Yesterday was the usual end-of-season sale at my local bike shop. One of the Triumph RAT forum guys that I had done a ride with contacted me and asked me if I was going. I hadn't planned to, as I'm pretty skint at the moment and, as Oscar said, "I can resist anything except temptation". But we agreed to meet there for a coffee, and so it was.
In the sale, there was a lof of stuff seriously marked down, including some Triumph-branded jackets. I'm always a bit suspicious about bike-branded gear. I mean, look at all the H-D tat that you see on all those bad-ass accountants. The Triumph stuff has always looked fairly stylish to me, but way over-priced. So here were some rather nice Balfour jackets, all sizes available, at £50 a pop, or about £100 off the usual retail price. I tried one on (stupid skoolboy error, that) and it looked good. That is to say, when I saw it on me in the mirror, I wasn't too repulsed. I think the vertical theme helps to, er, refine the figure somewhat.
Now I've got it home, I'm delighted with it. It's a summer jacket, which means it's water-resistant rather than waterproof, and it's light and quite thin. But it fills a gap in my biking wardrobe. Previously, it was either the full winter-weight textile jacket (which is brilliant, but weighs a ton and is stifling on hot days) or my ancient leather jacket, which is too hot on a hot day and too cold on a cold one, and has no armour, but is as comfy as an old armchair. I probably won't get much use out of the new one this season, but I'm glad I've got it. It oozes quality: it's made of Cordura nylon, but the sleeve-ends and Triumph lettering on the back are in a lovely soft black leather, the zips are all heavy-duty and it comes with a zip-out thermal waistcoat which is rather thin, but should make it less of a one-trick pony. And it's got armour at the shoulders and elbows, which the leather jacket doesn't have. It feels comfortable and protective.
I wore it out for the first time today (see next post) and it was very comfy, although on a cool and windy day it certainly wasn't stiflingly hot to wear. A waterproof jacket over the top made it bearable for the morning chill, though.