My Aerostich Darien jacket has been away getting professionally cleaned and refreshed for over a week. I miss it.

I have said before that my ‘stich is my favorite piece of gear second only to my bike (2007 Suzuki V-Strom 650). It has been the single best investment I’ve made since getting into motorcycling, worth twice the price I paid. I love that jacket.

Friday afternoon I went for a short ride, wearing my Joe Rocket Ballistic jacket. It’s tighter and isn’t as comfortable or as warm as my Darien. The pockets are a pain in the neck to use and I doubt it’s even waterproof. It accomplishes the job of protecting me in case of an accident, but it’s not even very effective at helping prevent an accident — there’s not a single square inch of retro-reflective material on it anywhere. The fact that it’s bright yellow is irrelevant considering I ride to and from work in the dark. It could be flaming pink and still wouldn’t make me any more visible to the obliviots on four wheels.

I may ride less often during the winter months, but I still ride. Having my ‘stich gone to the cleaners has been driving me nuts.