When Dave and I strolled in from our ride to Corpus Christi, the sweat coursing through my riding suit, gloves, boots, and helmet was easily 15-hours strong.

I was even smelling myself.

It wasn’t unpleasant. And it’s not as if it was constant. A sour-smelling whiff occasionally crossed my nose. Certainly, my stench did not warrant calling a hazmat team.

And then one of the partygoers at Dave’s house lifted my helmet. About six inches from trying it on, he stopped. His nose crinkled, and a gasp of disgust escaped his mouth.

I knew it was ripe. Heck, an all-day ride in **clean** gear would make for a smelly rider. But maybe going four months without washing my gear is ill advised.

Dave was quick to say that a weekly washing is stretching it in Texas, especially with all the sweating we do inside these suits.

Still, who thinks putting another person’s helmet to his face is a good idea? I know it’s going to stink. You should know that, too! A used helmet is as intimate with my body as used underwear are! You don’t go wearing my used underwear, do you? Do you?

Today, I’m washing my gear. I chose a laundry soap from REI that is new to me. It promises to clean and remove all odors without degrading breathability and water-repellency. Not that the jacket breathes all that well in the sweltering heat of Texas. Nor does it keep the rain out when the sky does that trick with the wet stuff.

Washing the gear is a chore, and this may be why I wait great lengths of time between washings. As ridiculous as it sounds, the jacket, pants, gloves, and helmet liner are all too delicate for the washing machine. Yes, a washing machine is too much for the gear that are meant to protect me in a nasty road crash. Go figure!

If you’d like to try on my helmet, it’ll be dry — and nice smelling — in the morning. The underwear are in the hamper — no promises on the smell.


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