It is quite common that the weather in the Maryland ‘burbs of Washington, DC, changes from winter to summer almost overnight. However, lately we have been treated to a rare event: Spring. Yeah, Spring! Yippie! Coolish, but not cold, mornings, with very pleasant and non-humid, mild sunny afternoons. If it weren’t for the thick tree pollen, it would be perfect. Fortunately, I do not suffer allergies that badly, but when the pollen counts get so high, everyone gets a bit sneezy.
I digress: due to this spell of terrific Spring weather, it’s been “chaps weather” in the mornings. It’s too cool not to have something over the pants that I wear to my office for my early-morning commute. I have several pairs of motorcycle riding chaps, made custom to my measurements. Plus, I don’t like cheap chaps that zip to just below the knee then have snaps to the bottom. They look crappy — and cheap. Nope, my chaps have zippers on the outsize and go all the way down the leg to the bottom of the boot.
Why outside-zip chaps? First of all, outside zips are easier to reach. But the primary reason for zippers on the outside is that leather, not a metal zipper, may rub against the sides of the gas tank. Leather won’t scratch the paint on a gas tank as metal zippers would do. It is fairly easy to tell if a guy wearing chaps actually rides a motorcycle or is a wannabe by the quality of the chaps he’s wearing and the location of the leg zippers.
And honestly, I wonder, “is it only gay bikers who know about outside-zip custom leather chaps?” I see so many straight bikers who wear those cheap inside-zip chaps. Such a shame… if they only knew about custom outside-zip chaps: they also would avoid scratching the paint on their motorcycles’ gas tanks and present an appearance as if they cared about how their gear fit and looked.
In another digression, I have to be honest, the TourPak (like a trunk) on the back of my Harley spoils me. When I arrive at the parking garage near my office, I can store my helmet, chaps, jacket, and gloves in it, lock it up, and not have to drag that stuff into the office and back out again. When it is time to ride home, it has been warm enough that I have only needed a light jacket. I can carry the lighter jacket in the TourPak while riding into work, and then wear it while riding home, storing the heavier jacket that I wore in the morning back there. Very convenient, and spoiling. Sure beats dragging small duffel bags with gear in it into the office and strapping them with bungie cords onto the bike. I like this bike — I think I’ll keep it 🙂
Okay, dudes, it’s Leather Weather!
Life is short: Leather up and ride!