Don’t get me wrong, despite my fiscally conservative leanings, I’m no tax crusader like Lady Godiva. Legend has it she asked her husband, Earl Leofric of Mercia, to relieve the good people of Coventry, England of some particularly burdensome taxes. He jokingly replied that he’d only agree to do so if she would ride naked through the marketplace at midday. She did - and he did. Little chance of it reducing my taxes, but there is something appealing about riding on a warm day without the hassle of restrictive clothing.
Looking down the barrel of the longest one-day bike ride of my life, I donned my She Beest RN97007 (purple) jersey and Purple Heart - Stripe Sprint shorts for a 105-mile trek from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to Lebanon, New Jersey. I knew this would be the worst of a three-day ride from the Chesapeake Bay to Manhattan and I’d want no worries about clothing.
I originally bought the jersey because the fabric felt so great – lightweight, but clearly high quality. The jersey performed to my expectations all day on the road. It was so light and unrestrictive that I barely knew I had it on. Biking in moderately hilly conditions that ranged from full sun to full shade and temps in the low 80s, I was comfortable all day – the fabric never felt clammy or uncomfortable against my skin. Because I have a broad back, the slighter-longer-than-usual zipper at front is also a welcome design feature, allowing me ease of movement and comfort both on the bike and off.
The Purple Heart - Stripe Sprint biking shorts are slightly shorter than I usually wear, but they were perfectly suited to the long ride and weather conditions. I thought the padding might be too much early in the ride, but would be welcome as the century unfolded. My fears were unfounded – they felt comfortable right from the start, and held up through a long day.
This Shebeest combo is my current favorite for warm weather and will be in my rotation for years to come…or at least until I grow my hair long enough not to need them at all.