Like a kid in a candy store. Or, how to trade a photo for $300 boots

About a year ago, Bill Nation, owner of Pro Italia contacted me through Flickr and wanted to know if he could purchase one of my photos for use in winter promotional material for the store. We exchanged a few emails, came up with a price – settling on store credit, I sent the pix to his designer…and then forgot about the whole thing.

A couple of cold ducks

A picture of two cold ducs up at Nuke’s

Forward to the present and although I’m still “without motorcycle” I have a few rides scheduled in October on my friend’s Harley. And I need new riding boots. Badly. BEHOLD my nasty, well crashed, size 9 boots with my size 10.5 feet crammed in them. Why have I kept these so long? Cause I’m a cheap, poor musician, that’s why. But sorry AGV’s, it’s time for you to go.


I’m a nasty set of booties

So off to the land of temptation: Pro Italia. Lots of droolworthy Ducatis and Aprilias. Having not called or emailed in advance, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they even remember using my photo? Luckily Mr. Nation was onsite, remembered the photo and our deal and set me up with store credit without hassle. Excellent.


Meet my new boots. SIDI Vertigo Air race boots. $300, but with cool Ducs at Nuke’s photo – FREE! Yay! And what’s funny is that I didn’t even shoot this pix with my good camera – just my Casio.


Newly stoked on my transaction at Pro Italia I’m off to the pinnacle of temptation, Bert’s Mega Mall, for some riding jeans. I don’t have proper riding pants anymore and riding in regular jeans is not cool.  “I will not look at any motorcycles. I will not look at any motorcycles. I will not look at any motorcycles.”


FAIL. I sat on a V-Strom and a VFR and an R1. I’ve been trying to talk myself into liking a type of motorcycle other than race replicas because, like, race reps are dangerous and stuff. So I wanna try an Adventure Bike because those can go off road and I can be like Ewan McGregor. So I look around: no GS’s or KTM 990’s – those are out of my price range anyway – but they do have the cheap analogue here – the Suzuki V-Strom, so I go bounce on that. Ew. Yuck. It’s too freaking tall and I can barely touch my toes down on this beast. Plus, it weighs like 50,000 pounds. So not my style. Oh well, so much for wanting an ADV bike. Oh hey, they have a new 6th gen VFR here. A sports-tourer. That would be cool. I could ride for days and be in total comfort. Let’s check that out. Ew. Ewwwwwww Ew. It’s just like a real bike except that I’m sitting up like I’m riding in a truck and it also weighs like 50 million pounds. I don’t think this is for me. Lets try something more familiar. Here’s a 2004 R1. Ahhhhhhhhhh fits like a glove. It’s light, my heals can touch the ground. This is good. I’ll be back.

But for now, jeans. Off to the apparel section. Nice Icon riding jeans found. I try them on. They suck. They’re baggy like home-boy pants. And no padding. Just some kevlar over the knees that feels thinner than a layer of duct tape. Not good. We need another option. Across the isle are the mesh Tourmasters with padding and proper knee armor. These’ll do. Sold.