stores

1 Year Later, Still In Philly.

SF to PHL, the long way down: 3,624 miles later  

When I think about the last year, this image always pops in my head. We drove 3,624 miles from San Francisco and drove into Philly when it was 19 degrees out. WHAT was I doing here?

Well, turns out it was one of the best (and most difficult) decisions of my life. To get up, leave the people I love the most and the only home I've ever known to move to Philadelphia and work for Revzilla.com in our beautiful retail store.

revzilla navy yard philadelphia pennsylvania motorcycle gear best selection philly

 

It's been an interesting year and I'm thrilled to say that I'm still here. Leaving a city like San Francisco was NOT easy. And I mean, really freaking hard. It took me a couple months to decide and then another 3 months to physically relocate. I pushed off my move date as far as I could (February 1, 2014) from when I accepted the position (October 2014) and I still felt like it wasn't enough time. Although I was really sad at the prospect of leaving my family and just telling them what I was about to do, I knew instinctually that it was the right decision. I refused to end up in a job that I didn't love, and this was my opportunity to keep my dreams alive. When I was relieved at Scuderia West, I wondered where else can I possibly do that job? The only answer in my mind at that moment was Revzilla. I could work in that beautiful store with all the gear all the time. :-)

It was a weird fleeting thought but a series of events happened after that like my friend Jan, calling me to ask if I'd consider relocating to the East Coast for an incredible opportunity. And then looking on Revzilla's website out of sheer curiosity there it was, Boutique Gear Geek. Or, now formerly known as Retail Store Associate.

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I really didn't know what to expect at first. My husband and I decided that we'd give it a try for at least 1 year, see what happens. If we're miserable or I'm miserable then we leave (and live with my parents or something because the Bay Area is so much more expensive than when we left!). But what do I have to lose? Well, I lost a lot of friends, family, and a riding community that I can't duplicate anywhere else. But all is not lost, and my family has been there to support me this entire time. Did I mention that I flew home 3 times between last June and December? So there's always that.

But for me, what has become the most important factor is the fact that I LOVE my job. And although everything else has been a hurdle like getting to know Philly and missing my people (and burritos!), they don't compare to the overall joy I have in what I do. Sometimes I try really hard to come up with excuses to move back home and just leave. But I can't seem to come up with anything! It's one of those things where you just know when it feels right. And by all accounts, this is the most 'right' I've felt in a really long time.

I would much rather have this incredible opportunity than dread getting up every morning, dread looking for a new job and figuring out what I want to do with my life.

If slinging motorcycle gear inside an incredible retail store is somewhere up your alley, Revzilla needs you. We're looking for a Retail Store Associate that loves motorcycles, gear and motorcycles and did I mention gear?  

Apply Here.

This is a full time job located in The Navy Yard in Philadelphia, PA with tons o' benefits like medical/dental/vision/401k/vacation days and free lunches every now and then.

 

All The Motorcycle Gear All The Time (ATGATT) on a Budget

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When you are considering purchasing a motorcycle, gear should always be in your budget.  You'll need to carve out at least $1000 to find some of the more expensive, higher quality gear at lower prices. Although you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on race suits, or the most expensive leathers/textiles, you do need to spend more than $100!

If you're in denial about the risks of not wearing gear, you're in for a world of hurt as well as expensive medical bills and a ton of physical therapy. Don't forget about disability, time off work and unpaid wages because you had to spend a week at home recuperating. Then of course, on top of all that there is still the risk of riding motorcycles. You could very well die or be injured permanently regardless of what you're wearing. That's simply a decision you make from the very beginning.

Theoretically, you could buy a used/questionable helmet for $100 on craigslist and nothing else, and then climb aboard and ride. But, just because you can, does that mean you should? And if you can carve out $5,000-10,000 on your bike, then $1,000 for gear shouldn't be that much harder!

There's a part of me that says everyone should be able to do whatever they want. But the bigger part of me says, before you jump in, try and prioritize yourself a bit here and avoid major risks that will cost you far more than gently used or new gear might cost you in the short term. 

If you've decided to say yes to safety, yet you don't have a fancy job to support the dream wardrobe you've dreamed of, then here are some tips to help you shop while looking for gently used, higher quality gear.

