This article originally appears on my website documenting a motorcyle ride across China (south to north) – and you can go there via here: www.2wheelwriters.com OR just stay here on this site and be updated from time to time. I won’t be updating as thoroughly on the ride.
We’ve received two free loaner bikes from Galaxy in China – one of the top manufacturers for dual-sport touring bikes. Xie-Xie!!! (thank you in Mandarin, Chinese):
So there I am in a Lancaster, Oregon shopping mall; a quintessential American gathering place for pubescent loafers, shopping fiends, mommies with babes dreaming of toyland and the occasional, focused male aiming for exactly what he needs and leaving as quickly as if he had been told that by staying longer, he will receive a prostate exam by the 70-year old guy working the sunglasses store. The quintessential mall is what I’m sitting in the midst of, the one that has the Foot Locker, Claire’s, the Macy’s, the Regis hair salon and Vicky’s Secrets…I swear, there is only this one set formula that goes into building a mall, but I digress. I’m juicing some wireless from their free hotspot and looking online through assorted women’s motorcycle gear in preparations for this riding trip.
‘Bummer I’m even looking…’ I thinksigh to myself. I’ve funded my own airline ticket, will be paying out of pocket to experience the various town hostels and foods…..but now I have to buy gear on top of all that. I want GOOD, no GREAT, no GREATHOT gear too so of course, I’m looking at Alpinestars’ touring selections. I had written the company three weeks prior basically begging for some support – in fact, they were the only ones I had even bothered writing. No kidding. You’d think in desperation, we’d write as many companies as possible but I’ve been enamored with their jackets and riding gear since I bought my first motorcycle. My first jacket was Alpinestars and it’s been on my back still protecting me after all these years. But I hadn’t heard from them and was even checking my messages via Skype in Chile occasionally to see if there had been a call. Nada.
As I’m pouring over the images and information on the different gloves, my phone rings with an LA number. Is it my suitcase? The one that was lost a couple days ago upon returning from Chile? It was lost somewhere in Rio De Janeiro and I haven’t heard from anyone.
“Hello, this is Christine….” I answer. But the other end is very faint.
“Pshshsbhshpppp appap” is all I really hear.
“Sorry….I can’t really hear you. Can you please repeat that?” I ask.
And a lady’s voice comes in clear that it’s a representative with Alpinestars. Alpinestars. No WAY. And I stare at the screen that had coincidentally been looking at me…with the image of the Alpinestars Stella gloves…a pair that I already own that is my favorite due to its thinner design and white color.
She states that the company is happy to fufill our gear requests for jackets, pants, boots and gloves. Unbelievable. I am beyond stoked by this immense gift and I almost want to hang up excitedly to call Szu-ting. I give Holly, the rep, my address and immediately contact Szu-ting who is busy with her preparations to leave tomorrow and begin her journey to Asia. She beats me in racking her brain thoroughly over the checklist since she is leaving earlier. However, at this moment, we are both squealing and giggling like teens that are appropriately a part of the Lancaster mall setting.