Have you ever wished you had a good set of motorcycle leathers? I will never forget the winter of 1987. My wife and I were living on the North shore of Chicago. She was working as an elementary school teacher and I was finishing grad school. Money was tight, so a second car was out of the question. The hassle of sharing a vehicle has always been more than I can stand to end, so I began looking for some other form of cheap transportation. In those days I had yet to own a motorcycle, but I had always wanted one. While driving by the local shopping mall near our neighborhood, I noticed a motorcycle sitting near the road with a sign sign hanging off the front forks. It looked pretty small, but as the chrome glinted in the sun I found myself strangely drawn to pull over and check it out.
The bike was a 1972 Honda CB350, and for being 16 years old at the time, it was in great condition. It looked like it had been barely ridden and then tucked away in a garage somewhere. This was about 23 years ago now, so I honestly can not remember what color it was originally. I painted it metallic flake blue within the first year of owning it. To me, this bike was priceless, but I paid only $ 300 for it later that afternoon.
Now that my transportation problem was solved, I began regularly making the 20 mile commute to school. Which if you have ever been in Chicago traffic, you understand that a trip of that distance could take an hour or more. It must have bought the motorcycle in the summer because I remember how much I loved tooling around on it for the first few months. But then the temperature began to drop and the snow began to fly. I quickly learned that there is a good reason for Chicago being known as the windy city. Riding a motorcycle alongside Lake Michigan in the winter is like running naked through a meet packing plant with 100 high speed fans blowing on you. I mean it was cut you to the bone frigid!
Although I did have a full face helmet, I never seemed to have clothing that could keep the icy wind from penetrating down to my soul. I even remember forgetting my gloves one night and having to put my socks on my hands just to survive the ride home. My ankles still hurt when I think about it. Even though we now live in the south eastern United States, and you can ride nearly all year round, just thinking about those frosty mid-western motorcycle rides can send a nasty chill up my spell.
Since that time I've clocked countless miles on everything from Hondas to Harleys, and if there is one thing I have learned, it is that there is no substitute for a set of high quality motorcycle leathers. Whether you ride a crotch rocket or a big old hog, nothing beats a lined leather jacket and a broken in pair of chaps on a long cold ride. When God made cows, he really knew how to insulate them from the cold. If you are currently in the market for some new athletes, take a minute and check out the link listed below.