1/ Get to know Your Size, Shape, Measurements and Weight

Every now and then I love perusing craigslist to see what kind of unworn, brand new gear is out there. inevitably there's everything from race suits to 2 piece touring leathers to expensive custom gear that someone doesn't want or need anymore.

This is of Utmost importance. I know how difficult it is to size and fit yourself online. Especially if you have a few curves, disproportionate body shapes (different size on top v. bottom) or a simply hard to fit size.   

womens_measurement_guide

So the first step to take advantage of all this luscious gear is to know and understand your measurements / sizing. take out a tape measure and figure out your chest (over the bust), waist and hip measurements. Heck, go all out and get your shoulders/arms/thighs/ sleeves while you’re at it.

One thing to be aware of with Motorcycle Gear, is that it will not be vanity sized in the way that you're used to. When you shop for casual clothes, sizing is sometimes lower than we expect because companies have created sizing charts in the last 20-30 years that didn't exist for (0/00) and that makes us feel better about ourselves when we shop. So it’s best to be well armed with real measured numbers. Get to your closest RiteAid/CVS/Walgreens and pick up a roll of measuring tape for a couple bucks, it’s the most accurate way to get your numbers! And make sure you measure starting from the 0”. Some tapes don’t start the 0” at the very end, so be sure you’re starting in the right place. 

Something that I know a lot of women hate talking about is our true size/weight. But understanding these numbers and knowing exactly what they are will make the difference between finding the right gear or not finding anything at all. I also want to remind you that the way you're supposed to wear motorcycle gear is Completely different from your casual clothes so remember to read all the articles in my Gear Fit 101 Tab , so you know what to look for when you start trying things on.

Now that you've read everything, it's time to start measuring.

A) Bust / Chest:  Over The Bust v. Under The Bust

This page has a nice overview of exactly where to measure: http://magicdressukprom.blogspot.com/2012/11/how-to-buy-custom-made-prom-dresses.html

However, when you compare the “over bust” and “bust” numbers, go with the biggest number and use that as your overall bust measurement. One thing I’ve noticed is that some manufacturers use one or the other. I've found my over the bust number lines up perfectly with Dainese’s “Bust”. But my under the bust number lines up with Revit’s “Chest” measurement. Confusing, I know. One thing to be aware of is if that you’re sizing yourself for a jacket with multiple liners, you might match up better with the jacket shell, not the liners.

Also measure yourself with your bra on, not off since it keeps the girls in a bit and you’ll most likely be wearing one while riding. I always wear sports bras because they’re more comfortable under my gear as well. If you can spare the push up bra, you'll have a little more room to work with or conversely, if you aren't filling up the bust spaces very well, consider one for a snugger fit. 

B) Waist

Where exactly is your waist? If you look at my pic above, my hands are right on my waist. Basically the smallest part of my upper body. where it tapers in like an hourglass. If you don’t have a defined waist then measure the largest point around your belly or your belly button, whichever is larger.

C) Hips

Your hips are right over your hip bones, or the widest part of your beautiful booty. :-)

If you don’t have much of one like I don’t, then that certainly makes things easy!

When you look at my pic, notice how my shoulders line up almost perfectly with my hips. I’m a straight shot with a fairly straight proportion. This helps me fit into a lot of gear and I could *almost* wear men's gear if it weren’t for the fact that I have narrow shoulders (from front to back, not side to side) as most women do.

D) Inseam

Take the tape and hold it at the bottom of your crotch all the way to your ankle bone. Riding pants don’t have the same fit as your casual jeans. Remember that riding pants should be articulated nicely so when you bend your knees, the pant leg will not rise up on you like a pair of boot cut jeans will. Realistically, you do NOT want pants that meet your true inseam! Otherwise they will be dragging on the floor when you walk. You only need the inseam to hit your ankle bone at the most, especially wearing them over boots.  And an incredible pair of pants (like my Rev’it or Dainese) will hug your knees at the right spot so they fit perfectly  even if they’re a little too short. :D

best women's motorcycle leather pants

Of course, if you have any problem areas that need to be addressed, like really wide shoulders or extremely large hip-to-waist or bust-to-waist ratio, that’s going to take a little advice on my part. I’m going to be brutally honest here.

