Friday, March 29, 2013

To Be Seen

It never ceases to amaze me when I see what appear to be fairly intelligent people riding bikes in Seattle at night wearing dark cloths.  To each their own I suppose, but I have been have been hit by a car at a high rate of speed.  I feels like shit and takes functional years away from your life even it doesn't kill you.

I get the whole hip European thing about jaunting around on your your bike from one fabulous engagement to the next dressed in business casual with no helmet,  and don't get me wrong I would love for Seattle to look much more like Coppenhagen.  But hell Man, this ain't even Portland.  It is my opinion that in Seattle a fellow needs to be visible and on his toes if he wants to live long and prosper as a cyclist.

I am not here to take sides on any issue and whole-heartly wish my bicycling ninja friends well, I hope your strategy proves efficacious.    I however, very much like to be seen when I am riding by drivers and other cyclist alike.  I have a really great wife,  a growing family, wonderful friends and some big plans in the future that don't involve colliding with tons of metal and plastic at any rate of speed; I enjoy being alive and highly functional.  With this in mind, Skookum Jacket recently got a little high visibility upgrade.  Unquestionably a bit rough, but for my first go I am not ashamed of the work.

I also must say that the really nice thing about having old gear is that it gives you the courage to experiment with modifications and have little fear of ruining the garment.  At the end of he day if project  really goes south, the piece is more than recycle worthy already and Mom has been telling me to quit dressing like and an orphan for most of my life anyhow.

Kloshe Konaway, Kloshe Nanitch.


Supplies:  3M reflective tape, seam grip and cutting tools.  Alcohol is handy for cleaning glue off sharp things.

Stencils.  Note to knuckleheaded husbands:  Don't Orange Sharpie your wife's cutting boards.

Learning opportunity 1:
During phase one, I seam-gripped over the entire letters for added durability.  Little did I know that a coat of rubber cement would all but eliminate the reflective properties of the 3M tape.   A week later I added the arm strips and corrected the issue by only seam gripping the edges.  The above photo demonstrates the vast difference in visibility and exposes the need for additional work.  


  1. Great job. Be safe, and retire with all your digits. See you soon!!!

  2. fatty- lovin jacket. abc's baby always be careful

  3. Dude, you crack me up man. I've always loved the Alfred style. Let me know when you get down south brother. Your leading a life less ordinary and that is truly badass brother.

  4. Your line about an accident taking functional years away from your life really resonates with me; 3 years after being hit by a truck and I'm still not all the way back ( but still riding).

    Nice job on the jacket.

  5. Glad to hear you are back on the bike H.C.

    No matter how we like to candy-coat the truth, we are really exposed as a cyclists on any pathway shared with motor vehicles. I say do whatever you can to stack the odds in your favor just a little.

    Cheers and safe riding!