Classic II Rides to Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Having received my brand-new Fox Creek Leather jacket just days before my trip to Las Vegas, I knew this would be the testing ground for my new riding apparel. When I first opened the box, three thoughts crossed my mind: What a gorgeous jacket; love that high-quality leather smell; how am I ever going to wear something this heavy?
It didn’t take long to get from inside the box to me being inside the jacket and the third thought that crossed my mind moments before went away immediately. The jacket fit me so well and was so comfortable, it didn’t feel any more cumbersome or heavy than any of my much lighter jackets. In fact, the fit was so good, it was more comfortable than any jacket I have ever owned.
Over the next few days, the jacket went on and off about 20 times, each time with a quick glance in the mirror to admire how great I looked in it! I tried all the pockets, opened and closed all the venting zippers, tried it with and without the quilted liner, and tried it zipped all the way up with the fleece neck warmer.
Yes, I admit, I was a little bit obsessed, but unless you personally possessed a jacket such as this, you just wouldn’t understand. The quality of the leather, zippers, buttons, everything, impressed me every time I put the jacket on. I kept thinking, “does someone really still make something of this quality”? As a matter of fact, they do.
All of this was fun, but I couldn’t wait to get the jacket on the road, in the open air, with all the elements against me. I didn’t have to wait long, having already planned to trip to Las Vegas with my brother and friend. The three of us were meeting for 5 days of riding and attending the races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The weather forecast was a mixed bag. It looked like we were going to get some rain, wind, cold weather, and some sunny warm weather.
Day One: Nothing but riding on this day. Highs were expected in the 60’s with plenty of sunshine. We left Las Vegas just before noon and headed on a ride to Hoover Dam to check out the construction of the new Hoover Dam Bypass, a massive project that is finally expected to be completed sometime this year. The weather was nice, some gusty winds for a short period and some slow riding through Boulder and around the dam.
I opened up the front and back vents on the jacket for the ride and found I had just the right amount of air flowing through keeping me comfortable in the sun. We backtracked and then rode the Strip, again going fairly slow through all the traffic. When we finished riding for the day, I couldn’t have been happier about the comfort and performance of my new jacket. Whether it was on the freeway in the wind or a slow ride with the sun beating down, I was comfortable all day long.
Day Two: This was qualifying day at the race track and the weather was cloudy with a forecast of rain late in the day. It was also much cooler. The ride to the track was pleasant with highs in the 50’s under the clouds. The jacket once again performed well.
Once at the track, I decided to keep the jacket on and I’m glad I did. It was cool enough that needed some extra warmth and the jacket was perfect. More important, since I wasn’t riding, I was concerned it might be too warm or that it might be uncomfortable to wear all day long. Nope. It was perfect on both counts and I loved being able to wear such a great-looking jacket all day long. Did I mention how much I love that high-quality leather smell? I tried not to be too conspicuous in sneaking in a quick sniff of the jacket every now and then!
By the ride home from the track that day, temperatures had cooled off a bit, but the jacket kept me warm the entire ride back to the hotel. You can probably already guess that I once again wore the jacket for the rest of the night too, everywhere we went. I saw people looking at me and my jacket a lot more than normal. As good as this jacket looks, I don’t think they were looking much at me though.
Day Three: Rain. Cold. Maybe a postponed race. We wimped out and decided to leave the motorcycles at the hotel for this day. The jacket, however, was not getting left behind. And I am ever glad it didn’t. Temperatures hovering around 50, a strong wind and rain prevailed throughout much of the day. I put up my fleece collar on the jacket zipped it all the way up. Now that was nice.
The only problem at this point was my legs. The jeans just weren’t cutting it and never wished for a pair of leather over pants so much in my life! At this point, I can guarantee they will be Fox Creek Leather over pants. So while my legs suffered through the bad weather, the rest of me was perfectly comfortable. The race was delayed, extending our stay in the chilly weather and I have never been so thankful to have the jacket as I was on that day.
After we returned from the track, once again, the jacket stayed with me all night. It was at this point I noticed the jacket started to feel different from when I first put it on. At first I found it hard to believe and that it was only in my head, but it was actually becoming more comfortable with wear. It was hard to believe only because it was so comfortable to begin with. Movement was even easier and I was sure my mind was playing tricks on me because it actually felt much lighter than when I first put it on. Nice.
Day Four: This was the day of the big race and the weather was decidedly different. Mostly sunny skies, very little wind, and highs in the 60’s. Perfect weather, right? Well, I decided to wear a long-sleeve black t-shirt to the track, figuring I would remove the jacket while we were sitting in the sun enjoying the race.
The ride to the track that morning was the coldest so far, with morning temperatures in the upper 40’s. Once again, I put up the fleece collar and zipped the jacket all the way up. With something a little warmer on my legs this time, the ride couldn’t have been any better.
Traffic was good and I was comfortable for the entire ride in. Once at the track, I kept my jacket on as we wandered around before eventually taking our seats. I removed the jacket and sat down in the sun. After about 10 minutes, I started feeling really hot and cursed myself for wearing a long-sleeve black t-shirt. I thought about buying something from one of the vendors at the track and then got this crazy idea about putting my jacket on.
It seemed counter-intuitive… putting on a jacket when I’m hot and baking in the sun? My brother and his friend looked at me like I had lost my mind. Maybe I had. But it only took a few minutes with the jacket on before I started to cool down and feel more comfortable. I’m not sure I can explain why, but I spent the next 5 hours sitting in the sun with my jacket on, amazingly comfortable.
I’m sure people around me in tank tops and t-shirts thought I was crazy, but I was one happy little jacket owner. This thing was keeping me warm, cool and protecting me from the elements. How was this possible? I still don’t have an answer… it just did! We finished off a great day of racing with a great ride back to the hotel on the bikes, beating other traffic by 3 hours or more.
Day Five: This was it. My last hoorah with my bike, brother and jacket in Las Vegas. We decided we would take a ride to Red Rock Canyon just north of Las Vegas. It was another day of changing riding conditions with mostly sunny skies, but temperatures varying from the low 40’s to mid 60’s. Red Rock Canyon is a short drive from downtown Las Vegas and the scenic ride ends up at 4,700 feet in elevation, quite a change from the valley floor.
We stopped often to take photos and admire the scenery and most of the ride was slow. I enjoyed having my jacket on every minute of the day, keeping me completely comfortable whether we were moving fast, slow or stopped. At this point, I think I had become one with the jacket because I really didn’t want to take it off, for any reason. It was now part of me and I was proud of it. And it was taking care of me too.
We rode back to Las Vegas and did another trip along the Strip, stopping for lunch the Harley Davidson Café. I noticed in one of their display cases a worn women’s jacket that looked almost identical to mine. Was it Fox Creek Leather? If not, too bad for them, because anything else is simply inferior.
The ride back to the hotel was filled with mixed emotions. It had been a fun, adventurous five days, but this was the end. My brother and I were going separate ways, I was leaving Las Vegas and I knew it would be a long time before I could spend this much time and this number of days in a row enjoying riding and especially wearing my new lifelong friend, the Motorcycle Jacket II from Fox Creek Leather.
The jacket is a little worn in now, taking on a slightly different look and feel, all for the better. I still find it hard to believe that something of this weight and quality could be so soft and supple. You can now tell it’s been worn, loved and used, but this is just the beginning. This jacket and I have just begun our adventures together and I know now that we have many years of riding, wearing and enjoyment ahead of us.
— Bryan Jackson from Sacramento, CA