Wednesday, May 28, 2014

As bright as the day I bought it


I bought this high-viz Fieldsheer mesh riding jacket at the 2009 BMW MOA Rally in Johnson City, Tenn. and have worn it every summer since then.

The rationale for the color choice is obvious – when you ride a motorcycle, you want to be as conspicuous as possible so you don’t get run over. Lots of riders wear similarly colored jackets.

But it was beginning to show its age. It had accumulated five riding seasons’ worth of dust and dirt and the color had lost its snap. It was turning a sickly lime green and had become a little embarrassing to be seen in.

The care instruction tag says you can launder the zip-in taffeta liner, but not the outer Chinese-made garment. That admonition kept me from washing it for the last couple of years.

I decided yesterday to chance it and run it through the wash. If it fell to pieces, then so be it. I mean, who the hell makes a motorcycle jacket that can’t be cleaned?

It has CE armor in the back, shoulders and elbows which I removed before tossing it into our top-loading Whirlpool, setting the water temperature to Cold and adding a half-measure of the Tide+Febreze that I just reviewed for the Amazon Vine Program.

Not wanting to press my luck, when it came out of the washer I put it onto a plastic hanger and let it air dry.

Except for a couple of stains, it looks as bright as new. So much for Fieldsheer care instructions.

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