So much for spring. It’s in the mid- to high-nineties now in Jawja. While my bright yellow Olympia jacket has open mesh sections, it’s still stifling unless I’m moving. And while my HJC helmet seems overly well-ventilated in winter, it doesn’t feel that way in the summer. But I refuse to ride without gear.
As long as I’m going 60+mph, it’s bearable, but the heat is miserable when I’m stuck in traffic. So I’m trying out a “Cool Off” neckerchief my cousin Julie sent me. She and her husband have a Harley, and she claims the Cool Off really helps. They live in Florida, so I figure it’s worth a try. The Cool Offs are made by Allegro, and they’re available from a variety of suppliers, including Safety Company (how’s that for a unique name? What — was “Brand X” taken?).
At first, the Cool Off looks like a thin, flat tie (left, below). Hold it up to the light, and you’ll see a few translucent grains (about the size of small aquarium rocks) in three of the sections. Soak it in water for 10 minutes or so, and — foomp! — it puffs up like a wet marshmallow (right, below). Fasten it around your neck using the pull-through buttonholes, and it’s secure. Evaporation cools your neck; I found I needed to turn it over periodically at stops to get a fresh cool surface, but it was a nice relief.
Not as refreshing as a cold blast up your pantleg (still looking for freon-powered riding boots with ducting), but it does help. And it stays puffed up for days! (Of course, that may be because moisture has no place to go in our humidity.)