I have some catching up to do on posts but my riding is done for this trip. Above all what I learned was 10 days isn't enough time.

Anyway, while I was on the bike my jacket was the most important piece of kit. I could have lost my bag and done better than without my jacket. For this trip I picket up a shinny and new Klim Latitude jacket in grey. I had use of a demo Latitude jacket for Kings of the West last year and really liked the function and fit of the jacket. I even had a crash on the street that resulted an ambulance ride to the hospital wearing the full suit. I went home that night with an un-dislocated pinky (the doctor yanked on it to straighten it out) and a pulled muscle in my back. So the jacket held up to all the testing that I could throw at it.

Of course as great as the jacket is for protection and comfort, that's not what made it indispensable while riding. It was the pockets.
This jacket has 10 pockets, and I used them all. Think of a chipmunk with their cheeks packed full of nuts. However you can see here I wasn't carrying food (for once) in my pockets. The outside breast pockets had maps, often two because I was starting the day on one and finishing on another. Many times I would pull off to the side of an intersection, turn off the bike, lean back against my bag strapped to the back and pull out a map to assure myself that I did in fact want to go left and not right... or was it right and not left? In one of the breast pockets was my notebook/journal that contained addresses, phone numbers of guest houses, route suggestions and so on.

The two bottom pockets contained all the electronics. My Spot GPS and cell phone in the right and camera on a reel on the left. It just takes dropping a camera at 70 mph once to see the value in the reel. My cell phone had to be readily accessible because I made use of the mapping apps and gps feature often. In the top pocket was medicine after the dentist visit, a spare camera battery, floss and a headlamp.

The most handy pocket of them all was the little one on the left wrist. I had cash and cards readily available for food and gas.

The four inside pockets didn't get used near as much but they were still handy. Inside left zipper pocket had my international drivers license, copy of my passport and large bills. The inside right had headphones if I wasn't using them.

In this picture you see the bottom inside pockets loaded with my netbook and charger. I was tickled pink when I found that my netbook fit in that pocket like a glove. Of course I didn't normally ride with my laptop and charger in my jacket but there were a couple of instances when I needed to carry them on the bike and I didn't want to sort out a bag.
So all in all, this was one decision that I was happy about. I'm really glad that it's got some dirt and scuffs on it. Riding gear shouldn't be clean and spotless. It means that it hasn't been used.


Post a Comment