I know that there are *many* body types and not everyone needs to be a small size like myself. Of course not, and that’s not realistic. However, if you know that your sizing issues are directly related to your measurements and inability to find a properly fitting piece of gear you owe it to yourself to make it a little easier. If just one dress size is really going to make all the difference in the world I would highly encourage making that dream a reality. I wish motorcycle gear were as varied as casual gear in terms of sizing and availability, but the bottom line is there are far less people to cover and motorcycle gear isn’t required like clothes are. It’s also an *extremely* expensive undertaking with a fraction of the markups that the tshirt your wearing has (i.e. nowhere near 1,000%).

I know that some of us were dealt with proportions such as short torsos, but if your height and weight are directly related to your size I recommend doing everything in your power to make it better.

Now that you’ve spent all this time measuring and measuring, it’s time to start shopping! Here are my favorite places to internet search to save tons of money:

Craigslist, Searchtempest, eBay, Google

Craigslist is one of the best places to shop for anything used. But you cannot search multiple locations at once! I love SearchTempest.org because I can put in my zip code and search XXX miles away.

I think it's pretty safe to shop regionally, so if you live in NY but see something in Philly then I think someone might be willing to ship you something. Start searching and see what comes up. Craigslist and eBay are the only ones I can think of that almost everyone uses. If you're looking for a particular type of gear, use these sites to your advantage to set automatic alerts when someone posts something.

On Craigslist, use the “set alert” and “save search” options below your city/region drop down menu  on the upper right hand corner. I'm going to be on the lookout for gently used Street Triple R's so I've set up my alert below:

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And of course,  eBay always has a great deal just waiting for someone like you to find it. This is how I found the most incredible online deal ever. $90 (including shipping) for Daytona Lady Stars, practically new! Google emailed me when the listing showed up so I bid on it as soon as I saw it..

To set up an eBay alert, just enter your search terms in the Search box and then click on the green link that says "Follow this Search". Then everytime you log into Ebay you'll see anything that falls into that search category on your homepage. You can also set up email alerts by going to: 'My eBay', then click on 'Searches You Follow'. Now click on 'More Actions' to get emails when new searches show up.

setting up ebay searches and email alerts

Heheh I might have a little shopping problem. Stylish, comfortable and waterproof shoes are hard to come by!

If you want to set up an even bigger alert, like across the entire Interwebs, then you need a Google Alert. 

All you have to do is log onto your google account, then go to google.com/alerts. Enter your search term and then a more detailed box shows up so you can set some parameters:

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The google search will also cover websites like bikeforums and classifieds that you would never have known about otherwise. You might end up finding someone who lives across the country who has what you want but its worth a shot.

Online Sale/Clearance 

There’s always a good deal to be found on websites like revzilla.com! As much as I hate junkmail myself,  it’s the best way to find killer deals when you least expect it. Especially when brands like Rev’it have flash sales! Or something is going to be discontinued, and that’s when the real sales kick in. Often 30-40% off MSRP. 

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Right now there are quite a few closeouts on Revzilla that I wish someone could take advantage of like this Rev'it Union Leather Jacket, Size Euro 46/ US 12-14.

Note, if you have Gmail (like most of us do) you can create an alias https://support.google.com/mail/answer/12096?hl=en  for the email lists so if your address gets spammed you can easily delete it without having to give up your YouAreAwesome@gmail.com address. I'm guessing other sites like Yahoo mail offer a similar feature. 

Yellow Devil Gear Exchange

Yellow Devil Gear is run by Jessica Prokup, a fellow gear enthusiast who offers much more than used gear. She has a wide variety of gear including vintage offroad and 1-2 piece race suits. Her suit room is fantastic! She also does video reviews of things that come in so check out her Youtube page

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I’ve had the pleasure of visiting her shop in Long Beach and it was an awesome little spot. If there’s something you’re needing or looking for, it doesn’t hurt to send her an email to see what she has! And even better, if you live in SoCal it’s worth a trip to her awesome shop. Look at that suit room. 

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Moto Shop San Francisco

If you live in the Bay Area, stop by the shop and check out what my girl Aleks has on the consignment racks! Her inventory is always growing.  In fact, she just told me about a gently used Rev'it CR Leather Jacket in Cream, 36 that was just dropped off at her shop recently.

Oooo, look at those Dainese boxes!

motoshopsf_used_consignment_motorcyclegear_sanfrancisco_bayarea

GearChic.com

If there's something tyou need, please feel free to post on my facebook wall or email me and ill post on my blog to see if any of my readers have some used gear theyd be willing to part with. it seems that every rider who has at least a few years of experience inevitably has used gear lying around that they'd be happy to sell or give away.

