevented me from attempting a longer ride such as from here to Florida. The furthest I rode was to Lake George and it was a painful return ride. Imagine that I sold my vespa because of seat issues. I recently bought it back.

So what’s changed? Well, I changed the Vespa to Honda CTX only to find out that the seating position of a cruiser bike plays havoc on the back and the seat was also not the best. So three years ago I purchased the BMW F700GS and most of the back issues were gone but not the butt issue.

I remember going to a BMW meeting and there was an Iron Butt rider as a guest speaker. During question and answer period most people were asking intelligent questions like how do you mentally prepare, how do you stay hydrated, or how do you plan your trips for 1000, 2000 or 5000 miles? Me on the other hand asked, what about your butt? The answer was beads and a sheep skin on top and constantly repositioning yourself.

I immediately ordered the beads and sheepskin and proceeded to try a long run with Mike Fritz two years ago to Cobourg, Simcoe and Oakville and back. Well, it didn’t work. Two thirds of the way back I could hardly sit on my bike because my butt was so sore. It was like a bruise. Last year I tried an Airhawk seat and was forever adjusting the air pressure in search of that perfect setting that just never came. Two respected riders had told me that to solve all my riding problems I would need to purchase a Russell Day Long Seat.

So this year I did. I purchased an old seat for the F700GS and sent it to California to Russell Day Long. You can’t just get one of these seats because the guys down at Russell Day Long are booked months in advance. My suggestion for people up here in the north is to send your seat at the end of the riding season and enjoy it the spring.

WP_20170815_07_44_29_ProWell to my utter surprise and pleasure, when I took my first ride it was like riding while sitting on a lazy boy. There is just something perfect about this seat and how it supports your complete bottom end from the sides to the bottom.  Its kind of like those old tractor seats that are shaped like a butt but in addition to the shape it includes engineered comfort springs, special foam from their own foaminator and you have a choice of material finishes and designs including a back support (which I should have ordered).

Some say it is fugly but I disagree. At least on my F700GS it looks just fine. Also, I am never looking at my seat since I’m sitting on it all the time.

WP_20170815_07_44_21_ProThey claim that it requires 500-1000 miles to break in and that they will not consider a discomfort warranty claim until you have ridden 1000 miles. But let me tell you this, it was comfy at mile one and comfy at mile 6000.

The seat adds height and width so with an adventure bike that is tall like mine, it took a bit of time to get accustom to stopping at red lights since you need to move forward a bit to touch, or at least I did with my bikes height. After a week and 1000 miles it wasn’t an issue and a pleasure to trade that little inconvenience for total comfort.

WP_20170815_07_44_42_ProBut because the seat was higher and the seating position was different I realized after a few thousand miles that I needed to reposition my handle bars to be more forward and a bit higher. This wasn’t a problem since I already had installed ROC risers. I just needed to adjust them better. Once adjusted my ride was perfect.

Since the seat and handle bar adjustment I never need to get off my bike because of pain or discomfort. No more back, butt or any other discomfort. I now stop when I am mentally tired and exhausted. For the first time in my life, riding is totally comfortable. It’s like finding that perfect mattress, linen and bedding for that perfect night sleep. I would rate the Russell Day Long equivalent to sleeping at the Hilton. Just PERFECT!

I plan to send my Vespa seat to Russell Day Long this fall.

So, that is why I have being riding every day for 6 hours a day. Because I can!

The next step is planning my trip 🙂

Excerpt from Russell Day Long Website