24 September 2010

Trip around Lake District

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Earlier this year I went on a trip with some friends to Lands End. I have been looking for my next adventure and have my sights set on the Lake District. Although not confirmed, I have devised a route that would go around most of the lakes. It is a total mixture of roads from Dual Carriageway to back B roads. Hopefully it would have some breathtaking scenery! Now I just need to find out if my mates want to come along as well!

03 September 2010

Mack's Pillow Soft Ear Plugs

Bikes produce noise.Something most (all?) bikers know about. When you are sitting at motorway speeds your ears can be receiving around 100dB of engine/wind noise. That is 5-10dB over the limit that can cause hearing loss (according to this chart). I protected my hearing with normal foam earplugs. However they have a few issues for me. Firstly they are often too long and get pulled out of my ears when I put my helmet on. Secondly, my ears don't seem to get a solid seal around them which will then allow some noise in. Thirdly, I find them uncomfortable if I have to wear them for more then an hour or so.

There are a couple of solutions. The expensive (initially anyway) way is to have some custom made plugs at around £40-50 per set. Expensive yes, however these should last much longer then most foam earplugs. Along the same lines, although cheaper and the route I have chosen, are silicon mouldable earplugs.Unlike foam earplugs, these are not inserted into the ear canal. They only cover the opening of the ear, moulding to the shape of your ear for grip. Having used them now, I can say that they fit very well and remove a large amount of noise. Possibly less then the foam plugs do, but certainly well below the safe noise levels. Extended use; they are very comfortable and I can see that my trip to Cornwall earlier in the year would have been very different for my ears!

They aren't perfect though. They have a limited life, supposedly 5 uses, although I plan to see how many you can get away with! While you put them into position they don't allow the air to escape from your ear, that can cause pressure on the drum which is uncomfortable. Lifting the plug out slightly allows the air to escape and then can be put back in.

  • 'Custom' fit to your ear,
  • Really comfortable.
  • Potentially short life, could be expensive in the longer run,
  • Discomfort while putting in-place.