Jun 28 2011
Hot enough for you? Now that midsummer’s day has come and gone, that’s an all too common question. But non-cyclists almost always express surprise when I tell them I’d rather ride my bike than sit on the porch. (The explanation? That’s easy. I make my own wind on a bike. The faster I go, the stronger the breeze.) Of course, you have to dress for success. Cool is my watchword on sultry summer days. DeFeet Armskins go a long way toward keeping me comfortable. So do my Lycra bike shorts, even though they’re black. Lycra doesn’t soak up sweat, and the porous, stretchy fabric lets the wind blow right through. But I don’t wear a Lycra top. I want something a little looser from the waist up. Luckily, summer jerseys that fit the bill aren’t hard to find. Here’s what I look for:
- Bright color
- Short, loose sleeves
- Breathable, quick-drying fabric
- Relaxed cut
- Good ventilation
- Quality workmanship
- Reasonable price
Mostly, I shop the sales. And mostly, I do all right. But every now and then, I do better than that. This is one of those times. In fact, the Mt. Borah Micro jersey is the coolest jersey I’ve seen. Here it is:
Hi-viz yellow front and back, with black trim on the neck (the better to hide sweat-cemented road grime) and sides. Hi-viz may not win plaudits from the cycling fashionistas, but it’s cool where cool counts most—on the road and in the sun. Check out the rear view:
That’s enough to catch the eye of all but the doziest motorist. There are some nifty details, too. Instead of three small pockets—the usual complement in a cycling jersey—the Micro sports two LARGE ones. Three bidon-sized pockets may be just right for a hard-working domestique, but I’m not playing Ganymede to some peloton god. And I like living large on the road. The fabric is just right, too—a quick-drying polyester, porous without being peek-a-boo. Can you see my hand here?
Not very well, eh? But you can certainly see the myriads of passageways for cooling breezes. And the black side panels are made from a lighter weight fabric that’s even more porous:
Farwell favors neck-to-navel zippers, as do many other male cyclists, but most women will be happier with something a bit less…er…ostentatious. I find the Micro’s nine-incher plenty big enough. The jersey’s cut is relaxed, too, so it never clings to my sweaty skin. Yet it still doesn’t balloon out on fast descents. To cap things off, the workmanship is excellent, and the price was right. I bought my Mt. Borahs last summer. They’ve been through the wash at least a couple of dozen times now, but they’re still as bright as the day I pulled them out of the shipping carton. And I expect I’ll be wearing them for years to come.
Hot enough for you? Well, it’s plenty hot enough for me. But my Mt. Borah Micros is helping me keep my cool.