Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 SML Shootout

Last week I did my annual pilgrimage of riding the bike out to Texas for the SML Shootout.  Even though the ride is long and hot, I've always looked forward to the trip.

I left the office on Wednesday afternoon and got on Interstate 10.  As expected, I had to fight LA traffic and pretty much had to split lanes until Riverside, and then it was wide open.  I was cruising along pretty good and came upon my first threat in Palm Springs. I was going along pretty well around 90, when the trusty TPX Detector started going off on a weak Ka band.  I immediately let go of the throttle and got my speed back down to around 70.  The alert would fade in and out for about 15 seconds, then it ramped up to full alert in a hurry.  Sure enough, shortly after I spotted a CHP cruiser coming up from behind in my mirrors and went speeding past me.  Count that as a save!

I finished off the ride in Mesa, AZ and spend the night there.  It just so happens that Miss Arizona was holding their pageant there that weekend and all the contestants were staying at the same Days Inn that I was staying in.  I wished I could've stick around for a few days, but, I had to go to Texas for something more important, at least that was what I was telling myself.

For day two I took the scenic route, taking US60, which had some long sweeps and it was a few degrees cooler as it went up the mountains, then over to US70, then back to I-10 in Lordsburg, NM.  As I approached Las Cruces on I-10, the TPX Detector recorded another save.  I was going up a long, gradual incline going at a pretty good pace, and as I was approaching the crest, a K alert came on.  Again, I backed down immediately to the speed limit of 75 and sure enough, once I crested the hill, there was a New Mexico trooper waiting in the median looking for speedsters coming over the hill.  I would've been toast for sure had I not had the TPX Detector!

This year at SML, we tested production unit of TPX Detector Version 2.0 as last year we tested a pre-production unit.  As expected, it detected everything accurately and with plenty of range.  We also tested something else that I can't tell you right now and let's just say, it passed the tests with flying colors.  You'll hear about it as soon as we can let the public know what it is!

After three days of getting cooked in the Texas sun, we finished the tests on Sunday and I hit the road back to California.  I spend the night in Goodyear, AZ, and finished the ride the next day.  Believe it or not, I didn't have a single encounter with any cop on the way back.

The ride to Texas and back was also the first time that I took the GlowRider Jacket on a long trip in some serious heat.  I'm not going to spin it, I was hot riding in 100 degree weather with it, even with all the air vents open, but it wasn't intolerable.  The true-flow air vents definitely helped me stay cool and I'm pleased with how the jacket handled the extreme heat.

All and all, another great SML Shootout weekend, and I'm looking forward to the next one already!

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