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Friday, November 30, 2007

The Pursuit of Orange

It's hunting season here in Connecticut and if you want to ride Monday through Saturday and not get mistaken for Bambi then you need to ensure that you are dressed appropriately or ride in areas where hunting is not allowed. You can check to see when hunting season is taking place in Connecticut by looking at the Hunting & Trapping guide on the CT DEP's website. Another good place to check out is whether the location you will be riding is open to hunting or not, but remember, even if it's not open to hunting beware of poachers!

So, if you are going to ride on a day and in an area where there is hunting you might want to ensure that you are wearing blaze orange. Another good tip is to not where a white helmet or one that has white in it. Why you might ask? Have you ever seen a deer running in the woods? It's tail sticks straight up showing the white fur underneath. Why they run this way, I don't know, but if I had to venture a guess I would say so that other deer in the heard could follow. However, that "white tail" that you see is also what a hunter will see and you could get shot at.
Also, don't forget to make a lot of noise. One way to do that is to put some bells on your bike or your CamelBak. Seems kind of stupid and if you get the jingle bells someone might think you are Santa Claus, but if it alerts the hunter to your presence and keeps you safe from a hunting accident then who is the wiser? Of course if ride in non hunting areas then chances of having a hunting accident are significantly reduced.

My clothing choice for riding in the fall this year is now blaze orange. It is a really bright, dayglow color that is easily recognized out in the woods. I started by picking up a few T-Shirts at Target, figuring I could throw them on over a henley or long sleeve T-Shirt or jersey but they just didn't have that familiar glow. Then I found a Lands End/Sears a nice fleece pull over, not blaze orange, but orange that actually went nicely with the Orange Down Vest that I bought from there last spring on clearance. Still, when out in the woods it, it wasn't bright enough. Not to mention it looked good and except for layering, I thought it might be better for less strenuous wear.

I missed the boat on an Ascent Thermal Jersey that was on Nashbar or JensonUSA, it wasn't blaze but it was pretty bright none-the-less. Finally, I went to Cabelas and bought a long sleeve T, and a blaze Henley, shown below. Now that is bright!

I asked Santa for an Orange riding jacket from Adidas but I can't guarantee he will come through on that order. Then, just the other day, I stumbled upon Sierra Trading Post site and while browsing through the jackets I found this marvelous item: The Columbia Sportswear Howling Wind Jacket.
Check out these features:

Columbia Sportswear's Howling Wind jacket, made of no-noise polyester fleece, is breathable and water- and wind-resistant to keep you concealed and comfortable.
  • Reverse-zip armpit vents
  • Hand pockets
  • Moisture-wicking mesh shoulder yoke
  • Drawstring waist
  • Length: 28”
  • Weight: 1 lb. 14 oz.
  • 100% polyester
What more could you ask for? What sealed the deal was the zip pit vents. Those are key for riding.

I think my orange riding wardrobe is now complete. Probably pick up a shirt from Bikerag.com that was made specifically for this season in which I had a little input on but I think I have it all now.

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