Saturday, September 5, 2009

Why buy a cycling jersey with a full zipper?

Today's club ride was a bit hot...literally. I don't remember sweating that much in a long time. Fellow riders pointed out the pool of sweat left by a guy who was sitting near me at our usual coffee shop stop (Java Depot in Solana Beach).

My own sweat-soaked jersey reminded me of how nice it is to have paid the extra few bucks for the "full zipper" version of our club's racing jersey. I'm a slow learner, but I've finally realized that there are good reasons to buy that full-length zippered version of your next jersey. Ponder these situations...

  1. Days like today. It was about 186º F (and Celsius) outside, with unusually high humidity. By the end of the ride, your jersey may have about 3 liters (that's 200 gallons) soaked into it. Ask yourself: Do you really want to lift this washrag from hell over your head? Also, the full-zip jersey can hang wide open if the heat really starts getting to you. And if you're a female cyclist and you follow this style tip, you'll make all kinds of friends with old creepers on your local club ride.

  2. It's race time, or the start of a long ride. You have a bunch of stuff in your jersey pockets. You're wearing bib shorts, only because all the serious cyclists say it's the only way to go. Now you need to go...#2...badly. And the only place to "go" is that Port-a-Potty that has already been used. (With the bib shorts, you must take off your jersey to quickly get those straps down...unless I'm missing something. Help me out here.) Do you really feel safe lifting your jersey with full pockets over your head in that small stall with the place-from-which-one-never-retrieves-anything? Wouldn't it be easier with a full zipper: Unzip, carefully remove like a priceless jacket, and hang or hold clear of the mud pit. Better?
Gosh, another priceless tip from an old cyclist! Given the option, all my jerseys will have full zippers from now on.

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