Not too long ago I was working in a town north of Salt Lake City called Bountiful and I was living at the mouth of Parley’s Canyon (the canyon on the East side of Salt Lake that leads to Park City). Every day I would stuff my work clothes into my DaKine backpack, put on my cycling gear, hop on my road bike, and ride the 20 miles or so to work. Then at the end of the day, I would change back into my biking gear and ride back just in time for rugby practice. It was a good life! Not a real care in the world.
I only had two problems: 1) The drivers in Salt Lake are as bad as I am (they just don’t see cyclists on the road), and 2) Sometimes the weather turns on you unexpectedly. Now, if I were a good little roadie I would just put up with it. But I’m not. So after about a week of my routine, I decided to look to my biking gear to save me from these two things that were killing my good vibes.
I swung by the Pearl Izumi shop up in Park City in search of a good lightweight windbreaker jacket that wouldn’t tap out the space in my pack, but would shield me from the elements and make me more visible to cars. The Pearl Izumi Mens Optik Jacket was the perfect thing. It’s made of 100% polyester and weighs in at a paltry 3oz, which made me very happy. It wasn’t too hot (mornings are cold in Utah, afternoons are warm), but its elastic wrists, neck cuff, and waist held in my body heat well. It has a relatively high-rise waist in the front, which makes it fit nicely when riding. And all the reflective material on front and back made me much more visible to those with whom I shared the road.
All in all, I am very pleased with the jacket and it’s always the first one I reach for when going on a ride with questionable weather. One thing – I wish the sleeves would zip off to a vest. Then it would be the perfect solution.