I've also created a Used Women's Motorcycle Gear board on my Pinterest page. If you aren't on Pinterest, post a comment and I'll pin it on my board!

http://www.pinterest.com/gearchic/used-womens-motorcycle-gear/

I always have my eyes and ears peeled for gently used gear, so just drop me an email using the Contact button or post a message on any of my social media channels.

Ride Safe!

What's it like to live in Philly, from this California girl

schuykill dog park When I told people we were moving to Philadelphia, it was certainly a big surprise and the immediate reply was always something along the lines of "you know it snows there, right?" 

Right. It snows in other parts of the country. I sort of knew what I was getting into. I think I had a pretty good handle on it, actually. I knew it wasn't going to be the easiest transition, but I really didn't expect it to work out this well. After making the decision to move to Philly, I was pretty scared. I couldn't really believe what I had done, and I sort of sat in denial between late September (when I decided to move) and January 15th when we finally left.

Getting in the car and actually driving away made it very real. We had a pretty good time driving across country, we saw so many cool things, ate really good food and just had fun visiting places we'd never been to. When we rolled in, it was in the middle of the Polar Vortex of all things. I knew it would be too good to be true when my friends in Philly told me the last few winters had been super dry/warm. But to be completely honest, it's not that bad. Yeah, 20 degrees is cold. It actually felt much colder when we got here. Now, I'm feeling sweaty when it's 55!

schlesingers deli philly

The food is Amazing with the exception of a good ole' Mission Burrito, of course, but otherwise we've been eating delicious foods (if you follow my Instagram, I try to snap pics of all the tasty meals) and having fun finding new places to dine.

Overall, there are many things that I really love so far about Philly and those include (but are not limited to):

  • East Coast Diners and the Food! Every diner we go to has a 10+ page menu with everything you can possibly think of. So much to choose from that I find it difficult to choose every time. And there are way more open 24 hours, which was difficult to find in SF. We've found so many cool places to eat and there are more to try every day.
  • Historical architecture and culture. Everywhere you go, there's some kind of landmark or historical event that's permanently embedded in the city streets with a signpost or plaque with a cool or crazy story. This is the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence. You can drive by Betsy Ross' house, Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and more. I also am in love with the classic, European influenced architecture of the row houses, brownstones and the like. Almost every street is ridiculously cool and beautiful. Although I was born here (as were my brothers), I don't think I truly appreciated the history that this country was founded on. I look forward to learning more about the events that shaped our independence and how this city contributed to the final outcome.
  • philly
  • Snow. I know it sounds crazy. But I kind of Love it! I can't wait until Christmas time, well I can't wait until summer actually. But I have a feeling this city is going to be ridiculously beautiful around the holidays with trees, snowflakes and other holiday accessories.  I'm one of those who loves layering up and wearing warm sweaters and scarves, I love dressing up for winter!
  • My neighborhood, Bella Vista. We got so lucky with our apartment, it's 5-10 minutes from everything we need. It's a great mix of suburban and city living. Lots of restaurants, shopping and things to do right around the corner. I really can't wait til spring comes so I can get out and explore a bit more.
  • No Turn on Red. Most intersections here don't let you turn on Red! Love it.
  • Dogs. You can see from the pic above that Benny is having a blast at the dog park. Philly people love their dogs, and there are a ton of them everywhere. People bring them everywhere too!
  • Diversity. One would think that SF would've been a really diverse city. Sort of, but not really. Lower and middle class families (especially minorities) are fleeing like crazy. Because you can't live there for less than $100k/year. I like seeing all different colors and classes of people wherever I go. With all the universities and colleges here, there's a nice diversity of people from all over the world.

Okay, now to the not so fun parts. Which, I don't love but aren't going to drive me to run back to San Francisco! These are things that I hope to see some changes on in the next 3-5 years. Fingers crossed, but I know it's a longshot.

