Back in Kathmandu and have decent (sort of) wi-fi for the first time in a week. Sorry there haven't been any regular posts, good intentions and all that. This photo was taken 25 minutes after taking the kit off. Get close to the screen and you might be able to smell the fumes of downtown Kathmandu.
I wanted to post about the kit I've worn for the last seven day's riding on the inaugural Sideburn Nepal trip. If you want to see some of the terrain and conditions just click - #sideburnnepal
If you are interested in future Sideburn trips to Nepal, EMAIL US
KIT (clockwise from bottom left)
Saint Unbreakable Jeans
I've been aware of this Australian brand since they launched three or four years ago, and some friends wear it, but I hadn't until this trip. They're made with 'the world's strongest fabric' Dyneema, which, Saint say, is stronger than steel. I went for the straight fit, the slim were skintight on me, and not something a 40-something should be seen in. They are expensive, £300, $350 region, but I can't fault them from the experience of this trip. They aren't armoured, but they offer abrasion resistance. How much do you value your epidermis? They have a bit of stretch to them and were very comfortable. If they last the rest of my life, then they're value for money, I guess.
Hebtroco Moto Boots
These boots were first on the take list. Made in Britain, heavy construction, Commando soles, comfortable from day one. Wore them for nine hours a day all week. Tough as old boots.
Holy Freedom Tubular
I'd left my Sideburn x Holy Freedom edition neck tube in a pocket and it was a bit smelly, so I grabbed this chequer tube instead. Stopped me getting sunburnt, covered in dust or inhaling too many diesel particulates from the ancient Nepalese trucks. It was white and black, now it's grey. Ugh.
Take black T-shirts so you can wear them for three days... This one is from regular Sideburn columnist Death Spray Custom.
Sideburn x Biltwell Moto 2.0 goggles
Affordable, trusted by Jeffrey Carver and the Rusty Butcher. We're down to our last few pairs if you want to order some. They'll never be made again.
Dainese back protector
A design classic. I've worn it for so long I feel a bit naked without it on the road.
Holy Freedom Bullit Gloves
So soft, so comfortable, so eyecatching. I love these gloves. I'm not sure I'd trust them for racing, but I do for road riding (if that doesn't make sense, I crash a lot more on the track than the road, but I still want a level of protection on the road). They come with a CE approval and come in various colours.
Three of the guys from Kriega came on the trip with us, all with new packs they are about to release at EICMA in November. They loved this bag, one of their originals. I've worn it all over the world. Dom, one of the British company's founders, inspected the label and confirmed it was made in 2002 -meaning it is 17 years old. I've used this bag all over the world, it used to be worn five days a week, when I was a commuter, and it's still used on big trips - Sri Lanka and Nepal already this year. It's as strong as the day they made it. Incredible piece of kit.
The only sunglasses I want.
Icon 1000 Beltway Jacket
Worn regularly since 2013, this hybrid jacket - heavy fabric with leather reinforcing, is another favourite. It's no longer in production, but it's a great advert for the brand because it has lasted so well. It comes with D30 armour in the elbows and a St Christopher in the wallet pocket.
I could have scooped stagnant water out of a puddle. I could have peed in the bottle and drunk it. I could have filtered local tap water through it. Instead, I just poured the readily available bottle water into it. But I could have.
At the bar on the last night (tonight) we had a long conversation about why I chose to wear an open-face helmet (me and only one other rider did). I like being able to chat. I like that it immediately makes you seem more human when a group of ten bikes arrives in a small village, when most are in tinted goggles and MX lids. Sure, there's a risk to wearing a open-face and I did consider that too, but I came home as handsome as ever.
This leather-lined Davida was painted by Ornamental Conifer for a trip I did from NY to San Fran back to NY in 2012. It's far brighter and flashier than most things I wear, but it means a lot to me.