Letters to GP: February 2014

You guys really like to write — and not quick half-baked emails cobbled together over Chipotle. We’re talking real letters here.

You guys really like to write — and not quick half-baked emails cobbled together over Chipotle. We’re talking real letters here, longer and broader in scope than the ones a particular GP editor sends to his not-so-secret pen pal. (Yes, we know everything.) The point is, we appreciate your thoughtfulness, and in this latest batch of letters we were especially glad to hear from like-minded readers about Kawasaki Ninjas, luxury sedans and diving safety. We do like female vocalists, incidentally.

Got a burning question, a great idea, serious concerns or just feel like reaching out? Please send your emails to sayhello [at] gearpatrol.com and help us keep the conversation going.

Your Letters


My Ninja 250
Re: A Love Letter to My 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250

Loved the article. Such that, never in my life have I left a comment on a blog or article before. Your article wasn’t a 10-mile-long rant, nor was it a paragraph leaving 99 percent to the imagination. It was the perfect length for an acute, refined series of thoughts on the bike.

I always liked bikes but never thought of touching one. In early 2007, I bought mine on a whim from a coworker. A 2004 in that hideous “midnight blue” color that deep down, everyone knew was actually purple. I didn’t care. Soon as I purchased gear and took the MSF, I started riding, and despite working full time and having a full load of classes, I rode a good 150 miles a week.

The 250 kept me alive and interested in living enough that I didn’t drop out of school even at my lowest. At one point, my parents separated, my girlfriend at the time dumped me two weeks after using me for a student loan co-signer, and I made my first C. I left work one Friday evening and took a scenic route from TN to Tybee Island. I spent about 30 minutes looking out at the water from the pier when a woman walked up and said, “I don’t know why you’re here alone from Tennessee with no luggage, but I promise you it’ll be okay.” When I went home that Monday, I changed my major, got four years of school finished in five semesters, applied for the most intimidating job in my area, and somehow got an offer 10 minutes into the interview.

The Ninja somehow got me through it all.

Not nearly as elaborate nor well-worded or romantic a write-up as yours, but the point remains.



Ella, Billie, Sarah Vaughan?
Re: Start a Jazz Collection

Nice piece, but not a single female vocalist? Ella, Billie, Sarah Vaughan?

Not saying this because there’s no women on the list, but because at least those first two must have been candidates, right? There’s a reason they’re known just by their first names.

Anyway, nice website, I visit most days.



Dead On
Re: Is Luxury Killing the Sports Sedan?

Mr. Kwon,

Your opinion is dead on! Sedans are dying under obesity, but I’d argue that all hope is not lost! With voices out there (like yours) in the intelligentsia elite who are bitching and clamoring about how heavy sedans are, we can change that! Beginning with the informed consumer, and trickling down to their less-informed friends, we can spread the virus-like desire for a light car.

I suspect we’re already on our way out of the trough; look at the Subaru BRZ. It’s a coupe, granted, but still the first actually light coupe from a major manufacturer in 15 years!

Things’ll get better, you’ll see.


Mike Belliveau


High Octane Shit
Re: Off-Roading at the Mall

I have been frequenting Gear Patrol for quite some time now. The has continued to get better year after year. I particularly enjoy the series Octane (F40, need I say more?). Your opinion piece “Off-Roading at the Mall” was particularly spot on.

As an avid purchaser of Rover repair parts, I grimace every time some Jibroni/Jibronette rolls by in a Range Rover with rims larger than my tires. I don’t understand putting stilettos on a mountain goat, albeit a very distinguished one. I spend a good majority of my commute being cut off my Mothers in Tahoes, Land Cruisers, and Suburbans with their 1.5 kids aboard. As much as I travel, I have never needed that much room.

Every year I see the decline in what used to be an “off roader”. With new technology/safety regs/ and consumers tastes, more and more crossovers are born and the dinosaurs die off. Land Rover has been trying to find ways for years to kill my beloved Defender. People would just rather drive an Evoque or a Range Rover Sport.

I am happy to see you were able to take a vehicle and see what it’s made of. It can be an eye-opening experience. I wish more and more people could see what their car can do. Perhaps more articles like this can get more people interested in their car as more than a glorified golf cart. My wife never fully appreciated what vehicles can do until I finally dragged her to a Land Rover event. It’s a lifestyle, really, not just a bunch of masochistic people finding ways to ruin a perfectly good vehicle, although mishaps do happen. I am currently counting down the days till the Old North State Rover Club celebrates their 10th anniversary in the Uwharrie National Forest.




Diving’s ID Crisis
Re: Is Diving Too Safe?


I really enjoyed your recent article about the perceptions of safety and diving. As a PADI dive master I am given the opportunity to evangelize diving almost daily. Coworkers, friends and sometimes strangers will say “Diving sounds like a lot of fun, but is it safe?”. Of course, all of my training has taught me to respond with a very sterile “Yes, there have been many advances in dive technology…yada…yada…yada…” After I go through that spiel, I always wrap it up with a funny story about a time I saw a diver do something stupid, sea life I have seen, or (if I think they can stomach it) a detailed description of the effects of DCS. Most of the time the conversation will then turn to the technical side of diving, such as gear, mixed gas, or a number of other things (which I could go on and on about).

Like you, I am very passionate about diving, and love sharing that passion with everyone. I would love to tell the stories about diving the Fire Hole River in Yellowstone, all the while worried about blowing out my eardrum due to the pressure of the rushing water. Or the time I got tossed like a rag doll on to the deck of a dive boat by an eight foot swell. Or the time I had to have a Jamaican lady dig the spines of a sea urchin out of my leg, as another local man kept offering to pee on it. Or the countless other dangerous things I have witnessed or been involved in myself.

But alas, I must save those stories for my fellow dive buddies. As you know, the most epic adventures are not in your dive plan. They happen when you least expect them, and in many cases there is an element of danger involved.

Keep up the good work and keep the dive articles coming. Thanks.

Jeff Nicholson

PLEASE NOTE: By sending your email, we reserve the right to publish your note, and will agree to anonymity upon request. Here’s a tip: share what thoughts you would want to tell face to face. Also, please keep in mind also that this isn’t the platform for buying-ideas or gear-related questions. Look for an upcoming announcement on those types of queries.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Announcements