  • Recycling. It's such a San Francisco thing to complain about, but I miss the mandatory composting and excessive recycling that San Franciscans participate in. It reduces waste and it's sad to think about all the trash I can't recycle or compost sitting in a landfill. It also seems to fill up the streets here, especially during snow days when the trucks can't make it out that week to do pickups because of the weather. It's been so long since I've seen styrofoam, I forgot that people still use the stuff. (And it'll still be here in xx,xxx,xxx years most likely!
  • Burritos. I'm still hopeful that I will find something sufficient, but it's definitely going to take awhile.
  • No helmet laws. I'm getting used to it, but it still bugs me. I always pray that I won't see something I can't unsee when I see someone riding without one.
  • Roads. Living in the Bay Area you're spoiled with incredible roads within 15-30 minutes of you. Everything from twisty, to goaty, to dirt, to beautifully paved.  I'm excited to find a bike and start exploring, because I know there are good roads around here somewhere, I just need to figure them out! I have a feeling I'll be doing more long weekends to go riding, vs. short 4-6 hour rides which is fine with me.
  • Humidity.  I have a feeling I'll be driving to work a lot this summer. I just don't know what I can do with that. I'm used to riding in 90 degree dry heat, but I don't think I'll be a fan of humidity... Meh.

But most of all, I have to say that the best thing about being here is that working at Revzilla has been incredible. I didn't know if I really wanted to work in a store again. After my last experience, I felt like I didn't have any options left and really wasn't sure how much longer I could do this. Now that I'm here, I KNOW I want to do this. I absolutely LOVE doing this. And helping customers like Cory today, who just needed someone to talk to about gear and understand what options could be available for her to get geared up was so awesome.  It felt great knowing that I could give her information and help that she can't find anywhere else, period. She left knowing that it wasn't hopeless and that she would be able to find gear that fits her. I have to give a shout out to my awesome coworkers who really kick ass at their jobs and also love what they do. It's so nice to be surrounded by people who are actually happy working where they work.

If you don't know what it's like to love where you work and what you do for a living, then you're really missing out. Leaving was really hard and incredibly sad for me to leave my family and friends. But I just know that living here for a bit, experiencing something completely out of my comfort zone (much like riding motorcycles, imo) will make me a better person overall. I don't regret moving one bit, and highly highly recommend it at least once in your lifetime, because it's all been worth it for me, in exchange for working someplace I never could've imagined 5 years ago.... a little place called Revzilla.com, where you can find the most unique, incredible selection of premium motorcycle gear.

revzilla navy yard philadelphia pennsylvania motorcycle gear best selection

 

Custom Suit or Jacket from Dainese

dainese made to measure events north america 2013 san francisco womens motorcycle gear

If you've ever wanted that perfectly tailored motorcycle outfit, now's the time. Mark your calendars and make an appointment. Contact the shop closest to you above for details.

What's new at the Dainese Store?

Dainese SF Lady Leather Jacket San Francisco photographer motorcycles motoperture

(photo courtesy of Chess Gambit, Motoperture)

Don't you wish you could find a sexy motorcycle jacket that's safe, stylish and fits real women? And on sale?

The Dainese Store San Francisco is having a huge clearance sale right now. Here's a really great jacket if you're looking. Their price is also lower than many websites.

SF Lady Leather Jacket

Sizes: 42-44, 48-50 (per their website)
Reg. $559.95, SALE $392

The photo above is my gorgeous friend, Mandy, wearing her SF Lady. As you can see, Mandy has real curves and is a real woman. The epitome of my tagline; Real Curves, Real Women, Real Gear. (She also knows how to tear up the twisties!).

You're probably wondering what size her jacket is and what size she normally wears in casual jackets. She is wearing a Euro 46 and typically wears a US 12. Hopefully that gives you a sense of how Dainese designs gear so that the proportions are right where they need to be, even if you're not a size 0!

I highly recommend the SF Lady if you're looking for a really great all around jacket for cool/mild weather. Note that it doesn't feature a removable thermal liner, but since it has no perforation or vents, it should be fairly warm.

Dainese SF Lady Leather motorcycle womens Jacket

 

Sadly the following items are not on sale, I just wanted to share them with you.

Dainese G. Zima GORE-TEX

$499.95 (buy at the Dainese store or online at Revzilla)

Full Specifications Here.
Sizes: Euro 38-50 (wow! they're offering this up to 50. That's about a US 16).
Colors: All black and black/gray option shown below. On Dainese's website they have other colors listed, but it appears that these are the only ones available to purchase right now. 

