We were up in Portland last weekend attending Vegfest and eating our way through the city, thanks to Everyday Tastiness for showing us Back To Eden Bakery and Portland's vegan hotspots.
While driving around I wanted to stop at the Honda dealership to check out the new Honda Grom.
So we went to check out their extensive clothing and gear department. We looked at helmets, gloves and I tried on a couple of jackets... specifically the Ansai mobile warming units. Trobairitz bought one for our trip to San Francisco to meet Rogey and absolutely loved it. I on the other hand was more than a little skeptical of the three tiny heating elements keeping me warm so I dismissed it and went looking for much more stout heating apparel, high voltage, microwire technology, manly man stuff.
Trobairitz wandered off to look at girly girl stuff and said she'd meet me out on the showroom floor. I trotted off to look at more bikes, sit and make vroom vroom noises. She came along shortly after, toting a small bag stating she bought some socks and off we went to Native Foods for a late lunch/early dinner. Although anxious to show me her new socks, she waited until we were several miles away from the dealership (knowing I wouldn't turn around in PDX traffic) to reveal that she bought me the jacket I tried on earlier instead. She is a sneaky one and insisted that I wear the jacket.
Gentlemen, trust your woman when it comes to clothing, they know from which they speak! We got home, she charged the battery right away and had me try it on. It wasn't bad, but I was still skeptical that three tiny elements would keep me warm. The next morning we went out grocery shopping and I wore the jacket, in fact I wore the jacket with the heating elements on high and judging by the smile on my face my skepticism soon melted away.
Okay, but how does it perform on a bike at 60 mph in 45ºF temperature while raining?!? In the dark!
Let me tell you it performs quite well. I wore my 8 Layer shirt, a t-shirt and a very light sweater under the jacket, then my Aerostich Roadcrafter Light suit overtop and I was comfortable for the 22 wet miles into work. I turned the Ansai on at 50% and it produced enough heat to take off the chill and keep me focused on the ride.
I used it all week and I am impressed. It doesn't keep your arms warm but the waterproof shell does a better job as a windbreaker than my Columbia Windstopper jacket does. It is a stretch material and fits snug without making me feel like the Michelin man and it looks good. Or is it that I make it look good?
I've been trying for months, if not years, to figure out how to run all my heated accessories on my bike without frying the stator, regulator/rectifier or killing my battery. The anemic Tiger has a mere 350W charging system so I have to be diligent when using my heated grips, heated liner and now my new LED driving lights.
I should have taken my wife's advice sooner and bought the jacket when she bought hers. But like my helmet sticker says "My wife says I don't listen to her! (Or something like that)".
Yes, she takes such good care of me, I am spoiled; I love her so and forever in her debt.
- Thank you babe, you're the best!