LAst April, my faithful pair of bike boots (Sidi Black Rain Evo) died of old age and overwork, and I bought a new pair of Frank Thomas Aqua Rides. Posts here and here, for those without a home life.
I didn't know it, but at the time Frank Thomas were in administration and about to go out of business. That wouldn't have affected my decision to buy them, as I had always had good results with FT gear before. However, the Aqua Rides are perhaps an example of the reason why the firm didn't survive.
For one, they were advertised as waterproof, and they weren't. They kept the worst out, and no doubt were better in the wet than a normal race boot, but after 20 minutes or so of heavy rain you could feel a cold trickle round your toes and you knew that you would be spending the next day-and-a-half drying the boots out. However, they were very comfy to walk around in, felt good on the bike, and were toasty warm, so although I was disappointed I decided to keep them.
And then, on Tuesday night, I was getting ready to go out to the TOMCC pub meet and put them on. Rrrrrip. The lining of the left boot had become detached from the rest and had slipped down into the foot part. It wasn't possible to put them on without crushing the lining underfoot, and this would have been very uncomfortable and possibly dangerous, so I went out in Doc Marten's instead. And got thoroughly wet feet. Lace holes.
I took them back to the dealership yesterday, and they are returning them to whoever looks after Frank Thomas's business affairs these days. It's unlikely I will get a replacement pair, as they don't make them any more, but I may get an equivalent pair, or a credit note. Or I may get nothing. I suppose after 11 months of daily use, it's unreasonable to expect a brand new pair out of it. The old boots are being 'sent away' and it will be a week or so before I get any answer.
I like my feet exactly as they are, and I won't go out with anything less than proper protection on them, so I had to find another pair pronto. Hence a trip today to Lamo's Motorcycles in Llandissilio. I have spent a bit more this time and got a pair of Forma Arrow Dry boots. This is another 'clearance' range, but that meant I spent £120 rather then £150. Ker-ching. They are allegedly waterproof and - good sign - they are Italian. Also, they are snazzy. Until now, for the whole of my motorcycling career, I have worn plain black boots. These have a bit of red about them.
As has the Sprint.
I am a fashion victim.
Trouble is, I am now forced to buy red bikes until the boots wear out, or buy new boots every time I change the bike, or go around unco-ordinated. Which is par for the course according to my friends, and not a problem.
Rescue Cat thinks they are ace.
P.S. Those toe sliders are magnesium. It says so on them. Only, it's 'non-sparking' magnesium, apparently. Damn.