Forma Adventure Boots Review

Forma Adventure Low Boots – I’ve had these for about 5 years now & has been my primary riding boots across Tigris, Altoid & Kiara. And they continue to be my primary riding boots even now.

Here are 5 inputs for anyone planning on buying them:

1. Made of tough leather, they take some getting used to. For me, it felt odd for the first 4-5 rides. I had to change the position of my gear lever to accommodate the boots under it. But once the leather settled in, it felt like a natural second layer. Now, it feels strange riding without them. Boots are flexible, but not enough to do a Tiger’s Nest trek in Bhutan.

2. They have a Drytex waterproof layer which has worked well. It has gone through water, snow, sand – and has kept my feet safe & dry. They’ve been submerged fully multiple times too – obviously can’t keep water out beyond its height. The waterproofing continues to work even now – tested extensively in the recent monsoons. There is at least one instance when the boots took the full weight of Tigris (230 odd kgs) when I dropped it during an off roading adventure. Though I was pinned down, no discomfiture or injury.

3. The construction of the boots are comfortable & it’s never bothered me even on long riding days (>12 hrs). I opted for the low version since I wanted to use this along with knee braces. This setup has worked well for the last 3 years I’ve had the braces.

4. I have done zero upkeep of the boots except to wash off the grime & dirt once in a while. I’ve not soft handed them at all & thrown them at the deep end when required (e.g., some flat tracking too, where they took quite a beating). With a little bit effort, these will go an even longer way.

5. Watch out for the manufacturing date before you buy the product. Many a time, they are stocked by retailers too long before it is sold. And these products start deteriorating even if the product is not in active use. A few quarters might not matter; but be wary of buying if it is much older.

I have been so impressed with them, that I bought a Forma for urban use as well. They haven’t been used anywhere as much as these, but they have also lived up to expectations.

Deliberate Practice: 2 Finger Clutching

When I started riding a motorbike (my first ever) two years ago, I got into the habit of using four fingers to operate the clutch. It was probably because of the belief that I had to press the lever fully for proper gear changing.. like in a car. Doing so has become a part of my muscle memory now.

Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to pick some off roading skills. And I’ve discovered that using 2 or 3 fingers for clutch control is a game changer. Since then I’ve tried to clutch with fewer fingers.. but never succeeded. Until today.

Clutching with 2 fingers offers multiple benefits.

  • optimize energy used & resources (fingers)
  • the freed fingers can be used to maintain control on the handlebar
  • .. & use the horn

But, it wasn’t to be. I was scared of crushing my fingers between the handlebar & the gear lever. I always thought four fingers are a must to declutch properly. I didn’t want to risk trying a new skill… it felt weird. My hand – foot coordination was severely compromised whenever I tried it.

Today’s morning ride was dedicated to the deliberate practice of two fingered clutch. It was a conscious & focused practice of this method. It was dedicated to getting over the feeling of uncomfort.. or getting used to the feeling till it became normal. It was an attempt to force the muscles to not depend on its memory.

Upshifting was relatively easy, downshifting not so. The hand – leg coordination just wasn’t working. It took a lot of conscious effort. Discomfort zone.

But, a start was made. And I’m definitely on my way to developing the two finger clutching skill.

Disclaimer: I’m a biking & off roading noob. Sharing my experiences, is an attempt to solidify my learning.

The Best Camera

The best camera is the one with you when you need it! The camera phone & an editing app combo can produce some artsy social media worthy pictures ?

This picture was taken on one of my early morning sprints with Tigris. This was taken just before sunrise, in low light conditions. Yet the picture taken on the mobile phone is gorgeous – captured quite a bit of details & color, both in the foreground & the background.

Mobile phone cameras can easily replace the point & shoot (P&S) cameras nowadays. For anyone considering buying a P&S camera today, I would suggest they instead invest in a more recent mobile phone model with a good camera.

  • The phone goes wherever you go … no need to worry about forgetting it
  • You can capture a moment wherever / whenever you encounter a picture worthy one
  • It’s compact & light… no lugging around a burden
  • You can do the editing (if needed) right on the phone with any of the plethora of powerful editing apps available
  • You can also share pictures right away .. no more waiting to get to a PC / laptop

There are awesome photographers on Instagram who use mobile phones only. Check a few of them for inspiration –

  • https://www.instagram.com/dcim.ru/
  • https://www.instagram.com/brahmino/
  • https://www.instagram.com/cocu_liu/

Let’s get clicking!

ABC = Fn (A, B)

(via Instagram https://ift.tt/2xnLZ99)

Your Adventure Biking Capability (ABC) is a function of your Ability (A) & the Bike (B) you ride.

ABC = Fn (A, B)

Accordingly, you can improve your ABC by either..

  1. Increasing Your Ability – picking up new skills, practicing the skills & thus building experience (muscle memory) in using the skills
  2. Using a Better Bike – a more purpose built bike, or adding any of the large number of accessories that will incrementally improve your bike – custom foot pegs, tires, etc.

The latter is the easy option – requires less effort & no practice. You just have to buy into the marketing stories of the product. I’m not saying they will not help at all. It does, incrementally.

Increasing your ability on the other hand involves learning, practicing & sweating it out building the muscle memory. But the impact this has on your ABC is multifold higher (3x – 5x). Also, ability is easily transferable to any bike you ride.

For most people, increasing our abilities should be the default strategy to improving our Adventure Riding Capability. Our investment of effort & resources will yield better overall results wrt to us becoming better riders. That’s exactly what I’m seen doing in the picture above with @bret.tkacs & @topgunindia.