Thursday, March 17, 2011
Commute - Day 2
The weather has certainly cooperated over the last two days; yesterday started out cool (cold from some respects) with temperatures near freezing. The ride home saw temps in the low 60s (Fahrenheit). Today, temps started near 50º F and should be in the mid-to-upper 60s by the ride home. So, I've had a great opportunity to test some of my (new) gear. Yesterday I wore my tried and true FieldSheer Adventure jacket and FirstGear HT II over-pants. I would consider the Adventure jacket to be a "three season" jacket. Those seasons would be Autumn, Winter and Spring. I don't ride much in the winter once snow stays on the ground. But, the Adventure jacket has been prefect for those early Spring and late Fall rides. It has a liner, that I rarely wear, and is waterproof (personally tested). The over-pants have already seen three riding seasons and I like them so much, I would buy another pair right now. Granted, they can be warm (OK, hot) in the middle of Summer but I don't find them to be so miserable that I'll be shopping for something cooler (like mesh pants). Actually, I'm looking to consolidate some gear in an effort to have less items in the closet. This leads me to my newest acquisition; an Olympia Bushwacker jacket. The Bushwacker has been discontinued by Olympia (this version bas been, at least) and I chose the hi-viz yellow color. They come pretty highly recommended (over at Adventure Rider and by folks that sell motorcycle gear). With the jacket being a "closeout" and priced accordingly, I bought one to replace three jackets; a TourMaster Cortech, a Hein-Gerecke mesh and a Suzuki branded rain coat. The Bushwacker has a waterproof liner that doubles as a stand-alone jacket in its own right. But, I'm always concerned about being visible to fellow motorists especially when conditions are poor (rain). It didn't make much sense to put on a blue rain coat when I could have the liner keep me dry and have the hi-viz yellow still on the outside. There are some that don't like a waterproof liner because the mesh jacket soaks up quite a bit of water and becomes heavy (to wear) and, subsequently, takes quite some time to dry. I'm OK with that. If it's raining in the morning, I'll take the car, if it rains during the day, well, then, I'm covered. The jacket was perfect for this morning's ride. I have no complaints (yet?) but I did decide to remove the "utility belt" (the jacket comes with a belt, around the waist, that has three utility 'pouches' on it). I'm already wondering if it couldn't replace the Adventure jacket provided I add a thin cycling fleece vest under the liner.