by Lesli Larson
On Saturday, I’ll be joining friends for the third Eugene Tweed ride. Here’s my ride report from the Spring 2009 edition. For novice participants, I’m setting aside a few garments for your Saturday ensemble. Since the forecast calls for rain, I’m suggesting you layer with a Hilltrek ventile cycling jacket in lieu of the more traditional, heavy overcoat. For dryer conditions, substitute a Huckecote tweed shooting jacket: the Clunie for ladies or the Redford for gents (matching caps and breeks available).
Hilltrek ventile cycling jacket
Lavenham patchwork tweed vest
Purdey shooting breeks
Addendum: day of ride photos here
Each Spring, I start taking measurements for a custom order Hilltrek ventile cycling jacket. But by mid-April, the choice of features (single or double ventile?), sizing crises, my austerity matrix (see below) and fear of overseas shipping costs stop me from placing my final order. I always console myself by imagining that I will one day visit Hilltrek on some larky Archival Clothing business trip and purchase my a made-to-measure jacket in person.
For those who don’t know, Ventile
is a miracle, heritage fabric that repels water like waxed cotton but vents like a synthetic. Barbour used to sell a ventile “Endurance” jacket and Hebden Cord offered ventile breeks. But Hilltrek now seems to be the main, remaining purveyor of ventile outdoor clothing in the US or UK.
My idealized version of the Hilltrek cycling jacket would be a short waisted jacket in single layer ventile. It goes without saying that I love the Hilltrek jacket’s two-way zipper, zip-up map pocket and overall, sleek fit.
Archivist John A. just sent me some detail shots of his own new ventile jacket which activated my Hilltrek made-to-order form filling frenzy a month early.
*Austerity matrix (working version): Will item still be available in three years? If yes–delay purchase. Will I wear item more than 3x a week? If yes–move forward with purchase. Could I wait three weeks before placing my order? If yes–cancel order. Does item cost more than $300–if yes, delay purchase. Unless the answer to three of the four questions is no (or is it the reverse?), I postpone my purchase (typically leading to a complete erasure of the consumer impulse and subsequent regret that the item is no longer available for sale–or company has subsequently gone out of business). I think a point total would help better sort out the system.
An item that would not pass review through my austerity matrix but deserves visual representation:
Hilltrek Ventile Poncho