Riding in a fishnet jacket

It all started in Belgium, when riding in 36 degrees Celsius (98F) heat the police stopped me and threatened to issue me with a 50 Euro penalty. I did not ride too fast, nor on the wrong side, all I did was riding in my T-shirt, as everything else would lead to quick unconsciousness due to the heat wave.

But the law has no mercy, so I had to put on my leather jacket with long sleeves, limping with constant water injections to the nearest Harley-Davidson dealership for advise, because riding in my normal jacket was mortally dangerous, and moving to the next air-conditioned hotel not a option.

At the dealership I learned that the rule is as simple as stupid: all you need are long sleeves, so a T-shirt with long sleeves will do, or even lighter, a fishnet T-shirt with long sleeves, and you are legal.

My frequent readers may know that my XXL body will not fit into above fishnet T-shirt, which I was told is sold at every well stocked Sex-Shop. Researching the internet for this post about riding in the heat, one memorable quote has to be mentioned (by 09 XBones of East Northport):

>>>> Quote
If you can’t handle leather, even in summer, turn in your man card, trade your Marlboros for Mistys, swap your boots for ballerina shoes, and next time you’re at the bar order a wine (or maybe that’s WHINE) cooler instead of a MGD. And fer s(&+ sure, get off that Harley and go buy a moped or something’… I can’t believe we got servicemen running around the desert in 125 degree heat with full packs and here we are complaining that motorcycles don’t have air conditioning…
End of Quote<<<<

OK, that’s one valid opinion, but true to the legend, Harley-Davidson has a solution for everything: they call it The Men’s Contention Mesh Jacket.

At first sight it is the most useless jacket I ever saw. It does not protect you from wind, not from cold, not from the sun nor from rain, and its mesh is not made of Kevlar but Polyester and will burn instantly into your skin should you ever crash. The only useful feature I saw when I bought it was that it protected me from the police, as it had long sleeves and lots more holes then my leathers.

Now, after 200 miles riding with it in the sun, I actually like it, its as cooling as a T-shirt, even better, as the sun does not burn on your skin directly. Think of Laurence of Arabia, he quickly learned to dress up for the scorching sun, some layers are in the long run cooler then none.

And I like the small amount of protection it gives you, not in case of a crash, but from all the wasps and flies that usually like to hit my arms. And at 80mph, even the dust and sand hitting you on the highway like a sand blaster becomes much less pronounced.

So yes, riding in the fishnet has its advantages, but the window of usability is very narrow. Below 18 degrees its getting too cold, above 26 you want to add colling packs or wet your T-shirt. And the only advantage in a sudden rain shower is that the Contention Mesh Jacket with its many holes and high ventilation dries very quickly.

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