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Gear Review: 55 Collection Hard Jacket

Product: 55 Collection Hard Jacket Made in: Barcelona Cost: €480 (US $510)
It’s likely you’ve never heard of 55 Collection; the Barcelona-based leather goods company is relatively small and has only been on the scene for a few years. So, allow me to introduce you to a company that’s making some of the best-looking and unique motorcycle jackets out there at the moment.

Adopting the “non serviam” nonconformist attitude that seems to run through a lot of Spain’s motorcycling culture (check out the crazy/beautiful custom works of El Solitario MC, for example), 55 Collection’s jackets may split opinion because of the company’s willingness to make jackets that are fashionable – that is to say, jackets that have a strong fashion element. The old dudes will decry hipsterism or some such thing. And indeed, I’ll admit that when company founder Aitor Gonzalez offered me a chance to try out one of his jackets I naturally defaulted to the most conservative of his offeri…

Crazy things I do: Play dress up

Even the embodiment of evil knows
it's important to wear a helmet.
Apparently, I should never have been accepted into the motorcycle-theme Google+ community of which I am a member, since I am not yet a motorcycle rider. I don't own a bike; I have never owned a bike. But I desperately want to change that situation, and perhaps that was good enough for the moderators.

I haven't got a motorcycle but I have got a whole lot of crazy. If you've been following this blog over the last month that will have become pretty clear. I think about motorcycles in every waking moment, then I go to sleep and dream about them. And that's a sort of thought process that can manifest itself in some pretty odd ways. Perhaps the most ridiculous effect motorcycling has had on my behaviour is that it has reverted me to my childhood self. So intense is my love for and fascination of motorcycles and motorcycling that sometimes – and, oh Lord, am I embarrassed to admit this – I find myself playing dress up.

When I was a boy, my grandmother made a Superman costume for me, which I wore until I grew too big and it ripped. Thereafter, I spent several years running around pretending to be professional wrestler Kerry Von Erich (it's OK if you've never heard of him – seemingly no one has; which has come as a great shock to me in adulthood because as a child growing up in Houston, Texas, he seemed to me the most important man in the world). But that's the sort of thing children do: they put on costumes and pretend to be something or someone they wish they were. Eventually we get older and grow out of that sort of thing, right?


My obsession with motorcycling is so over the top that I have been known to put on my jeans, Doc Marten boots, leather jacket and snow gloves, and sit there with my eyes closed making motorcycle noises. No, not blatting Harley noises, but the tuned and steady whine of a Triumph cruiser. I open and close my left hand for the clutch, timing it with the roll of the imaginary throttle in my right. I ease into curves, trying to make sure I am fluid in my movement. I imagine potential obstacles and skillfully maneuver past them. From time to time, I'll spot another motorcyclist on this imaginary journey and offer that all-important wave to a fellow rider.

(I am still uncertain as to which is the better wave: the two-fingered gun-style wave, or a loose open hand? Which is cooler?)

I sometimes worry my wife will walk in and catch me doing this. It would probably be less awkward if she were to instead catch me looking at porn.


  1. Chris this is perfect!! Don't quit doing that.

    If you've read the book or seen the movie "The Secret" this is a behavior they highly suggest. In fact, in the movie, they show a guy doing just this very thing, only pretending he's driving a sports car of his choice.

    On Christmas Eve 2008 I had a near-death experience. (I don't know why they call it near-death, because I was DEAD for 2 1/2 minutes!) After that I saw "The Secret" and I changed my life. I wanted a Mercedes so much that I would sit at my desk in my private sewing room (so my family couldn't see me) and I would envision that steering wheel before me. I did just what you do, and within 2 years, I was driving a Mercedes. The shock was I never saw it coming. My then-husband's truck fell apart and he decided he wanted my SUV. He found a cheap Mercedes and bought it for me, all on a whim.

    Things happen if you see them. Since I got my bike and injured myself on Day 1, I would sit on her, crutches close by, and see us on mountain roads, open highways, etc. Today I actually rode that bike, just the way I had imagined.


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