You may have read my earlier review about REV'IT discontinuing the only GTX outfit for women they've ever offered. :supersadface Thankfully, Dainese is still committed to this effort. By providing one of the few options for women's jackets that offer a fully integrated (meaning, it's non removable and attached to the outer shell so you don't need to insert the liner to stay dry) GTX liner, they continue to stay invested in the women's gear market. I for one, am very very happy to see this jacket in their lineup.

If there's one thing that Europeans do well, it's fitting a woman's body. And motorcycle gear is no different. They really understand proportions and fit. I'm not a pencil shape, so to speak. I have a short, wider torso for my height (5'3") and this fit so perfectly. The material they use on the outer shell for this is called Mugello fabric. It's very forgiving. I could see the fabric allowing for a little extra comfort in the shoulders and across the back.  Goofy photos of me wearing it:

The materials, fitment and overall functionality of the jacket contribute to why it's such a high pricepoint. If you put it on, you'll also notice just how well it fits. Comfortable, functional, safe and a nice design.

Dainese Zima GORE-TEX women's motorcycle jacket waterproof winter 

An added bonus for buying any D-Dry or GORE-TEX waterproof jacket from Dainese (at participating retailers) is that they will give you a FREE back protector! Now through November 17, 2013. Program Details: http://bit.ly/14zuRmT

Dainese Ixia Boots

Dainese Ixia Boots Waterproof womens scooter city

$249.95 (buy at Dainese Store or online at Revzilla)

Sizes: Euro 36-42 (I seem to be shrinking, and ended up fitting into a Euro 36. I'm typically 7 in casual shoes)

Why is it so hard to find cute, stylish boots with protection? Well, it's a delicate balance of making them stylish but adding protection where you need it without changing the 'stylish' aspect. Even these cuties don't offer incredible protection, but more than anything you'd buy at your favorite department store.

Dainese Ixia Waterproof boots womens tall stylish cute motorcycle scooter

dainese ixia 1

I would totally wear these around town, going to the movies or running errands. They offer soft armor inserts on both sides of the ankle and reinforced toe shifters. I didn't spend a lot of time in them so I can't really say how reinforced they are in the heels/toebox. But it definitely felt like there was some reinforcement, just not as much as say the Dainese Siren. The leather felt really soft too, with lots of calf and ankle space.

These are the perfect boots for anyone looking for boots to wear on their scooter or motorcycle, around town (no freeway, city speeds <40-45mph).

Sexy but not Slutty, Motorcycle Shirts

womens motorcycle shirts triumph tiger pretty classy sexy

 

Thanks to my friend Moto Lady, I found Bryan's shop on Etsy where he's whipping out cool vintage car and motorcycle shirts for men and women! It's so refreshing to see cool tees that aren't pink, half cropped, tight as hell and too skimpy to wear without looking desperate.

I love what Bryan is doing and am hoping to partner with him to push out some killer GearChic tees. Stay tuned and in the meantime, check out what else he has going on in his shop. If you're a classic car fan, you'll love some of the tributes to Dodge, Nissan, BMW and more.

I just picked up this little number from his shop too. SO cute. All of his shirts have limited runs, so be sure to grab one as soon as you see it.

classic motorcycle shirts women cool vintage

Etsy Listing.

Etsy Store, Spectre Apparel 

New GearChic Shirts

2012 AMA Women MOtorcycling Conference  

I've finally uploaded a copy of this design of my cute gearchic top . If you're looking for a soft, slouchy top to wear and flaunt my website where everyone will definitely be looking, it'll only cost you $31.90! 

Another view from MotoGP, 2011. I'm wearing a navy blue one in medium in these photos. In the first pic, I'm about 15 lbs lighter so the top is even looser than before. The sizing is very generous. If you order a small, it'll be a small/medium since it has a nice wide fit in the torso and a loose boatneck. It's not too wide at the neck to wear it'll sit on the ends of your shoulders (unless you order a size up), but it has a nice flattering neckline. 

I've also uploaded an additional color option in heather gray with a white logo:

 

Store Link: gearchic.spreadshirt.com

Price: $31.90 (actual price, no markup!)

Sizes: S-XL

First in a Series: Gear Around the Bay, Scuderia West

This is the first in a series about the best shops for women's gear in the Bay Area. But more importantly, they will carry the best that there is to offer in real gear.

Living in the Bay Area, we are so lucky to have so much available to us as motorcyclists. There are so many riders living here that of course we have more than your average number of motorcycle dealerships and apparel shops just for us!

