It was over 100 degrees out that day, so a friend who’d just started riding decided it would be a good idea to ride to work without his jacket. Long story short, it wasn’t. Especially when he t-boned a car at 35mph. Here’s grizzly proof that getting a little hot in full gear isn’t such a bad idea.
We’d been in the middle of a heat wave here in LA, with the usual 72-and-sunny replaced with humidity and temps in the high 90s and low 100s. In conditions like that, riding around in a leather or textile jacket may seem like an insane thing to do. But to me, it’s the most sane. I’m not here to preach or sound like an elitist to new or inexperienced riders, I only want to share with you the consequences of some of these choices. Maybe they’ll even scare you into making smarter decisions.
During this friend’s short commute to work — the one in which he thought it was smart to leave his newly-purchased Alpinestars jacket at home for — he was caught off guard for whatever reason and missed a woman making a right-hand turn into him. Travelling at about 35mph, he had no time to grab his brakes, T-boning the car and flying right through the woman’s passenger window. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of that story…
Had he been wearing his jacket, he would have just brushed himself off and waited for a friend to give him a ride home. Instead, he got a ride in an ambulance and a whole bunch of stitches.
Now, I know what it’s like to kiss Tarmac. That’s why, even when it’s seriously hot out, you’ll find me in my Dainese G. Speed Naked Pelle jacket, Steel Core Carbon gloves, Axial Pro In Boots and AGV Grid helmet. Yeah, I get the occasional puzzled look and “Aren’t you hot in that?” I’m actually quite cool because I know if anything happens on my ride, I’m well prepared for it.
Luck for me, that jacket is so thin, light and ventilated that I didn’t need to pick up a textile mesh item when summer finally hit us. I can sit at a traffic light and not totally overheat. Unlike my R1…
Dress for the slide (or for flying through a car window), not the ride.