I'm sunburnt but smiling. I passed my 3 day certification course this afternoon.
Let's get some bike chat going. Anyone have recommendations on Bluetooth helmets? Jackets that breathe when it's 115 outside in Phoenix? Gloves?
You can buy armored vented or mesh jackets in leather or synthetic, they work great. I use a vented jacket for medium weather (it has 2 front & 2 back zipping vents ), and a mesh one once it gets to the 80s (it is mesh everywhere but the shoulders and elbows, and has shoulder, elbow and back armor). You can't even tell many of the mesh jackets are mesh until you get close. Unfortunately in 115 degree weather the only way to stay cool is to keep moving, you'll cook when you are still. Also, if you have an air cooled bike you'll cook from the crotch up as well when you aren't moving. Getting stuck in traffic in the summer sucks.
If you ride in cold weather look into Gerbings, they make heated gear (absolutely fantastic against winter rain). I'm not sure how cool the winters are where you live but you probably don't need the full gear. I'd guess that the gloves & the jacket insert would be enough for almost everything you get.
As I understand it, there are a number of good bluetooth helmets, I think they are pricey though. I don't use one, my bike is too loud to allow me to listen to anything else. Depending on your bike and at how good your headset is at cancelling noise (if you go with bluetooth) you may want to keep a pack of foam earplugs. Freeway noise is significant, these help a lot.