I hope to visit 3-4 other shops in the Bay Area over the next few months to give you an up close and personal look at why these shops are so great!

Scuderia West, 69 Duboce Avenue, San Francisco, CA

For those of you who've never been to Scuderia, here is a 180 degree high res photo that will almost make you feel like you're really there. :D


Scuderia West is near and dear to me for more than the most obvious reason that I work there part time. 6 years ago my husband and I bought our first scooter there after renting one in Vegas on our honeymoon. I also bought my first helmet, jacket and gloves. I knew that Scuderia was a really special shop the minute I walked in. I also bought my first piece of gear that day, my now discontinued Vanson Textile. Long story short, it was this experience that kept me coming back to Scuderia. I almost hated going sometimes, because there was sooooo much stuff I wanted to buy there. Jackets, boots, gloves, pants, the list is endless! When I originally came up with the idea for my website, I thought it would be so cool to hang at Scuderia and learn as much as I can about gear. Where else could I go to get informative, useful information from people who knew their stuff?

And, I loved the fact that so many women were working there at the time. I'd gone back since then to buy more gear. So I took the plunge and asked Crystal one day if she needed any extra hands for the upcoming Open House. She said she'd think about it and the rest is history! I had no idea how much I would enjoy working there. It was so much fun, so easy and I sucked in every piece of information I could get my hands on.

If you take a look at the 180 pic above, you'll notice that some things you might see in most apparel shops are missing at Scuderia. No chaps, tassles, not a lot of chrome, no harley-wear. Crystal has done a fantastic job of identifying a badly needed gap in the motorcycle apparel business. The emphasis is mainly on quality products that protect, function well on a motorcycle, and *gasp* fit! Have you ever walked into an apparel shop that: 1) has dedicated apparel employees; and 2) knows how to give you proper fitment with your gear? Most shops have no dedicated apparel personnel. That expense is just seen as an unnecessary one, and/or it's really hard to find qualified, experienced people who know what they're talking about in terms of fit and selling the apparel for what it is, not how much it costs.

When you come in to buy gear, you'll find a variety of garments with different shapes and fits to accommodate different body types. Because if you've ever read my blog before this post, then you know how much focus I put on fit. I'll even let you in on a little secret. Come Closer. *We do not get commission on apparel sales at Scuderia.*


So when we tell you how well that jacket fits you (regardless of the price tag), we really mean it! There is nothing more satisfying for me than seeing the smile on a customer's face when she is standing in front of the mirror, admiring herself and so happy that she found a jacket that fits her like a glove. And, even if she's not sure she wants to spend ~$400+ on 'the one', we'll even encourage to check out other options at competitor shops. Once a customer knows exactly what's supposed to fit, how it's supposed to work and why it's worth the money, inevitably, they always come back. That's what makes Scuderia so special. We're really here to help inform and advise you the best we can. Sometimes what we have won't work, but we're going to tell you that instead of pressuring you to buy something that doesn't.

One common problem that both the men and women I've spoken to about gear have shared with me is how hard it is to shop for gear. Unless someone tells you, it can be really difficult to figure out what you need, why you need it and how to go about finding it. That's the problem with shopping virtually. With the wealth of information online available to you, there's no one to help you wade through it and make sense of it all. Especially as it relates to you! What bike you ride, what kind of riding you're doing, what features you need, what features you don't need, etc. Shopping is a lot of work, whether it's for gear or for just a jeans and tshirt.

By going to a place like Scuderia, you're going to get a lot of information that you just won't find anywhere else.

More Updates

Ack I've been a bad girl. Well, that's no real surprise, but I haven't posted since MotoGP last weekend. Oops, my bad. I've made a couple updates, mostly the homepage. I need more reviews! I'm dying to hear from any woman out there who has gear that she would recommend to a fellow female rider. Especially if you found it difficult to find something to fit your body type, no matter what it is. I've posted some of the requirements I'm looking for on my main page.

So let's talk gear. A new Dainese store has opened in San Francisco at the former site of Dudley Perkins/Harley Davidson on Van Ness Avenue near Market Street. I haven't made my way over there as of yet, but I imagine they have all the cool stuff that I saw in their Paris store, including longer, 3/4 length trenchcoat style jackets (with armor) for you hardcore scooterists, or for those of you looking for a more street/casual, non-motorcycle look.